Business Compass

We can examine organisations with the aid of a compass, a model. Hence we generally want our organisations to be flexible and to adapt readily, but we also want them to be stable and under control.
We want growth, to acquire means of production and external support, but we also want careful information management and formal communication. An optimum picture is therefore hard to paint. In order still to identify an optimum picture, we use a Business Compass. This Compass is based on Robert E. Quinn's model.
Robert Quinn's model uses two axes, just like a compass. On the vertical axis 'innovative' is set against 'controlling'. On the horizontal axis 'internal orientation' is set against 'external orientation'.

The four quadrants which are thus created can then be described in various ways.

Using this Business Compass it is now possible to examine and also compare organisations.

Every organisation must take account of both external and internal developments. Together with a number of visionaries from various sectors, we repeatedly come to a number of the same external developments. Visionaries in this regard are people who focus on the future from within their own disciplines. A visionary has formed their own opinion about this.

What do you need to take into account in the near future as an organisation in order to survive? The Business Compass has four important aspects. Each aspect thereby has its own degree of difficulty.

1st aspect: entrepreneurship
An organisation must have a clear vision. By vision we mean here: having answers to the developments in the world. Nobody knows whether you have the right answers. But you must have answers. Those answers give you a direction. With entrepreneurship we also look at the willingness to form partnerships. The power of networks is becoming ever more important. Entrepreneurship is given a weighting of 35 points.

2nd aspect: customer orientation
Customer orientation involves investigating the customer's wishes and needs and acting accordingly. In the near future you will have to anticipate the customer's needs effectively. You should then give high priority to willingness to serve and customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers lead to new customers. The Internet thereby creates a transparent world.
It is then better to be demand-oriented than supply-oriented. Customer orientation is given a weighting of 30 points.

3rd aspect: process
Is your process leading for your organisation? We are convinced that in the future command & control will have to give way to 'responsibility & trust'. A process must support the collaboration between the customer and the organisation, whereby the myth of controllability is finally punctured. A process is therefore not leading, as a result of which this is given a weighting of 15 points.

4th aspect: professional skills
Are personal professional skills leading for your organisation? Someone with a special aptitude has a talent. If an organisation does not appeal to talents, a talent will go elsewhere. As an organisation there is an art in finding the right talents, and also binding them to you whereby you also allow these talents to grow. The demographic developments contain the prediction that a serious 'war for talent' is on its way. There will be a scarcity of certain qualified people. Are you ready for these talents? For an organisation which is ready for the future, professional skills are given a weighting of 20 points to give 100 points in total.

Every aspect is now also given a score: how does your organisation perform with regard to this aspect?

= satisfactory (+ 5 pts)         = unsatisfactory (- 5 pts)
 = good (+ 10 pts)   = poor (- 10 pts)
= excellent (+ 15 pts)   = terrible (- 15 pts)

Multiplying the weighting for an aspect by the organisation's score produces a total number of points. The total number of points can range from +1500 to -1500 points.


The combination of all the models and the application of a Business Compass makes it possible to determine for an organisation:
  • What strategy is wanted
  • What structure fits with a particular strategy
  • What culture a particular strategy requires
  • Whether the composition of the Management Team is right
  • Whether the right management skills are present
  • Etc.
We distinguish three phases in applying a Business Compass:
  1. Approach
  2. Analysis
  3. Discussion