Skip to main content

How "Concept Management" Can Revolutionize Your Business

I'd like to introduce you to the idea of “Concept Management”, what it is and why it's needed. But first, let's talk about how great businesses become successful, so you can understand why Concept Management really matters.

Getting your message through.

When I say a "great business", I mean a business that communicates a vision and shows leadership. 

Everything done in most businesses comes from finding customers and offering them products and services they're willing to pay for. Would it be true to say that great businesses are good communicators, because they can easily find people who are willing to pay for their product? 

How do they communicate their vision and why do people care so much?

Let's find out by discussing business plans first.

There is no doubt that Steve Jobs was a giant of the business world, but did he listen to Apple's customers? Steve Jobs and the “Jobs Effect” turned Apple products into something desirable.

But the “Jobs Effect” isn't something mystical. It was simply Steve using emotive and loaded language to spread the values of Apple's mission statement.

Preaching “why”.

Jobs preached the “why”. He wasn't just focused on what customers wanted, he was more interested in communicating his beliefs to everyone.

A business plan starts with “why”. 

It's the first thing at the top of the plan. It's the mission statement, the reason “why” you are in business. A business should do everything based on the objectives of its business plan.

With a great business, everything should come from “why”.

But business plans are meh.

If you're a startup, you can't write a full plan. Though researching your market first is valuable, most of your projections would be wild guesses. They'd likely be a waste of time at best, or an expensive mistake at worst. I had a profitable business I lived on for about 6 years without any plan.

So I don't really need a plan?

For my last business, hindsight has taught me a valuable lesson that I should have had a plan. Here's an illustration that'll help you understand what I'm talking about.
This is a reasonably accurate view of visitor traffic to my website ( You'll notice that I had a lot of drive to market the program once I finished writing it. I had a lot of overseas holidays in 2012 and 2013, so by the time I was back I lost track.

Stay on top.

I wasn't on top of marketing, I hadn't been paying attention.. because I didn't have a plan of what to stay on top of. Even though sales continued to do okay until the end of 2016, the lack of attention to important areas of the business meant it has fizzled out.

So how do you stay on top?

The point of a business plan is to make sure you review it regularly. A business model canvas is a good start for covering the important things. Review it regularly, set targets and don't drop the ball.

And how is this related to “concept management”?

You should write your business plan (or business model canvas) in a concept management platform. It will become the cornerstone of the things you work on every day.

Headings in a business plan, or even the post-it notes of a business model canvas, are topics.

For example, “Market Analysis”, “Competitive Analysis”, “Sales and Marketing Plan”.. these are all topics in a business plan that you can add as topics to a concept management platform.

Each topic has its own content, communication and subscriptions. Everything is grouped by topic, and communications (like chat and issue tracking) are grouped private conversations between users and administrators.

Like a mind map, WITH content for a topic (like Wikipedia), WITH individual user discussions between users and administrators for every topic, WITH individual user subscriptions to changes that happen in a topic.

In a concept management platform, those post-it notes on a business model canvas now have real meaning.

They're no longer just a few words on post-it notes, stuck on a piece of paper on a wall.. they become links to more information, communication and related topics which connect all parts of your business. Link a SWOT analysis, KPIs, customer conversations, attach files... EVERYTHING you do, you can link to your business model.

Topics become part of your workflow.

So how do I use this?

Start with creating a “business canvas” topic. Then add all of the parts of the canvas as topics to the “business canvas” topic. Then go into the “key activities” topic and write down what is it you want to do.

For example, in Cavy's canvas, key activities are “assist innovation”, “improve customer relationships”, “improve collaboration”, “simplify work”.

What is your “why”?

After adding the things you really want to do, step back and think.. “How do I FEEL about these things?” Is there a reason WHY you want to do these things? Is there something you don't like about the way things are? Is there some way you'd like to make your mark and change the world?

Come up with an emotive mission statement that says what you do succinctly, your raison d'etre.. your reason for being and what it is you do.

Here is Cavy's mission statement:

To create systems that revolutionize innovative thinking, communication and efficiency.

The word “revolutionize” is loaded language. It evokes feelings of discontent with the status quo and a wanting to change things. I'll be sure to use that when I'm writing marketing material.

What's your beef? What's your "why"?

Delegate your vision.

Once you've finished working on your business model, start to action your vision. Plan what you're going to create, step by step. This is the project management side of things, but it ties into the business plan.

Remember, everything stems from the business plan, which stems from the “why”. Create tasks for people to carry out as issues, order topics and delegate them. You can order related topics as a quick way to change and manage their priority.

How do great businesses communicate? From the top down then the bottom up.

Great businesses communicate from the top down with their beliefs, and then they listen to their customers. Preaching the values of your mission statement is just executing your business plan, the way it is supposed to be executed.

Your beliefs spread through your business from your plans, and from your business to your customers. You then gauge customer sentiment and utilize feedback by listening to your customers and customer habits. This loop of vision and feedback makes sure your plan is effective or needs updating.

Not every business, right?

Of course, this is not the case for all businesses, it's the case for great businesses like Apple, Nike or Coke, who were smart enough to work on people's emotions.

You need everyone on the same page singing from the same hymn sheet.

With a Concept Management Platform you're making sure everyone is actually ON the same page.

Get planning.

To learn more about Cavy, visit or talk at