Friday, March 25, 2011

PTV in nutshell - The Purpose Seed unleashing its Invisible Instructions in the form of Seedal Chains?

With us already have written quite a few articles on PtC© driven Portfolio-Thread View and its frameworks ( PTV©’s EPP©, CPP© & PIP©), we thought of holistically expounding PTV© with a big picture metaphor called SPF (SEED-PLANT-FRUIT), as part of today’s blog. The primary motivation for our attempt is to create a bird’s eye view of PTV – for the benefit of those readers, who may not have the time to read all of our earlier detailed articles.

First and foremost, the purpose seed, with its five invisible instructions, is the cornerstone of PTV -

  • Vision (what the firm aspires to be)

  • Mission (why does the firm exist/what does it stand for)

  • Values (what drives us)

  • Codes (what guides us)


Together, these five part invisible instruction set, tell the purpose seed to prosper into a healthy plant called the systemic organization. Seeds, like purposes, also have invisible instruction(s) inside them – as the tomato seed turns into a tomato plant - producing the tomato fruit (as outlined in the picture on the top of the page)– very much like, how the apple seed turns into an apple tree, producing the apple fruit - and so on and so forth!

Along the similar line of thinking, words that clearly depict the aspirations of an organization are the seeds of purpose. In other words, an organization that embeds the right type of invisible instruction(s) within the purpose statement (seed) will definitely grow into the plant (or systemic organization) - the invisible instructions tell it to grow into. In its essence, PTV is all about – this purpose seed germinating into a plant called systemic organization, producing the fruit called value, for stake holders to reap and reinvest its benefits – as outlined in the picture on the top of the page!

With that said, let us see, how the following 10 principles, help us to assemble various pieces of the PTV puzzle, within the context of this SPF metaphor – where each of the principles are pictorially represented in the format (P1-P10) within the execution flow of the picture on the top of the page.

  1. Principle of purpose driven seedal chain – to produce purpose driven plant called systemic organization using its five part invisible instructions.

  2. Principle of value/energy conservation – to transform that plant (or systemic organization) and place them into the radial orbit using PTV’s 5 perspectives (4 Kaplan/Norton’s perspectives + our central purpose perspective).

  3. Principle of balancing opposites - to help identify the 6 macro dilemmas (i.e. Purpose vs. Profit, Customer Centric vs. Vision Centric Innovation, Pull vs. Push value chain, Operation Excellence vs. Innovation Excellence, long term vs. Q-To-Q results and Market based vs. Resource based view) within the radial orbit, resulting from the opposing forces of those five perspectives.

  4. Principle of seasonality - to help resolve the 6 macro dilemmas within the context of seasons (time, capabilities and geography dimensions).

  5. Principle of destiny and decision (i.e. destiny driven value accelerators called experience & capability pool portfolios (EPP©, CPP©) and decision driven strategic thread principles of P6-P10) - to help harmonize the structure and strategy part of the view – not only, to better resolve these 6 macro dilemmas, but also, solve the remaining minor dilemmas (Core vs. Edge, Effectiveness vs. Efficiency, Hire vs. Nurture talent, Customers vs. Partners, Individuals vs. Teams, Collaborative vs. Command and control leadership style etc.) or thread principles/questions that might result from these 6 macro dilemmas.

  6. Principle of difference – to help answer "what to play" question using experience pools portfolio (EPP) framework.

  7. Principle of focus – to help answer "where to play" question using experience pools portfolio (EPP) framework.

  8. Principle of team - to help answer "how do we win" question using capability pools portfolio (CPP) framework.

  9. Principle of synergy (i.e. 1+1=3 logic) to help answer "how do we win" question using capability pools portfolio (CPP) framework.

  10. Principle of harvest (fruit or value reaping/seed reinvesting within the radial orbit) – to help answer "how do we win" question using capability pools portfolio (CPP) framework.

While the first five principles (P1-P5) help us to establish the portfolio part the strategic plan – the remaining five (i.e. strategic thread focused principles), help us to channel the outputs of these portfolios, into an execution focused action plan, with a Q-To-Q mindset. In other words, the purpose seed, first transforms itself into a healthy plant (called systemic organization) as part of the longer term (5-10 years) strategic plan (using principles P1-P5), and then start yielding its fruits (or action plans) as part of its near term strategic plan (using P6- P10) - and keeps the orbital process moving.

Strategic Portfolios come to life using principles P1-P5, but led by the Seedal Chain principle!

As it turns out, PTV driven systemic organizations are built on a key causality principle called “seedal chains” – where, the purpose seed (with its five invisible instructions) grow into a type of organization, depending upon what the invisible instructions tell it to grow into. We chose to call this principle as “seedal chains”, because, seedal chains, unlike the traditional causal chains, carry the remnants of the five invisible instructions (in the form of sub instructions) within their navigational path, even unto the utter most parts (or nodes) of the organization, in the form of genotypes (growth opportunities called experience pools) and phenotypes (capability characteristics called capability pools). In other words, the systemic organization that learns to keep these invisible sub-instructions (called genotypes and phenotypes), vibrant and alive within their genes, is going to be the winning organization– as these sub-instructions, later, play a key role in discovering the winning strategic paths!

Once these sub-instructions driven seedal chains are well established within a systemic organization, the value/energy conservation principle (# P2 in the 10 part principle list) takes charge, and forms the radial orbit with PTV’s 5 perspectives – which in turn, creates the six macro dilemmas, as a result of the opposing forces existing among the five perspectives - as outlined in the embedded radial orbital diagram, in the top of the page. This is the moment, the principle of “balancing opposites” and “seasonality” (#3 and #4), kick in, as they, not only help us to resolve these dilemmas with a “DOING BOTH” mindset, but also, position us to leverage the fifth principle of "destiny and decision" based frameworks (i.e. destiny driven value accelerators called experience/capability pool portfolio and decision driven strategic thread principles part) – to identify the optimal experience/capability mix, needed, to win and sustain the growth for the next decade to come!

At a high level, PTV recommends a minimum of 10 portfolio structures (Human resources, purpose/brand, market, product, services & experiences, assets/inventory, investment capital, processes, risk and three more specialized EPP©, CPP© & PIP© framework templates), that is represented as an interlinked object relationship constructs (i.e. sheet tabs in excel terminology) that are further interlinked with a semantic layer with dynamic foreign key relationships within PTV’s analytics/synthesis balanced foundation layer. The added benefit of this interlinked analysis/synthesis balanced foundation layer is that it also helps us to build a flexible end-to-end real time, corporate performance management (CPM) system – to measure, monitor and manage the performance of the strategic plan –as covered in our articles, that are published as part of our role as Executive Global Partner with ABS's global strategy consulting division.

Strategic Threads come to life using principles P6-P10, but led by the differentiation principle!

Now that we have understood the fact that systemic organizations are filled with myriad of sub-instructions called genotypes and phenotypes (i.e. child instruction paths mushrooming from the five part purpose seed instructions) - it puts the strategy development process, altogether in a different spatial dimension – as strategy under PTV, is all about uncovering these sub instructions or genotype/phenotype mix (or ORDERLY experience/capability mix, out of the DISORDERLY within the systemic organizations -as outlined in the CONNECTING THE DOTS or serendipity road article).

In other words, the job of a strategist under PTV is as that of a sculptor, who makes art out of the rock – and, all that the sculptor is doing is - just chiseling away the unwanted edges of the rock to give life to an “already existing art” that just happen to be buried inside the rock. Put another way, different variations of the orderly strategy are already buried inside the disorderly rock called the systemic organization, and all that the sculptor is doing is just chiseling away the unwanted edges to give life to the already existing strategic path. Simply put, depending upon what edges the strategist chisels away, the rock turns into that appropriate strategic path - that is already buried inside the large rock that is filled with disorderly paths – which by the way, was the primary driver, that made us to come up with PTV© - to help strategists to intuitively identify those winning paths!

As it turns out, every one of the threading principles (i.e. P6-P10) within PTV are designed with a noble goal of identifying those invisible sub-instructions or value accelerators (i.e. experience/capability pool mix) with a help of EPP©, CPP© & PIP© frameworks. Once the winning paths with the value accelerators are identified (i.e. growth opportunity is matched with capabilities), the 10 box SWOTC analysis is performed as part of the EPP/PIP/CPP frameworks, to help identify the micro level decision dilemmas that might result from the internal and external opposing forces – and, this is where, seasonality and “balancing the opposites” principles, again help us to make the final decision with a “DOING BOTH” mindset – i.e. balancing seemingly opposing micro choices with a help of seasonality balanced constraints of capabilities, time and geography dimensions . Another intriguing insight here is that, the better (& faster), we resolve these seemingly opposing dilemmas, the better the outcome will be - as these opposing dilemmas based value accelerators are the ones that is going to help our organizations to enter into a new season of uncommon success.


In closing, the purpose seed (with its five invisible instructions) is the cornerstone of PTV - as it, not only grows in to a dynamic warehouse of invisible sub-instructions (i.e. genotype/phenotypes), but also, transition itself into an optimal mix of “experience/capability pool paths”. Those organizations, who find a way to uncover these hidden paths, quickly, much ahead of the competition, are going to be the winning organizations in the 21st century – as strategy, in the next decade is all about uncovering these hidden paths (i.e. value accelerators) and translating them into an optimal experience/capability pool mix based strategic insights/paths– for us to win and sustain the double digit growth. The question however is- are we ready to embrace it within our strategic planning processes -and prepare our organizations, to face the dynamic challenges of the next decade. The call is yours and we are ready to help and serve!


  1. Hello Charles,

    If one would inspect the five instructions
    Vision (what the firm aspires to be)

    Mission (why does the firm exist/what does it stand for)

    Values (what drives us)

    Codes (what guides us)

    We see that the common thread among them is the question what. (I prefer the second definition of the mission statement).
    The purpose is for me the why question. This is what we must start with. After we answer this then jumps the questions what? Where? When? By which?
    Your approach is a symphony of the linkage between the why and whats. This approach is deep and opens the mind for many possibilities. A creative approach is an opportunity-opener. This is the value of this post. The use of the creative and green metaphor is prompting me to review my knowledge on strategy.
    Charles, you have done a great job

  2. Hello Ali, As always you bring up some intriguing questions.

    While I agree that one can build a case for starting with the “Why part” (as part of creating the purpose statement), I would also say that, the “Why part” cannot be 100% completed without the “What” part – as they both are the two sides of the same coin – and so, we need both of them created simultaneously (or defined) for us to get a successful purpose clap.

    In other words, if I had to summarize the purpose seed or statement - The “Why part” is concealed in “What part” and “What Part” is revealed in “Why Part”!

    Might sound like a cyclical vicious cycle on the surface, but after some careful thinking, I am sure that we can see a virtuous cycle evolving!


  3. Dear Charles,

    I read your response with great care. No, I do not see any vicious circle. Like I mentioned once, the egg or the chicken and it is both. The why part may focus attention and lead the what question. The feedback from the what questions and other Ws questions (where, when, etc.,) are the input for rethinking the why question. At the end, it is a mutual feedback. The only difference is I see starting with the why question might bring more focus

  4. Glad to hear that you are in the virtuous camp - as we all know that staying in the vicious camp for too long will lead us to the slippery slope! Like a wise man who built the house on the bedrock, you have chosen the right path Ali!