Business Modelling : Extensions

A suite of extension frameworks to add to core knowledge

Add more power to your dynamic business models.

You already know that most types of so-called "business model" are just descriptive - little more than abstract statues! We need models that work, doing what the real-world data says is actually happening, showing how the future may play out, testing how your plans might improve things, then running alongside the real business to manage it from period to period. 

Dynamic, "living" business models simulate reality.

This is the third of 3 courses in our series:

  • The "Getting started" course (selected lessons from the Core  course) 
  • The Core course(classes 1-4) - the essential principles of dynamic modelling and demo models 
  • This "Extensions" course (classes 5-10) adds a set of frameworks and models to tackle common important issues or to enrich Core models. You can also take each of these classes as separate courses – see our business modelling courses page.  

Before taking this course, you should understand the principles and methods for building dynamic business models, either from taking our Core Course or from your own prior modelling experience.

What will I learn?

Together with the Core Course, these Extensions classes complete your reference library of instructional material on how to build dynamic business models. This means you can jump in to any of them at any time. The classes continue to follow the principles of our “AgileSD” process for getting to a reliable working model with the least effort. Lessons in each class:

  • … explain essential principles behind the mechanism on which that class focuses
  • … show how to model that mechanism as a tool to tackle issues it is designed to deal with
  • … and, in the process, introduce many important modelling skills and expertise with the Silico software

See below for a summary of the content in each Extension class, as well as links for more information or to buy any class separately. 

The "RoI" of this course.

You will get two big sources of value from each of these classes: 

Use any Extension on its own. You will learn, for example, how to model changes in staff experience and cost, how product development and the ageing of costly assets work, and how to model competitive battles to win and sustain customers and sales. All of these have proven hugely valuable as stand-alone models. For example:

  • The class 7 tools gave the solution to win the aggressive competitive battle faced by the pharmaceuticals company in our successes cases above.
  • One of the class 6 “pipeline” models helped fix the tech-staff turnover challenge. (A customer pipeline model, not illustrated above, rejuvenated a once-dominant drinks brand in the Spanish market that had fallen out of favour

What would it be worth for your business to have customers who buy 20% more than existing customers do? How much better would one of your staff teams perform with 10% more experience or skills? See class 5.

How much value would it add to your business if you could make potential customers aware and informed about your products or services faster, so they became actual customers more quickly? See class 6.

What would it cost you if you lost a large fraction of your business to a new competitive attack? See class 7.

How much would it be worth to make better decisions on pricing, or marketing - or make a better choice between current profitability and investment in future growth? See class 8.

How much do you really understand about the impact of market reputation on winning customers, or the impact of data-quality on key parts of the business? See class 9.

How would your business perform if it could match the best operational and strategic capabilities possible in your own industry or others? See class 9.

Enrich wider business models with these Extensions, too. But each extension-structure can also add to much wider business models. For example: 

  • We added several of the class-5 structures on the “quality” of business resources to the business model that turned round the investment company’s disastrous collapse.
  • A customer pipeline model was central to the early strategy model (built by the CEO himself!) for the energy-sector IoT innovator Eneida

"These are fantastic classes - so great that we are looking to hire people with these skills. Thanks!"
Bob Lamb: Founder & CEO, Foundation for Inclusion

  "Thank you for this great course - the most exciting I have taken. I will definitely do this type of work for my clients at the agency."
Esteban Ribero: VP Strategy - Leo Burnett/Lapiz

    "This class fundamentally changed how I think about issues concerning our company’s future. I plan to use these models on issues we are facing."
Mark Holman: Manager, Regional Coordination at PJM Interconnection

Not just for big corporations. In this video, Rod Brown, founding-CEO of home-projects advisor Opun, tells how his DBM helped test, finance and manage the business to a success that led to its buy-out by premium retailer, the John Lewis Partnership.

How long does it take?

Like all of our courses, you do not have to start at the beginning and slave through every class and every lesson to the end. First, you can take the classes in any order - where any class picks up a model from an earlier class, we provide that to you at that point. 

And within any class, we suggest key items to focus on first. Working carefully through just those key lessons may take about a half-day per class. You can then come back to fill in important extra principles and skills. That could be another ½ to 1 day per class, depending on how deeply you want to get into each lesson and practice it on your own cases – all time that you can claim as self-directed CPD (continuous professional development).

Then, of course, you can spend any time you want on consolidating your skills and following our detailed guidance on how to apply the modelling to your own case and issues. 

Who is this course for?

Business leaders  Some heads of marketing, R&D, HR - even some CEOs, feel it is so important to get a grip on the quality of their business that they invest effort in modelling it themselves - even a top level appreciation of the model will aid your thinking.

Analysts and accountants. Every analyst supporting a business or functional leader should know how to model the quality of their organisation's resources,  and understand how they are changing through time so they can advise leaders on what needs to be done.

Consultants. These models are so powerful that clients will be blown away by the value you bring to their business. It's faster and easier than using spreadsheets and less prone to error. The  approach used provides a valuable addition to a consultants toolbox.

Business students (and teachers*) The mechanisms in this course are a critical element of how business works - so understanding them will give you an important additional method for approaching strategic questions - and employers will really value this skill.

* Teachers - we can provide materials from this course for you to use in your classes - contact us for information. Please do let us know where you teach and approximate student numbers in addition to any  questions or comments you have.

Resources for Teachers and trainers

We make our courses available free of charge for academic faculty and at a discount for corporate trainers - more information here

What you get!

A set of four classes, each of 5-8 short lessons

The essential principles and skills to build  dynamic business models

For business analysts, consultants, and students - needs no special skills

Needs no special skills - our 'AgileSD' process is reliable and easy to follow

Sample models to get started on other cases

Useful for any organisation, of any size

All courses include

  • Comprehensive video lectures 
  • PDF handouts
  • Easily accessible models;  
  • Suggestions for applying to own case
  • Discussion board for specific class help
  • Instant access, no expiry 

Detailed overview of all classes

The Core course (classes 1-4)  provided the principles, frameworks and modelling skills to build a basic Dynamic Business Model for any enterprise or issue, reflecting the generic business-system structure in the figure below. We also showed how smaller models can be helpful on their own - the simple relationship between the Stock and Flows of customers and sales, for example, and the basic dynamics of staff hiring and promotion.

What the Extensions classes (5-10) add. We can go much further than those Core structures alone can take us, using important Extensions to those core frameworks and modelling principles. But note that these Extensions, too, exploit the rock-solid underlying principles we set up in the Core.

Course Pricing

  • Instant Access

    £450

    Get all 6 extensions classes to take at your own pace.

  • Enrol Today

Class summaries

Class 5: "Attributes" of business resources. 
We do not just want more customers, staff and products; we want better customers, staff and products. A business can even destroy itself by pursuing poor-quality growth. So learn here how to model the structures that ensure you build and sustain better-quality resources - and a better business.


Class 6: Resource pipelines.
Most business resources move through stages - customers become aware and informed before trialling our product, staff progress through levels of seniority, products go through development stages, and assets lose performance in steps. Learn how to model the movement of resources through these pipelines to understand and manage the impact these developments have on performance results.


Class 7: Competition.
Learn how to model just three standard structures to capture all competitive cases; winning new customers, stealing rivals' customers and getting more of the sales to shared customers. Then use these models to plan and win tough competitive challenges. And don't forget we compete for staff too!


Class 8: Policies and Decisions.
We don't make every decision from first principles, every time - we use policies or decision-rules. Learn how to model and test policies that compare changing results with targets we choose, then use the difference to work out what to do. But beware - bad policies are common, so you will see how to avoid this danger!


Class 9: Intangibles.
Everyone knows 'soft' factors matter - reputation, staff morale, data, quality - but how do these factors actually work. Learn how to model the factors that make an intangible factor improve or get worse, and then work out what does it the wider system's performance?


Class 10: Capabilities and learning.
Powerful businesses are just so good at doing what they need to do! That's no accident - they invest in the skills, information and procedures needed to do everything as well as possible. And you can model all this to figure out where to invest money and effort to make the biggest improvement in future performance. (Yes, the higher profit growth in this retail stores demo is realistic!)

Course Curriculum (Full suite of Extensions)

Kim Warren

Kim is an experienced strategy professional, teacher and publisher of online courses and teaching resources on business modeling – fast becoming a main-stream capability for executives, consultants and business students. He also offers resources to help model non-business challenges, notably in health-care and international aid.

After senior corporate strategy roles, Kim joined London Business School, to teach on MBA and Executive programs. To overcome serious limitations with standard strategy methods, he developed the powerful strategy dynamics modelling method for designing and managing strategy for any organisation or challenge. Once a specialist skill, building these simulations is now easier, faster and more reliable than spreadsheet modeling. Such models mimic real-world behaviour and performance of businesses and other organisations with uncanny realism.

Kim is author of the prize-winning Competitive Strategy Dynamics (Wiley, 2002), a major strategy textbook Strategic Management Dynamics (Wiley, 2008), and summary e-book now widely used in MBA and executive teaching – Strategy Dynamics Essentials (Kindle, 2011). He is also co-founder of Strategy Dynamics Ltd, which publishes "serious games" and online courses exploiting the user-friendly modelling application, Silico.