Research Library

The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping

Maps have been critical in many forms of competitive engagement throughout history. They help us to understand where we are, why we take action, how we can outmanoeuvre foes and what escape routes we have if things go wrong.

Military maps traditionally describe a geographical environment, the physical landscape in which the theatre of battle operates. But business is also a form of conflict – a competitive engagement between opponents, fought over a landscape of consumers, suppliers, resources and changing technology. We believe that maps also matter a great deal in such engagements, and thus companies must be sure to map their business landscape effectively.

This workbook outlines the mapping process, which can be used to support a variety of specific strategic plays such as reducing/increasing barriers to entry, exploiting ecosystems, using open technologies, anticipating rivals and many other goals and tactics.

Value Chain MappingWatch a video that describes the mapping concept.

For detailed information, watch a presentation video, Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy.

Learn more about how our popular Value Chain Mapping workshops can help you anticipate the future. 



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Executive Summary

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Simon Wardley
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.  From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies.  He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in recent Computer Weekly polls.