Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Mapping processes is not just about the WHO and WHAT of your business, but also the WHY. Here’s why… [Tuesday: Return Driven Strategy]

September 26, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to today’s edition of “Return Driven Strategy!”

As someone in the business and consulting industry for 30+ years now, one of the things I find effective in managing my team is the Return Driven Strategy (RDS) framework. That’s why every Tuesday, we publish articles about this to help you effectively navigate an ever-changing work landscape as a business leader, manager, or worker.

Today, let’s continue our topic about the 8th tenet of RDS: Map and Redesign Processes.

Continue reading to know the importance of knowing the state of a business and not waiting for a problem to arise before mapping and redesigning processes.


I have written articles about my friend and colleague, Professor Joel Litman, a preeminent accounting expert whose investment research is read and respected by thousands of investors worldwide, including most of the largest.

Given recent financial tumult, bank failures, and levels of fear and panic I haven’t observed since 2008, I asked Joel about his outlook and what worries him most. His answer: Nobody is talking about it.

Joel says every signal points to a looming stock market crash. Worst of all, Wall Street knows about this—they just haven’t told you yet. This piece of news will likely not see any mainstream coverage until it’s too late to do anything about it.

I invite you to join Professor Litman on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at 8:00 PM EDT. Joel will discuss the looming crash and outline what investors should do to protect their investments and get ahead of this massive catastrophe.

Visit this link to register for the event.

I hope you can join!

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy

In a past “Return Driven Strategy” article, we talked about the importance of maps for sailors and how this concept applies to the business sector as well.

We emphasized that when business leaders and managers know how to properly map their processes, they’ll also be able to properly navigate their entire firm and achieve success.

Today, we’ll continue this topic with a focus on the specifics of business mapping. Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo discuss this in detail in the book, “Driven.”

When to Start Mapping and Redesigning Business Processes

Mapping and redesigning processes is the 8th tenet of the Return Driven Strategy (RDS) framework. This involves visualizing and documenting the steps involved in a particular process, such as a sales cycle or a customer service interaction.

What else?

This tenet also helps identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in a firm, and provides insights into how the process can be improved.

As Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo wrote,

“Great mapping is the beginning of great navigation, and a precursor to great strategy.”

Here’s the thing: Sometimes, leaders and managers only start to map out business processes once a problem has occurred. When this happens, the key people and teams involved tend to focus on the wrong things and miss out on the real essence of mapping.

That’s why Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo said being aware of the current state of a business is important. Management shouldn’t wait for a problem to arise before adequately mapping it.

Besides, there are tremendous benefits from a conscious examination of dependencies and motivations of the important constituents of a business. The map changes the entire platform for better planning and improving the firm.

What to map?

When starting to map out and redesign business processes, it’s important that management knows who the firm’s key constituents are and the key exchanges that happen between them.

Below are some ideas and guidelines to take note of and identify:

  • The important groups of a focused area of a business (investors, customers, employee groups, suppliers, partners, etc.) 
  • The exchanges of cash flows. Here, management must identify what exactly is the cash being exchanged for—product, service, psychological value, etc. 
  • The needs that are being fulfilled in each exchange 
  • The key influences in each exchange 
  • How prices and payments are determined in each exchange 
  • The networks that are in place around exchanges and transactions 

… and after identifying the WHOs and the WHATs, the next step is to identify the WHYs.

The True Reasons for Each Business Process

Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo wrote that one of the effective exercises to identify the true reasons for each exchange is the “why-axis analysis.”

Photo from PCMag

This is a pun based on the “Y” axis of a Cartesian plane, where the “Y” is the vertical axis. So, how does the “why-axis analysis” work?

According to Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo, management should simply ask “why” something occurs in a transaction, and whatever the answer, ask “why” again and again. Through this, a better understanding of the true reasons for exchange may be reached at some point.

Most times, these reasons center on some basic human need, such as those in Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” framework.

Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo said each of the characteristics for mapping should sound familiar. In fact, they must describe the top tenets of RDS and should not just stop with the processes specific to the business but also move beyond immediate doors.

Why is this necessary?

It’s because a lack of understanding can lead to blind planning and false senses of direction. Just as businesses and business cycles can model human behavior, it’s no surprise that a more total awareness of the business’ place in the community is necessary for success.

Take note of these tips and insights to propel your organization forward!

If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo.

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.”

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy—frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals.

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society.

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy.

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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