Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Navigate the business world properly with this strategy! Here’s how. [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

July 18, 2023

Miles Everson’s 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

As someone in the business and consulting industry for 30+ years now, one of the frameworks I truly find effective in managing my team is Return Driven Strategy (RDS). 

This pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations. When applied properly, these principles help businesses effectively implement their branding and marketing strategies. 

You can read about RDS in detail in Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo’s book, “Driven.” 

Ready to know more about today’s topic? 

Keep reading below to learn the importance of mapping and redesigning processes within a firm. 

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

Return Driven Strategy 

“Maps are essential. Planning a journey without a map is like building a house without drawings.” 
– Mark Jenkins, American sculptural street artist 

Maps have been around for many years now, and for good reason. They are more than just a tool for navigation; they also provide valuable insights into the world.

At its most basic level, a map is a visual representation of the physical world, allowing us to see the relationships between different places and the routes that connect them. This is essential for wayfinding, whether for exploring a new city or planning a road trip.

Maps also provide important information beyond just location and direction. They help us understand the environment, which includes topography, land use, and transportation infrastructure. 

What else? 

Maps reveal important social and cultural information, such as population density, language distribution, and historical landmarks. They can also be used to identify areas of environmental degradation or social exclusion, helping to target interventions and resources where they are needed most.

Do you think maps are also essential in the world of business and marketing? 


In the book, “Driven,” map and redesign processes is the 8th tenet or one of five “Supporting Tenets” of Return Driven Strategy (RDS). 

Photo from Cflow

According to Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo, the key to redesigning any process within a firm is to understand its purpose, then change or develop processes to achieve that focus. 

Proper Mapping = Proper Navigation 

Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo state if managers took their lead from sailors, they would never set out without a map. This is because maps allow managers to note critical inputs, activities, outputs, and dependencies. The problem? 

Some managers invariably neglect to take the time to map key aspects of their businesses.

The mapping exercise itself has many benefits. One of which is the ability to move away from the content of specific activities and into the context of why they are performed. 

It’s a given that lots of managers will seek to do things better. However, they don’t always realize how the firm and its constituents might prosper by doing something radically different. 

In other words, great mapping is the beginning of great business navigation, and a precursor to great business strategy.

When to Map Business Processes 

Mapping involves visualizing and documenting the steps involved in a particular process, such as a sales cycle or a customer service interaction. This helps identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks, and provides insights into how the process can be improved.

What are the benefits of business mapping? 

  • Improved efficiency – By identifying and removing unnecessary elements in a process, companies can save time and resources, and enhance their bottom line.
  • Better customer experience – Mapping processes can help companies better understand their customers’ needs and pain points, and make changes to boost the overall experience.
  • Increased innovation – By constantly mapping processes, companies stay agile and adapt to changing market conditions.
  • Better risk management – By regularly mapping processes, companies are able to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities, and take steps to mitigate them before they become a problem.

Many times, management consultants simply help a management team realize the importance of a particular activity. When problems arise in a business, it can be easy to focus on fixing the wrong things. 

Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo say in such scenarios, the symptoms may be seen as the problem, and the actual problem may go unnoticed. If a management team truly wants to see positive changes, mapping existing activities is the first order of the day. This will determine not only if but also to what extent are the changes necessary.

Think about these: 

What is it that customers value? 

What are the critical bottlenecks in the firm’s processes? 

What can the management team do to make the overall process better? 

Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo believe managers don’t always need consultants to ask the above questions to map processes; the management team can do it by themselves. However, having an outsider, even someone simply from a different department of the firm, can help facilitate open discourse. 

After all, when someone or an outsider looks at mapped processes with “fresh eyes,” chances are that person will help managers point out other inefficiencies in the framework. 

This physical mapping then helps ground everyone and raise issues before strategic initiatives are implemented.


Mapping processes—and knowing when to do it—is a powerful strategy for improving efficiency, enhancing the customer experience, increasing innovation, and mitigating risks. 

By adopting this approach, companies can stay ahead of the competition and achieve long-term success in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

We hope you learned a lot from today’s article! 

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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