Business Eco-System

A Business Eco-System is a network of actors including suppliers, distributors, customers, dealers, competitors, government agencies and so on that are involved in the delivery of a specific business, product, service through both competition and cooperation. Actors affects and are affected by other actors creating a constantly evolving relationship and exchange. They all have their own strategies, play a certain role (behavior) and perform differently. Each actor must be flexible and adaptable in order to survive, as in a biological eco-system. In Business Design, we define the following actors:

  • Customer

  • User

  • Partner (R&D)

  • Partner (Delivery & logistics)

  • Dealer

  • Bank

  • Government agency

  • Server (IT)

  • Sensor (IT)

  • Different roles of organizations (e.g. Marketing, Support) etc.

  • Business Design roles

To express the relationship between actors, we define the following exchange items:

  • Product

  • Service

  • Money

  • Right

  • Reputation

  • Credit

  • Knowledge

  • Data / document / message / e-mail etc.

  • Software

  • Trust

  • Fun


This example illustrates how different actors and exchange items as magnetic shapes can be used to visualize a Business Eco-System on a whiteboard.

Example Business Design Ecosystem Business Eco-System Stickers

Usage Scenarios

Analyzing today's business environment to identify ideas how to influence the system for your benefit

Instructions for Coaches

  1. Define key actors of your Business Eco-System

  2. Describe strategies, roles and performance metrics for each actor

  3. Define relationships (unidirectional, bi-directional) and mark them with arrows between actors

  4. Describe the relationships between actors with exchange items

  5. Identify hazards, errors, pains, process interruptions and brainstorm how you can influence the system for your benefit


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