What is the progress economy?

**** Under Exploration and Documentation ****

The progress economy is a 4-layer actionable lens on our world. Through using it, we can:

At its heart is a different, better, view of value. With a belief that making progress is fundamental. And that value emerges from making, and potential to make, progress. Which is decided by the progress seeker. Rather than being embedded and set by manufacturers.

It’s a lens through which we see progress is most often a joint endeavour. Through a series of activities that mostly integrate progress seeker resources with those offered by a progress helper (in the form of a service mix).

moving, over time, to a more desirable state

understand progress >>

deciding to progress >>

an offer (service mix + activities) to help make some specific progress

Progress Diamond

Explore Propositions >>

deciding to engage >>

the service mix >>

6 progress hurdles >>

creating and executing new* progress proposition that offers some combination of:

i) helping progress seeker to make better progress

ii) helping progress seeker to make progress better

iii) reducing one, or more, of the six hurdles to progress.

whilst maintaining, or improving, the survivability of the progress helper (entity/ecosystem)

* to entity, industry/market, or world

investigating innovation >>

emerges whenever a progress seeker determines amounts of progress achieved and/or (remaining) progress potential

It is a unique, and phenomenological, determination per progress seeker

visualising value >>

It’s a compelling progression from progress to progress proposition, to innovation, to value! With an interesting background.

The 4 actionable layers

We build the progress economy on solid foundations and broad shoulders. We’re informed by service-dominant logic along with the giants in the above quotes. This leads us to a set of fundamental definitions. Onto which we construct the following three layers:

  • Determination – Who determines progress, and how?
  • Operational – How is progress made?
  • Strategic – What is progress?

And it all neatly plugs together, as shown below, to shine a light on how our world operates. Giving us the insights necessary for more systematically innovating, finding growth, and harnessing the circular economy.

Three of the layers making up the progress economy: strategic (what), operation (how) and decision (who).
Not shown is the foundation layer comprising service-dominant logic and definitions

Strategic layer >>

Operational layer >>

Determination layer >>

Foundation layer >>

The tools

It is within, and across, the four layers of the progress economy that we find a set of tools enabling a systematic hunt for innovation, growth and enabling circular economy thinking.

The various tools in the progress economy grouped in the 4 layers

There’s no more struggling to find actionable insights in vagueness, such as the typical (vague) view that innovation is something new that creates value.

And the progress economy finally explains the why behind many current innovation theories. For example, Blue Ocean Strategy (Kim & Mauborgne), Design thinking, Jobs to be done (both Christensen’s and Ulwick’s views) and disruptive innovation (in Christensen’s true sense).

Explore the tools >>

the service mix

A progress seeker may struggle to make progress. Usually this is because of a lack of resources. For example, time, knowledge, skills etc.

Progress helpers form offering to help seekers make progress. They offer resources the seeker integrates with. And they do so in the form of a service mix. Which is a mix of varying levels, including none, of:

  • employees
  • physical resources
  • goods
  • systems

Each element of the mix encapsulates skills and knowledge. There is no goods vs service discussion in the progress economy. Goods freeze the application of skills and knowledge so they can be transported in time and place.

Imagine your progress is to enjoy music. You can watch a live band – a mix that is mainly employees. Or you could chose a goods predominant mix, such as CDs or vinyl. Or more likely, you pick a system heavy offering such as your favourite streaming site.

Although such a simple “freezing” as this is not always so obvious. Freezing a handyman hanging a picture for you, for example, needs several different skills frozen in different goods (drills, wall plugs, hooks…). And you, as a seeker, need to integrate with them all, knowing the order and how to.

We find there’s a service-service continuum from relieving to enabling propositions that helps us understand the service mix.

the service mix >>

the service-service continuum >>

the 6 progress hurdles

The intention of the progress helper is to reduce the lack of resource progress hurdle.

However, the act of offering to help introduces 5 additional hurdles. And it may end up just shifting the lack of resource hurdle from solving lack of original resource, by introducing a new lack.

So, in the progress economy, we see 6 progress hurdles that the progress seeker needs to feel are sufficiently low. These are:

HurdleDescription
lack of resourceis there a lack of resource in either party that will hinder progress
adoptabilitycan the progress seeker readily see themselves using the proposition
resistancewill the progress seeker postpone, reject, or worse, oppose the proposition
misalignmenthow far apart, on the service continuum, are the proposition and the seeker’s wishes
confidencedoes seeker trust proposition and/or helper
effort elsewherehow many service credits does a progress seeker need to get from elsewhere to engage proposition

These hurdles to progress along with progress seeker’s determantion of progress achieved and progress potential inform their decision to engage, and keep engaging a progress proposition process.

more on the 6 progress hurdles >>

engagement decision process >>

case studies