Introducing the Strategy Cube

Preface: This is to be seen as a preparatory post for next week’s webinar with fellow enthusiast of online education Michael Butler. Michael is in education for more than 25 years and brings not only knowledge of the educational sector itself but also profound insight about marketing and execution to the table.

For more than two years now Michael and I are constantly exchanging ideas provoking one another with questions about online education hence we have a rich and I think fruitful communication with people in that space. Therefore, I can honestly say that I felt happy and proud when he came to me with his newest project just a little moment ago as one of the first persons to know about the Strategic Cube. As Michael points out below, the Strategic Cube will help companies as well as individual educators with their product / service at different moments in their business. So everybody who is interested in participating in our webinar in which we will bring the Strategy Cube from theory to life by discussing it upon different existing business models in online education, please make yourselves familiar with both, Michael’s post as well as the slides at the end of this blog post to get the maximum for yourself out of our webinar discussion.

– Kirsten Winkler

The Strategy Cube for language teaching businesses is a heuristic device. It was created to help language training businesses create new offerings and look for new opportunities. It can also be used to help you analyze an existing business. The Strategy Cube could be especially helpful if you are moving from an offline offering to an online offering or if you are opening a language business but you don’t have a background in language teaching (that means you, all you techies).

The Strategy Cube should also be useful if you think of it as a game or a brainstorming activity (in cooperation with others). Used in this way you can speculate about how to move your business from one surface square to the next while at the same time giving thought to some of the sub-surface constraints.

Some of the questions I hope this cube helps you think about are:
1. Where are we now?
2. Where do we want to be?
3. Where are our competitors?
4. Who would our competitors be if we moved?
5. Why should we stay where we are?
6. Why should we move?

What follows below are the four parts of the cube. The first part is the most important and I refer to it as the cube’s surface. The surface of the cube is the level at which most of your customers will first seek to understand you. Because of this, moves at this level will probably affect your customer base the most. Under the surface are three distinct levels what I call the sub-surface blocks of the cube. Think of these levels as the plumbing, the wiring, and the hidden structures that support the façade of the building.

The creation of this cube was meant to help people analyze a business. While this cube might limit how you talk about your business (the drawbacks of any model) it is not meant to limit what your answers can be. In this let creativity, passion, experience and business constraints be your guide.

I wish to thank Kirsten, Christine and all the great teachers at Myngle for all of the great conversations that went into making the Strategy Cube possible. Without the existence of a once free flowing forum on Myngle this cube wouldn’t have been possible.

China Mike’s Strategy Cube 1.1 No Intro

Related Links:

  1. Introducing the Strategic Cube – Webinar on Supercool School
  2. Download the Strategic Cube (pdf)