Success and innovation with the right business model

Every month, when I get all of the content written for the magazine, I like to step back and see what connects the various stories. (OK, first I breathe a sigh of relief.)

This month, the link was business models. Developing innovative business models is a major priority for executives, but you can’t just develop a few new technologies or products. Success or failure depends on seeing beyond the isolation of your organization to the competition and marketplace.

Food — from consumption to compost

In the Building Stronger Communities feature, Michelle Moskowitz Brown, executive director of Local Matters, talks about a new program that works with companies.

In order to create new revenue and reach the broadest and most diverse audience about the role of food, Local Matters built on its strength of hands-on nutrition education with Wellness Matters. Hitting two goals at once.

“A not-for-profit is a business with a unique model that must have diversified revenue streams. As the saying goes, ‘no margin, no mission,’” she says. “In the current environment, it is essential for not-for-profits to adopt social-entrepreneurial practices — and to do it in a way that will not cause mission drift.”

Food also is a focal point for The Ohio State University’s Zero Waste program at the Horseshoe. The program, which is this month’s Uniquely feature, diverts nearly all of the waste on and around campus during Buckeye football games to recycling and composting facilities.

Other stadiums have tried similar programs, so what’s the secret to success at OSU? I’d say it’s a combination of leadership and student buy-in.

Not only has the university made a commitment to sustainability at the stadium, it’s working to expand the program throughout the campus by 2030.

In addition, the resource of so many available student volunteers is fully utilized. Volunteers stand by garbage cans during games to make sure people dispose of their trash property, while others pick up garbage in and around the stadium. It’s smart to use the enthusiasm of the younger generation for recycling and composting to help remind those who might not care as much.

Leaving tradition behind; keys to long-term success

When it comes to business models, you can’t get much more innovative than Salon Lofts — this month’s feature story. The company has given the power to stylists with a franchise-type model, in contrast to the traditional salon model.

It’s fulfilling an unmet need in the marketplace and, as a consequence, continues to expand nationally.

Tradition, however, still has a place at NetJets — along with integrity, safety, forward thinking and a team culture.

Celebrating 50 years is quite an accomplishment for a company in such a volatile environment as aviation. So, that’s what the cover story explores, which will hopefully provide a few tips for other business leaders who would like to be around for the long haul.