What is the Business Hierarchy of Needs®?

What is the Business Hierarchy of Needs®?

By: Jim Gitney   |     February 26, 2022

In Group50’s early days, we were working with the model shown in the picture to the left when we were doing strategic planning work.  It was simple, to the point and easy to talk about.  None of our clients were totally convinced that this image told the entire story.  It was missing a lot of information and only told the story of getting prepared to implement a company’s strategy.  This graphic didn’t include two key elements:

  1. Change Management
  2. Implementation

John Kaplan, from Harvard, has studied companies around the world and has surmised that only 10% of corporate strategies are effectively implemented. That is likely because most companies don’t plan for items 1 and 2 above.  We always had to go into a lot more detail and it was obvious to us that this visual model just didn’t cut it.  In 2012, I started developing a much more detailed visual that I dubbed the “Business Hierarchy of Needs®” which Group50® started using in 2013 and I was granted a trademark in 2015.  Its current version is shown below.

Group50's Business Hierarchy of Needs ® defines a change management framework for companies to develop a culture of strategic execution and the ability to realize the full digital transformation and industrial transformation benefits of strategy 5.0 at the intersection of people, process, information technology and cobotics.

The Business Hierarchy of Needs® is a change management framework that details a much more robust approach which we define in three levels:

  1. Data Analysis and Planning
  2. Knowledge and Change Management
  3. Implementation

Since we have started using the Business Hierarchy of Needs®, it has continued to become refined. It is much easier for us to explain how the three levels fit together, because over 65% of today’s professionals are visual learners and they are more accustomed to working with infographics that tell a story. A visual that tells a story or provides a guide is far more effective.  Each item, has its own tools and processes which we at Group50 have put together to support this holistic approach to strategy and its execution.  We call it Strategic Planning 5.0™ and Organizational Development 5.0™ and our Strategic Planning 5.0™ Playbook.  Its effectiveness is evident when we walk around a company and at random you can go to any employee and they can tell you about their role in the company’s strategic plan and what they are doing about it.  Now that is what I call a “Culture of Strategic Execution”

I recently published a much more in-depth article on LinkedIn about the Business Hierarchy of Needs® and how to use it as a recipe for effectively creating and implementing a strategic plan. You can read it here.


About the Author:  Jim Gitney, CEO and Founder, started Group50® Consulting in 2004 with the focus of working with companies to significantly improve their performance by leveraging peopleprocess and technology as part of developing a company’s strategic plan 5.0.  In 2013, he created Group50’s Business Hierarchy of Needs® change management framework, a fundamental strategic planning and strategic execution guide to senior leadership teams, and was granted a trademark in 2015. This framework eliminates the existence of Anti-Strategy.

Jim has held C-suite and Board positions in large and small companies (GE, Black & Decker, Sunbeam, Rain Bird, Pankl Aerospace and others) both privately and publicly held. He is considered a subject matter expert in strategic planning, strategic execution, operations, supply chain and restructuring.  He has taken best practices from around the world, worked closely with clients and other Group50® consultants to create Group50’s full suite of strategic planning and execution tools. Group50® consulting consists of consultants from every functional discipline who have spent their careers in corporate America developing strategic plans and rolling up their shirt sleeves to get it done.  



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This entry was posted in Business Hierarchy of Needs®, on February 26, 2022

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