Inspiring an Academic Business Plan – The Building Blocks We’ve Used

Dimitri Anastakis, Vice Dean, Office of CEPDSince starting my time here as Vice Dean, I have furthered CEPD’s business development and have developed an annual formal academic business plan. Two long-term goals of these plans are to foster growth and to increase engagement with all departments in the Faculty of Medicine.

A book I found at a Harvard bookstore called Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur helped inspire me while developing our academic business plans.  As academics, business language and strategy can sometimes be very foreign to us. This book takes powerful strategic ideas and helps you to apply them in a straightforward manner to your particular context. Among other methodologies, it details nine building blocks that, when fully completed, allow an organization to clearly define its business plan.

Here are the nine building blocks and a brief note about how we have defined them here at CPD:

  1. Customer segments – whom we aim to serve. Our customer segments are health professionals and the local and international medical community. In other words, you.
  2. Value propositions – what we can do to fill a customer’s needs. See a full listing here.
  3. Channels – how we distribute value. View our channels here.
  4. Customer relationships – how we work together to maintain clients. Our dedicated staff of event planners, registration coordinators, education consultants, and on-site staff work hard to ensure that events are executed flawlessly and provide exceptional educational value. This keeps learners coming back for more.
  5. Revenue streams – how our value propositions generate excess revenue over expense. CPD, and ultimately Departmental, revenue streams are supported by the health professionals that return to learn with each Department through CEPD year after year and that appreciate our faculty content experts and CEPD’s knowledgeable staff, who are our best key resource.
  6. Key resources – the assets we have to implement our value. Our accreditation and event management teams, in coordination with course directors and faculty members, create and offer some of the world’s leading CPD programs.
  7. Key activities – what we do with our resources that make us stand out. Thanks to our key activities of CE and Research, we are important and strategic partners in the transformation of health care in Ontario and beyond.
  8. Key partnerships – the relationships we cultivate with other academic and professional organizations, and the private sector. We are partners with leading experts in education, medicine, research, and technology. This synergy makes our educational products and services innovative and powerful learning experiences for health practitioners.
  9. Cost structure – the expenses we incur doing business. Our cost structure is lean and competitive.

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have.


Twitter: @DAnastakis