What is the VCW method?

VCW landscape


VCW elements


VCW-Value Creation Wheel is a real-life problem-solving framework, which helps individuals and the key decision makers of organizations, governments, and societies to find customized and consensual solutions for their problems and challenges. 

The VCW-Value Creation Wheel helps to identify and solve problems by providing a step-by-step dynamic process for creating value for society and all the stakeholders involved in the value chain (e.g., customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, investors, and shareholders).
The DIANA theoretical framework provides a holistic approach to problem-solving, which supports scientific, technological, managerial, and societal advancements trough a wide range of scientific methodologies and managerial approaches.

The TIAGO practical tool appears as a chameleon framework, completely customized to each specific case and problem, being supported by DIANA’s accumulated knowledge over two decades.



For more than two decades, the VCW has been applied as a problem-solving tool in companies across different sectors (from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies), public policy projects (from rebranding of cities to creation of innovation cities), individual challenges (e.g. from finding a job to the best place to live), and over 20 schools across different countries specialized in different fields (e.g., business, medical, biotech, engineering and technology, law, and science schools).  The VCW is used in over 20 countries for teaching, research, coaching, and consultancy purposes. The VCW and its components received coverage from leading international media (e.g., Time, Wall Street Journal) and scientific publications (e.g., Harvard Business Publishing, Journal of Business Research, JIBS, Springer), and are taught in leading universities across the globe (e.g., Babson College, City University of Hong Kong, Korea University, MIT, Nova University of Lisbon, Vienna University).



Since no solution is perfect by itself, the VCW has been developed as a meta-framework, capable of integrating and complementing any existing framework, model, tool and/or theory across any field as well as allowing co-creation and partnering with any organization and individual. The VCW has been growing following values of co-creation, collaboration, collective wisdom, cooperation, equal opportunities, open-network, partnership and sharing, supported by principles of innovation,problem-solving, and global value creation. These two decades of collaborative research and open-projects, led to the robustness of the VCW and its current stage of development. To continue on the same path, all non-paid VCW projects conducted within an academic context continue to follow the principles of open-innovation, non-confidentiality, and co-creation.

To learn more about the VCW and two decades of cooperation with companies, executives, scientists, and universities across the world please read Lages, Luis Filipe (2016), “VCW-Value Creation Wheel: Innovation, technology, business, and society”, Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 4849-4855.



A VCWsprint should be developed before any team meeting as well as before any VCW project. The VCWsprint takes about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the team, their know-how about the VCW methodology, complexity of the problem/challenge to be solved, the context, and the number of VCWsprint steps necessary (can be from 1 to 10 steps).

The VCWsprint is composed by a maximun of 10 sequential steps described as follows:

  1. VCW Phase 1: by KDMs 
    • Context: Why do you have this problem? Definition of problem/challenge (2m-5m)
  2. VCW Phase 2: individual
    • Brainwriting of ideas/solutions followed by internet search for ideas/solutions (8m-14m)
    • Brainwriting of criteria/filters (4m-10m)
  3. VCW Phase 3: by KDMs with or without the team
    • Select key ideas/solutions (2m-4m)
    • Select key criteria/filters (2m-4m)
    • Rank key filters (2m-4m)
  4. VCW Phase 4: by everybody
    • Value Creation Funnel (5m-10m)
    • Concept/protoype (2m-4m)
  5. VCW Phase 5: by KDMs
    • 3Ms: Menpower, Minute, Money (2m-4m)
    • Decision about future application of VCW Meta-Framework: Go or NoGo? (1m)



The VCW offers courses, training, masterclasses and workshops for universities, executivescompanies, organizationsprimary schoolstrade associations, partnerships between different organizationsevent organizers, and NGOs. These workshops are customized and developed by the VCW for team building activities and help organizations and individuals to solve their own problems/challenges.

Additionally, the VCW helps to create VCW Innovation Ecosystems inside those organizations which desire to develop a systematized innovation process (watch example). This VCW Innovation Ecosystem is built on three fundamental layers:

  1. The VCW Governance Model that establishes the main responsibilities and functions for the innovation management challenges.
  2. The VCW Framework, which has five phases: 1) Identification of the problem to be solved. 2) Generation of solutions and filters. 3) Selection of main ideas and ranking of the “must have” and “nice to have” filters. 4) The VCF-Value Creation Funnel, followed by the development of concepts and prototypes. 5) The final decision phase, in which the implementation model for the final solution(s) is developed.
  3. The Network of Partners / Stakeholders, fundamental to increase the potential of the VCW framework. Through co-creation with all the stakeholders involved in the value chain (e.g., customers, employees, suppliers, distributors, investors, and shareholders), it becomes possible to solve the different problems/challenges in a consensual manner.

To explore additional VCW Services visit www.openVCW.com.



The VCW creates value by offering unique solutions:

1) The VCW discovers customized, consensual and implementable solutions (Go/No-Go), which are co-created and supported by the key decision makers and a wide range of stakeholders:

  • Finds consensus concerning  the problem/challenge to address, filters/criteria and ideas/solutions,
  • Finds the right bridge between a wide range of individuals:
    • different key decision makers,
    • diferent internal and external stakeholders,
    • supporters and divergent thinkers (e.g. devil’s advocate, skeptical people, laggards, late-adopters, children and/or elderly people),

2) The VCW simplifies and saves resources in the problem-solving process through:

  • Involving since the begining of the process the key decision makers on critical steps:
    • defining the problem/challenge, 3Ms, diagnosis & KPIs,
    • analysing solutions and filters,
    • implementation.
  • Purifying, organizing, separating, selecting and prioritizing:
    • Problems,
    • Ideas/solutions: i.e. direct answers to the challenge/problem to be solved (phase typically often supported by creativity)
    • Filters/criteria: i.e. choice criteria related to the selection of the ideas/solutions to solve the challenge/problem (phase typically supported by rationality).
  • Conducting individual VCWsprints & combining multiple VCWsprints.
  • Managing the 3Ms (Manpower, Minute, Money).
  • Achieving efficiency and effectiveness (e.g., predicting future mistakes/failures, continuous improvement, optimizing resources, improving productivity)

3) The VCW solves complex challenges and a wide range of paradoxes.

  • The VCW has been used to solve high complex challenges, such as:
    • paradox of choice,
    • limited or lack of choice,
    • paradox market-pull versus tech-push,
    • paradox global versus local.

The VCW has unique attributes:

1) The VCW is a meta-framework which is simultaneously structured and agile, rational and creative, and does not impose pre-established solutions or frameworks.

  • Follows a structured-agile MAP approach (Maximize, Analyze, Prioritize),
  • Does not impose or invalidate any idea/solution, filter/criteria or framework,
  • The VCW can partner with any organization and/or individual,
  • The VCW integrates and/or complements any existing solutions, established theories, tools or frameworks (e.g., organizational tools, 5Whys, situational analysis, RELQUAL, brainwriting, brainstorming, bank of ideas, design thinking, scorecards, BCG Matriz, McKinsey matrix, McRisk Assessment Matrix, SERPVAL, strategic triangle, SCAMPER, business model, business plan, financial plan, KPIs).
  • Complements and integrates different parts of any business puzzle, such as:
    • an idea/solution and an opportunity/need,
    • a value proposition and a business model,
    • the different parts ofa marketing plan.
  • Allows VCWsprints and frequent re-runs to revisit past steps.

2) The VCW is a transversal problem-solving framework, which can be applied to a wide range of problems/challenges across individuals, organizations, industries and countries.

3) Every VCW project is supported by theory and practice across different fields. The VCW varies along three dimensions of width, lenght and height regarding:

  • Theory: DIANA- Define, Increase, Assess, Narrow, Act
  • Practice: TIAGO- Tap, Induce, Analyse, Ground, Operate

The variation along these three dimensions are dependent on the 3Ms (Manpower, Minute & Money) allocated to each project as well as on the existing databases of theory and practice, which will feed every VCW project.


VCW: Going Beyond Design Thinking?

Several managers have been applying the VCW after a DT-Design Thinking project, which generated innumerous ideas but was not able to arrive to implementable solution(s). This explains why some argue that the VCW is a more advanced version of DT or a framework which integrates and/or complements DT.
Althought the VCW might have some similarities with DT (e.g., it is an agile framework, is transversal across problems and industries, and inspired by co-creation, open-innovation and creativity for idea generation and prototyping), it has major differences:

a) It is a meta-framework which can incorporate a wide range of solutions and/or frameworks from different fields. The VCW does not impose its own frameworks, tools, filters.

2) It is stakeholder-centric (rather than user-centric).

3) The VCW combines creativity with skepticism and bottom-up with top-down approches. It allows the use of “Yes & No”, “And” & “But”.

4) The VCW merely addresses REAL problems/challenges and solutions are expected to be REALLY implemented. As such, the Key Decision Makers (KDMs):

a) launch those problems/challenges to be solved,

b) select ideas and  then select and rank the “must have” & “nice to have” filters,

c) are directly involved in the implementation.


To learn more about the VCW, please explore the videos of some of past non-confidential projects at www.openVCW.com as well as this site: www.ValueCreationWheel.com.

Please contact us (vcw@ vcwhub.com) if you wish to find a tailored solution for your specific challenge aligned with your own vision.

VCW characteristics

VCW application method

The VCW is composed by five phases, going from the formulation of the problem/challenge to the final solution. Click the respective phase for further explanation:

Phase 1: How to discover value?



Definition of the context & background, concerning the internal and external perspectives to get a clear knowledge about the market, the product and the team;

Research question: Definition of the problem to solve or the challenge to address.

Phase 2: How to create value?



Induce solutions: generation of ideas/solutions to answer the problem/challenge;

Induce filters: generation of criteria/filters to select the ideas/solutions.


Phase 3: How to validate value?





Key decision makers: Analyze previous ideas/solutions and rank the criteria/filters.


Phase 4: How to capture value? 



Application of the Value Creation Funnel (VCF) to narrow the number of potential solutions;

Drawing the concept and/or prototype for the final solution(s).

Phase 5: How to consolidate value?



Operationalization: Go, No-Go or Go back. If applicable, apply the 3Ms and/or a Business Model to support the final decision;

Identification of next challenges & future partners.



Value Creation Wheel Advantages

Helps to solve paradoxes and complex problems

Systematizes the generation of solutions

Releases the process of creating ideas

Organizes the selection criteria for those ideas

Enables organizations to simultaneously look inside and outside

Read the scientific paper:

Lages, L. F. (2016). VCW—Value Creation Wheel: Innovation, technology, business, and society. Journal of Business Research.

See the video:

VCW – Why? What? How?