Southbeach Modeller

Improve Everything Always


Informal modelling, systematic design or an effective research tool? It's up to you.


Model useful and harmful elements, goals and risks. Differentiate issues, choices, events, knowledge and actions. Add increasing and decreasing influences, relationships and effects. Differentiate sufficient, insufficient, excessive and dysfunctional elements.

Highlight potential, historical and focus elements. Specify which effects are necessary, inevitable, delayed, accelerated, questionable, or negated.

A built-in ‘synonym’ help aides learning the notation. Turn this off when expert.

Tags and tagging

Tag elements to clarify their meaning or as required for your model. Extensive ‘starter’ tag library provided. Extend the library as required for any conceivable modelling application. Define inclusive and exclusive tag groups.

Tag elements, or create new objects from tag names, by simply dragging tags to the canvas. Copy any number of tag groups to the model, e.g. to build a modelling best practice template.

Swimlane, pools & grids

Separate models by any dimension, including space, time, parts, perspective, role, probability and conditions. Add swim lanes, pools or grids to the model canvas for further clarity. User defined axes create another layer of tags. Elements pick up values from their placement on the canvas.

Knowledge reuse

Build on past work, using the model tree explorer. Develop a library of model patterns. Drill down into models, to sub-models and individual elements, with no need to open the file. Drag individual models, patterns or elements to the canvas for reuse.

Merge content of one model with another. Copy and paste content between models. Copy and paste content between models and office documents.

Views and Sorts

View any model as a list of objects, or list of effects. List views complement the graphical ‘canvas’ view and are useful in workshops and for simple analysis tasks. View the model elements by any notation attribute, or user-defined tags. Sort the model in numerous ways, including increasing and decreasing effects, improving and harming effects, position on canvas, alphabetically and others.

From any view or sort, a single click will find the chosen element on the canvas. Essential for navigating large or detailed models.

Idea Generation

Built in ‘MyCreativity’ creativity engine. Specify rules to match elements, effects and contradictions, using any and all of the notation semantics, and user supplied tags. Rich rules language matches patterns in the model. Group rules into rule sets, corresponding to tools or methods you wish to apply. Build a library of rule sets.

Check or uncheck sets while modelling. Click around the model to generate ideas. Rules are matched within a user-defined ‘extent’. Combine rules as required at run time. Embed additional ‘model specific’ rules in the model. Ideas generated are stored with the model, in the same file.

Report Generation

Built in ‘MyReports’ generator. Write reports that pull rich information from your models. Combine reports with creativity rules to generate ideas inserted into the body of the report. Store reports in the model itself. Update the reports with a single click if the model has changed.

Enjoy the full power of the creativity rules language while writing reports. For example, get at indirect effects in a model by saving temporary results and running creativity rules for a second or third time.

Auto Layout

Auto Layout engine with support for freeform, tree and graph layouts. Many layout variations via Tree and Graph dialogs. Continuous Auto-layout or one-click 'Fix up' layout.

'Pinning' of objects (immovable). 'Clamping' of objects (moveable but ignored by Auto-layout). Spread/Compact function for each layout, including freeform.

Assist Tools

Over forty tools provided to assist with the ‘elaboration’ of models, including cause/effect modelling, decomposition, improvement patterns, worsening patterns and ‘contradictory’ complexity. Accelerates modelling, especially in workshops and when teaching. Apply tools to selected elements, or whole model.

Intelligent Assist option – turn on ‘missing only’ to prevent assist tools adding content already in the model, e.g. adding causes to a model will only add causes to elements with no prior cause.

Workshop Tools

One click tools to show/hide different types of objects in the model. For example, show only harmful elements, add in goals, extend with consultant recommendations.

Highlighter, pen and laser pointer tools help when walking through a model. Simple ‘wands’ help make simple changes to the model without distracting the audience.

Define a display sequence for the model, element by element or in groups. Playback the sequence to the audience.

Simple ‘Live capture’ dialog for brainstorming sessions

Pan, zoom and magnifier tools for easy model navigation.

Use the creativity engine to generate ideas in the workshop and stimulate discussion. A single click can bring any number of idea generating rules into play.

Web Research

Invoke web searches from any element, effect, or group of elements. Use an appropriate search engine relevant to the model. Models remember which search engine was used last.

Drag web links and web content to create elements on the canvas, or to add Web links to elements. Navigate back to linked web content.


Annotate model with additional drawing objects. Drawing objects are held in a separate ‘layer’. Draw lines, boxes, circles, polygons and flexigons. Use solid, dashed and filled lines and shapes. Add text labels. Add comment boxes and balloon comments (with anchor to other objects). Hide annotations when not required.

Export / Import

Copy / paste whole model or selected objects into office documents and presentations. Resize models with fidelity within office documents.

Export models as images (jpg, gif, png, bmp or tif), opaque or transparent. Set image resolution. Create thumbnails of models. Save high resolution images for large printouts, e.g. A3, A2, A1.

Export full model content, including user-defined tags, to .csv files. Import to spreadsheet programs.


Print large models to multiple sheets of paper. Add headers and footers, specify margins. Print models in high resolution on large paper sizes. Print ‘table top’ models for use in ‘round table’ workshops.


Visual preview of models in explorer tree
Define ‘paths’ to point to model shares
Work easily with multiple open models
Undo/redo all editing to any depth
Set modelling defaults, per model
Set default object sizes, per model, per object type
Create new models from template models
Pull out dialogs for fast model creation
Save multiple models in a single file as tabs
Embed interactive creativity in models as tabs
Embed generative reports in models as tabs
Turn off unnecessary dialogs during simple modelling
Hide unnecessary ‘more’ attributes in dialogs
Hide dialog ‘hover’ help when not needed
Create an email from model, with model images attached
Pan, zoom and magnifier for easy model navigation
Navigate to model elements from sorted lists of model elements
Navigate complex models on small screens
Simple in-built web browser, or set external browser
Short cut keys for all common functions


Whether you are an external consultant, or working inside an organization, Southbeach provides features useful in workshops, when working face to face with clients, or as a personal thinking tool.

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