Integrating Design Thinking: 6 Key Factors

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein While the world’s most famous physicist wasn’t an expert in design thinking, he certainly made a good case for it! More than a process, design thinking is an approach that helps organizations address complex, human-centered problems and better serve their end-users by challenging prevailing assumptions, identifying novel concepts and delivering superior solutions. To this end, design thinking leverages a robust set of… Read More

Innovate Like an Entrepreneur, Even if You Aren’t One

  If you work at a startup, innovation is part of your day-to-day. But if you’re at a more established company, particularly a larger one, the pace of change is likely slower. But that shouldn’t stop you from innovating and, in fact, the survival of your company may depend on it. Disruptive examples abound, but take hospitality company Hilton. Founded 100 years ago, it has hotels and other properties with around 850,000 rooms across the globe and a market capitalization of about… Read More

Discovering Business Opportunities in a Digital Age

Digital transformation has turned the global economy on its head over the past two decades, paving the way for new business models while toppling long-established players unable to keep pace with evolving technologies and changing customer needs. In order to adequately assess the threats and opportunities in this new environment, IESE Prof. Josep Valor urges senior decision-makers to keep five core concepts on their radars: The Power of Platforms In today’s digital age, successful business models are often platforms, which facilitate communications and… Read More

Building Your Business With Artificial Intelligence

As the business impact of artificial intelligence continues to expand, definitions abound to explain exactly what it entails. For IESE Prof. Sampsa Samila, AI can be boiled down to six words – “data-driven predictions based on past patterns” – but with a caveat. “We commonly use the word ‘prediction’ for a lot of different scenarios. We predict the weather, we predict where we’ll get the best price, we predict which products customers will like, we predict diagnoses based on X-ray images… We… Read More

The Power of Purpose-Driven Brands

Before the arrival of the internet, millennials and Simon Sinek urging us to “start with the why”, marketing strategists were more concerned with communicating an offering’s features (What does your product or service do? What need does it fulfill?) and its positioning (How is it different/better than the competition?) than the corporate values that support it. Since then, millennials came of age and began questioning traditional profit-based business models. More socially aware than previous generations, they want their work to drive positive… Read More

Are you prepared for the future of work?

A well-known venture capitalist recently predicted that, in the long run, all employment will be centered around some kind of information or entertainment, with all physical labor, whether in agriculture or industry, becoming obsolete. “I don’t know if even 10% of people on the planet will have a job in the sense of being paid to do something,” the investor in ventures such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX said. While that horizon seems distant for most of us, the trends shaping this… Read More

Global Manufacturing, Disrupted: Coming Soon to a Factory Near You!

The topic of disruption has captured headlines in recent years with the explosion of new technologies, but for many business leaders, it has been a nagging concern for at least 20 years, when Clayton Christensen first coined the phrase in The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. In his bestselling book, he describes how even the most consolidated companies can lose market share or even collapse when they fail to relinquish “tried-and-true” business practices and embrace innovation. Needless… Read More

A Dozen Trends for 2019

What to expect from 2019? From plateauing global growth to catering to increasingly picky consumers, there’s lots on the economic and business horizons to watch out for. Here, our professors choose a dozen of the key trends that may impact your business in the coming year. Slowing global growth While the world’s economies are still in expansion, there are more and more signs that growth may slow down. “Growth in 2019 will remain strong, but it seems to have plateaued. We have… Read More

Design Thinking: Solving Complex Problems Using Novel Approaches

Although it may conjure images of creative types donning black turtlenecks and hip glasses, design thinking is far more than innovating new products to dazzle the masses. As Tim Brown, CEO of innovation and design firm IDEO, notes, “Design has become too important to be left to designers.” Originating from the 1960s and evolving ever since, design thinking is a human-centered problem-solving methodology that can be applied at every level of the organization. It is especially useful to tackle complex or poorly… Read More

Industry 4.0: Rev Your Engines

What is Industry 4.0 exactly? To better understand the fourth industrial revolution, let’s take look at the first three. Industry 1.0 took root in the mid-1770s, when factories began to harness steam engine power and replace manual labor with machines. The second industrial revolution – perhaps best epitomized by Henry Ford and his Model T assembly line –  started in 1914. In Industry 2.0, electricity began to power factories and standardized, interchangeable parts gave rise to a wave of rapid industrialization. The… Read More