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

Global Industry: The Last Frontier of Digital Disruption

Digital disruption has unleashed numerous effects, upending global businesses and shortening company life cycles, particularly for organizations in the service and retail sectors. Light on assets, these firms are able to rapidly scale their operations by leveraging platform-based business models and new technologies to quickly train their workforce. But what about industry? Like all sectors, global manufacturers have felt the effects of technological change, geopolitical turbulence and evolving markets, shifts that have forced them to increase their agility and flexibility in order… Read More

3 Considerations for Profitable Real Estate Investments

“When it comes to investing in real estate, only three things matter: Location, location and location!” If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times! It’s supposedly the number one rule in real estate – but is it really true? Not according to Prof. Carles Vergara of IESE’s Department of Financial Management. In his view, the time has come to put this tired mantra to rest. “The global financial downturn taught us numerous lessons, including the importance of avoiding a… Read More

6 Strategies for Maximizing the Matrix

Matrix structures have fallen in and out of favor since they first emerged in the 1960s yet have increasingly gained traction over the last 20 years amid the mounting pressures of globalization and competition. Sharing functions across the organization, matrix structures have separate chains of command, one for permanent function-based roles and another for short-term strategic projects. For employees, this means that they have at least one boss, a system which has its pros and cons. On the plus side, matrices allow… Read More

Bridging Cultural Divides at the Negotiating Table

Despite painstaking preparations and the best intentions to reach win-win results, negotiations sometimes derail. Build rapport, practice active listening and explore options instead of immediately making offers, advise the experts. This is hard enough as it is, so what happens when cultural differences are added into the mix? “When we negotiate with people from other cultures, we sometimes make assumptions on their intentions and aspirations that may or may not be true,” says Prof. Kandarp Mehta of IESE’s Entrepreneurship Department and Negotiation… 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

Developing Metacapabilities for a Digital World

Digital transformation has opened up a floodgate of possibilities for global businesses, allowing them to boost efficiency, leverage new opportunities, expand their market reach and better meet consumer needs. To exploit its potential for competitive advantage, however, firms need to integrate digital as a core component of their corporate strategy. While industries will be forced to develop unique, sector-specific capabilities to stay competitive, IESE Professor Evgeny Káganer has also observed a series of metacapabilities that are critical to long-term corporate success. “Digitalization… Read More

Building and Leveraging Networks

In many corporate scenarios, what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate into business growth. Take a quick glance at the latest headlines and you’ll find shaky M&As, corporate collapses and organizations falling short of the mark because they undervalued the core driver of business performance: their people. Truth be told, much of the work in global firms gets done on the sidelines of organizational charts, through informal connections that cut across functions, divisions and regions. These highly adaptive informal networks solidify… Read More