Tuesday, January 24, 2012

IMD Event in Copenhagen: Non Market Strategy

On January 12th IMD Professor Michael Yaziji led a session that introduced a few ideas on non-market strategy, stakeholders, the role and responsibility of the corporation.

Henriette Schütze, Chief Finance Officer at Georg Jensen and our host for the evening, organized a very interesting tour of the smithy at Georg Jensen, share company insights as well as discussed two specific cases that showcased Georg Jensen’s choices and challenges in relation to sustainability. For example,10 years ago Georg Jensen started production in Thailand. The company first considered placing their factory in Bangkok but the instead the chose a location in Chiang Mai. The possibility to create a close cooperation with the local community and government and thereby make a greater positive impact in the society swayed the decision towards Chiang Mai.

Michael Yaziji focused his presentation on five sustainability trends and its implication for companies. Discussion topics included:

• Changes in the competitive landscape
• Hightened influence by regulations
• Trends in dynamics of stakeholders
• Emerging market dynamics and opportunities
• Increased competition for resources

Michael also shared his ideas on what we should expect from leaders of the future - how they will have to understand and operate in a wide range of contexts – across sectors, across the value chain, in the regulatory space and in a long term manner. How they need to not only understand and combine market and non-market strategy but also understand sustainability issues and opportunities.

For Michael’s complete Powerpoint presentation please see links to the right. You can also find summary of Michael’s presentation at the “The future does not just happen” TEDx conference hosted by IMD on January 20th as well as other relevant information.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

IMD Luncheon, Copenhagen - November 30, 2011 - Developing Effective Leadership: Learning from Experience

On November 30th IMD had the pleasure organize a luncheon on the topic of developing effective leadership. IMD Professor Ben Bryant talked about how one can “learn effective leadership” and about how acts of leadership involve taking risks, be it a financial risk, a relationship risk or other kind of risks. As with all risks, we don't know exactly what will happen. Every situation is different, so there is no toolbox or formula to follow. Experience helps us understand consequences of our actions, so it would seem that learning from experience is very important. But do we learn as much from our experiences as we could? Professor Bryant also talked about the role of leadership development in connection to experience. Among other things, he shared a few recent examples where leadership development has been extended, beyond the face-to-face interaction piece to also include a virtual element and thereby create an even stronger link to the day to day experience of the individual.

The session was very interactive and we also had a chance to hear from our host, Claus Bennetsen, Partner at the Horten Law Firm as well as from Steen Ernland, President of the IMD alumni club in Denmark. Steen shared some very interesting findings related to what companies can do to ensure they attract and retain the best possible talent.
For more examples of how Professor Ben Bryant works with leadership development or to find out more about IMD in general please simply reach out by sending an email to Professor Bryant or to Katarina Leger and for more specific information about the topic of attraction and development please find a copy of Steen Ernland’s presentation to the right.

IMD Business Forum, Lund - November 30, 2011 - Innovation Governance for Leaders

See Jean-Philippe Deschamps's presentation

See Michael Grosse's presentation

Who is really in charge of innovation in our companies? Who is supposed to launch and support innovation enhancement initiatives? What mechanisms should we put in place to support the innovation process? Are these responsibilities and mechanisms working satisfactorily?

These were just some of the questions we tried to get answered at a recent business forum in Lund, Sweden. IMD Professor Jean-Philippe Deschamps lead the close to 50 participants through key findings from his recent research. He discussed the nine governance models, how they are used, what issues they create and what kind of results can be expected. We also had a chance to hear about how Tetra Pak, the host for the evening, worked strategically with innovation governance. Michael Grosse, Head of Development & Service Operations at Tetra Pak, openly shared the development journey Tetra Pak had been through in recent years.

For a copy of each of the Powerpoint presentations used during the evening please see links to the right.

IMD Roundtable, Oslo - November 28, 2011 - What makes some boards successful and some fail?

See Didier Cossin's presentation

On November 28th, more than 50 Norwegian Board members and CEOs gathered at Stenstrup Stordrange in Oslo to for a high level round table. Didier Cossin, IMD Professor of Finance and Governance, Director of IMD’s Global Board Center and High Performance Board Program lead a discussion on what dimensions influence success on the highest level. Åge Korsvold, previous CEO of Kistefos and Storebrand, shared key learnings from his extensive experience from chairman, board director and CEO positions. The discussion was lively and open.


Monday, October 31, 2011

IMD Business Forum on Leadership Transitions in Copenhagen on October 24, 2011

More than 150 IMD alumni and executives recently gathered at Deloitte in Copenhagen to discuss leadership transitions. In any new role, the first 100 days aren’t easy to manage. Yet, how a leader operates in the beginning sets the stage for achieving long-term goals.

IMD Professor Martha Maznevski and Polaris Managing Partner Jan Johan Kühl addressed the challenges that business leaders face in varying scenarios. From turnaroundsituations and re-alignment to ownership and investment, the style a leadertakes must be appropriately selected. Some situations require bold action and enforcement, while others need an understanding and open leader who will listen and delegate.

See Martha Maznevski's presentation

Professor Martha Mazevski referred to the work of IMD Professor Michael Watkins, the author of the book “The first 90 days.” For more information about his work please see the link to his Linkedin group as well a link to the OWP program in which Professor Michael Watkins will run a stream on the topic of “Career Transitions.”

Read more about Starting on the right track – The first 100 days in a recap of the latest IMD business forum.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July events in London with IMD President Dominique Turpin

Dominique Turpin, IMD President and the Nestlé Professor of Marketing visited London between July 6th and 8th 2011. In addition to individual meetings with high profile business leaders as well as several journalists, we also organized a series of well received roundtables and events.

On the evening of July 6th, we held a business forum hosted by CMS Cameron McKenna on the topic of “Building and Managing Global Brands”.
CMS managing partner Duncan Weston welcomed the more than 60 participants and talked about CMS’s partnership with IMD. UK Director Lynn Verdina-Henchoz warmly thanked the hosts and introduced Dominique Turpin and the subject of the evening’s presentation. She mentioned that corporations are increasingly competing for attention in order to attract investments and talent as well as to develop a positive image for their products and services. Quality is no longer enough. Businesses and investors recognize brands as one of a company’s most valuable assets and the marketing battle is increasingly becoming a brand battle.

To illustrate the importance of brands and their value to a business’ bottom line, Dominique started his presentation by relating a story: a top company is going to be attacked by terrorists – what could be the worst scenario in terms of time, money and effort to restore business? The kidnapping of the top management team? The bombing of production factories? or the destruction of one of their top brands? The leader of the company confirmed the latter would have the most impact.

Indeed, differentiation is key and a brand needs to be instantly recognizable. A strong brand depicts a relationship with the customer which results in trust and the ultimate test for a passion brand is when people tattoo it on their bodies! Dominique presented many examples of brands, including some from Asia and South America.

He then went on to present his seven building blocks of a successful global brand strategy, including establishing a clear identity for the brand in terms of its character, values and purpose. One of the dilemmas is the need to be both consistent over time and innovative. Consistency is mainly a question of how a company communicates with its consumers and a key point to take into consideration is that your brand is not necessarily what you say you are, but what your customers and your own people think you are!

Finally Dominique talked about the management of a global brand portfolio. Having several brands can sometimes help to overcome the challenges of market positioning and therefore being more able to serve several strategies. He gave the examples of the Volkswagen Group who has brands such as Bentley, Audi, VW and Skoda, all serving different segments in terms of price and perceived value. Or the Swatch group with brands such as Omega, Blancpain and Swatch. The key here is to clearly differentiate brands with distinctive value propositions for each customer segment and manage the business system consistently.

The discussion was interactive and participants asked many interesting questions. The evening ended with pleasant cocktails and more networking.

At lunchtime on July 7th, a group of Senior HR and Learning & Development directors joined us for an open discussion about the future of learning and development and in particular executive education. This HR roundtable was kindly hosted by Vodafone in their new Learning centre.
The past two years, with their economic, political and environmental crises and challenges, have profoundly affected and changed the world. Across geographies, the political and business landscape is being transformed. What does this mean for organisations and their leaders? How does L &D fit into this picture? IMD (Dominique Turpin and Lynn Verdina-Henchoz) provided a global context and reported some of the trends, challenges and opportunities they saw ahead. The discussion then opened up to an interactive session.

On the evening of July 7th, the UK Alumni party held their summer party in the President’s room at Queen’s club – a beautiful setting! Participants were able to have drinks outside on the balcony overlooking the tennis courts where Andy Murray recently won the title, before having a very nice dinner. Club president Harry Mann went through the AGM and also talked about upcoming events, including an exciting conference with HSBC’s CEO in November. Dominique Turpin also said a few words, in particular on the results and activities of IMD, both past and present. Networking and pleasant discussions went on until quite late in the evening.

At lunchtime on July 8th, we held a Marketing Roundtable, hosted by British American Tobacco in one of their wonderful reception rooms overlooking the river Thames! Dominique again led a discussion on the Building and Management of Global brands. The audience this time was Marketing and Business Development executives, which meant for a lively discussion on the subject!
This event ended a very busy and (judging the comments received in the following days!) successful three days. “I really enjoyed the HR round table – in terms of the content and opportunity to meet some like minded professionals”, “I found the event on Branding very relevant and inspiring!”, “Another excellent IMD event”.

See Dominique Turpin's presentation

See Dominique Turpin's HR Roundtable presentation

FT - Interview Dominique Turpin - July 18

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

IMD Business Forum June 20, 2011 - Dublin

On June 20th IMD organised a business forum, hosted by the Swiss Embassy, at the Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin on the topic of "Leading in a connected future".

His Excellency Mr. Beat Loeliger opened the event by greeting the many participants present. IMD’s Director for the UK and Ireland, Lynn Verdina-Henchoz then warmly thanked the Ambassador and his staff and introduced Professor Tom Malnight and the topic of the evening. Tom is a professor of Strategy and General Management at IMD, whose fields of interest, research and publication are global strategy, evolutionary organizational change and internal growth and renewal. Before joining IMD in 1999 he taught at Wharton business school for 7 years and previous to that worked for Mitsubishi for 10 years before his doctoral studies at Harvard. At IMD he teaches on a number of programs, including an on-going project with Enterprise Ireland to help CEOs of companies from the food sector to grow their businesses.

Professor Malnight is also currently directing a research project, involving interviews with about 120 CEOs of companies around the world and focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing their businesses and leaders alike. This research was the basis of his presentation at the forum – the topic being particularly relevant for Irish business leaders addressing the short-term pressures associated with local market uncertainty, whilst at the same time having to build long-term competitive positions for their businesses.

Tom started by exposing some of the global trends and their impact on the world today, including for example technology, demographics, the environment and the global economy. He mentioned some of the challenges firms now face in their interactions with consumers, such as the commoditization of traditional products and services, rapidly changing consumer demands, the emergence of new competitors with different business models and falling industry boundaries. He discussed the different and shifting generational values and behaviours which are impacting how we live and work – companies will need to have the flexibility to cope with the needs and demands of 4 concurrent generations of consumers and employees. Relationships with society at large are also evolving, requiring more of a stakeholder-partnership approach and creation of shared value.

All of these trends will pose fundamental and holistic challenges for leaders of companies in all areas of their business, whereas many leaders are busy coping with short-term challenges and not preparing themselves and their organizations for uncertainty and volatility. Indeed, Tom mentioned that they will need to define priorities from two directions: solidifying the foundation (what must one do to fix the current business today) as well as transforming the firm (what must one do to enable the achievement of the vision). This requires different leadership capabilities – balancing the more operational aspect with visionary leadership. His final message was however positive – at a time of crisis, there may be many new opportunities “Never waste a good crisis"!
The evening ended with very pleasant cocktails and networking. Several positive reactions were received in the following days “Tom’s presentation was excellent and it was enjoyable for me to step out of my normal working environment “same old same old” for a while”.

Tom Malnight's Presentation