All Blog Posts

When You Shouldn’t Keep Your Options Open for Innovation

Oct 28, 2020

Big companies have everything they need to innovate. They have R&D labs. They can hire talent. They buy startups. But all of that is the easy part. The issue is…

“Be prepared” Is A Good Motto For Companies

Oct 21, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has shown that firms who bounce back first are the ones who have embraced digital transformation. Chance favors the prepared. And that includes times of crisis. One…

Not Excited About The New iPhone 12? Apple Is Prepared

Oct 15, 2020

New iPhone 12

Originally published on Forbes Apple brought all its usual glamor to the unveiling of its latest iPhones 12 on Oct 13. There was breathless exclamation over new colors. There were speeches…

Here’s Why You Should Watch Ant Group’s IPO: The Hottest Startup in the World

Oct 06, 2020

Ant Group’s IPO

There is no point in looking at e-commerce without mentioning Amazon. By the same token, there is no point in looking at the fintech scene without mentioning Ant Group. Yes,…

Sleeping On A Problem Is The Best Way To Solve It

Sep 16, 2020

Never stay awake on a problem: Sleep on it

“Creativity is just connecting things,” Apple’s Steve Jobs once commented. “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it,…

Why Walmart Wants to Buy TikTok? Live Streaming E-Commerce Is The Future

Sep 07, 2020

Walmart - TikTok

A new form of e-commerce has been born in China. Video stars now promote products during the coronavirus lockdowns. The U.S. retail giant can do the same if it acquires…

Curiosity Lost? Here’s How to Stimulate It

Aug 25, 2020

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein Curiosity is the engine of achievement. It drives our knowledge forward. It tempts us into dangerous and forbidden…

Governments are Cracking Down on TikTok and WeChat. Here’s What Smart Managers Can Learn From That.

Aug 10, 2020

Businesspeople have long despised politics. But “politics” is now shaping strategy. It affects boardrooms as much as assembly lines. The Trump administration is turning up the heat on TikTok and…

The Personal And Professional Importance Of Having A Fluid Identity

Aug 03, 2020

Smart leaders read. They read a lot. Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year. Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi read 10 textbooks on one holiday. Nike founder Phil Knight…

Four Top Tech CEOs Testify In Washington Now. Here’s How This May Affect Your Tech Life

Jul 29, 2020

Originally published on Forbes Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai are set to speak before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel on Wednesday. The session…

Netflix Is Managing Expectations While Winning The Streaming War

Jul 17, 2020

“Under promise, over deliver”—this is ageless wisdom in managing expectations of the financial market and it seems to be Netflix’s strategy. Yesterday Netflix announced it has added more than 10 million subscribers in the three…

Why Some Retailers Are Thriving Amid Disruption

Jun 29, 2020

Retailers that successfully adapt to the pandemic’s social-distancing requirements offer a model for making a quick digital pivot. A crisis reveals as much as it devastates. Retailers that were struggling…

Ocean Park could take a few survival lessons from Disney

Jun 15, 2020

A crisis reveals as much as it devastates. As Ocean Park reopened this weekend, Disney is keeping an eye on the situation – the Magic Kingdom is likely to take…

What’s Happening With Contact Tracing?

Jun 04, 2020

New Zealand’s last hospitalized COVID-19 patient headed home on May 27. It was also the fifth consecutive day the country reported no new coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, in the US, long-shot technology is viewed as the only escape. And that escape took the form of contact tracking delivered by Silicon Valley.

How Your Business Can Transform

Jun 01, 2020

I have a great deep dive conversation with Marco Montemagno, a digital entrepreneur and broadcaster. We discussed the strategies that businesses – especially tech giants like Apple, Google, Facebook – have…

4 Tips for Helping Teams Maximize Digital Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

May 27, 2020

As longtime advocates of digital work tools have found, the platforms that allow distributed workforces to function during a crisis can boost productivity, even during periods of normal business activity.…

Virtual meetings are about to turn the art of management into a scalable science

May 11, 2020

We see computers everywhere except in the productivity statistics, economist Robert Solow once said. Indeed, while the internet age has given us mobile phones, cloud computing, Skype, and social media, economic…

Big Tech Are Soaring, But Disney Serves As A Reality Check On COVID-19 Crisis

May 05, 2020

Disney is giving us a reality check this week. Last week’s earnings announcements among the tech giants were exuberant. Each made robust gains in sales, prompting a bewildered Paul Krugman to conclude in the New York Times that “the stock…

How Apple And Amazon Are Winning Through The COVID-19 Fallout

May 01, 2020

A crisis can distract as much as it can reveal. This week has seen earnings announcements from Big Tech: Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. In the depths of fear and confusion, the market…

Leading In Turbulent Times Webinar Series: Rapid Resilience

Apr 24, 2020

A huge thank you to all attendees that tuned into our webinar at IMD Business School. What a crowd! We had a record number of registrations and more than 900…

In a Crisis, Ecosystem Businesses Have a Competitive Advantage

Apr 23, 2020

Most companies cannot quickly change their business model to open up new revenue streams. Different firm activities are interlocked with one another via standard procedures. There’s a high cost to…

Commentary: How Zoom-Working Will Change Companies Forever

Apr 20, 2020

Virtual meetings are here to stay. It’ll upend how all corporate decisions are made from here on. HONG KONG: Like thousands of other professors, the executive education programmes I teach…

Profit Gets in the Way of US Covid-19 Fight

Apr 14, 2020

SCMP commentary: Profit gets in the way of US Covid-19 fight

Not enough financial incentive for firms to ramp up production of masks United States President Donald Trump sees every development as a triumph. After he signed a Defence Production Act…

3M Makes A Lot Of Masks But Trump Can’t Increase Its Supply

Apr 03, 2020

Late on Thursday night, Trump announced he had signed a Defense Production Act to compel 3M to produce face masks, specifically for the N95 respirator. The Defense Production Act, which was passed in 1950,…

How Autonomy Creates Resilience in the Face of Crisis

Mar 23, 2020

One Chinese manufacturing giant quickly rebounded from the coronavirus. Here’s what you can learn from its org chart. The outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of the global supply…

Where Clayton Christensen Taught What Others Could Not

Mar 06, 2020

Harvard Business School professor and businessman, Clayton Christensen, known by many as the “godfather” of disruptive innovation, died in January at the age of 67. “Why do so many great…

Fighting Huawei Distracts From Investing in Real Science

Mar 02, 2020

How can America regain its technological sovereignty? The big-picture concept, described by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, is to have all the U.S. 5G architecture and infrastructure principally supplied by…

Why Visa And Mastercard Are Today’s Most Exciting FinTech Innovators

Jan 31, 2020

In the world of the platform economy, the big get bigger. It’s the winner who takes all. That’s why investors were all turning their attention last Thursday as Visa announced…

When Showing Real Commitment Makes A Difference

Jan 11, 2020

If companies can build believability with clear evidence, then trust will quickly follow You can’t manage what you can’t measure. It happened like this. A chief executive saw that selling…

Giving people space to be creative and understanding why humans play – the building blocks of LEGO Group’s success

Dec 17, 2019

I had the great pleasure of discussing with the Executive Chairman of The LEGO Group Jørgen Vig Knudstorp on his idea about navigating waves of disruption, and the need to…

Commentary: Underwhelming AirPods Pro? Here’s why Apple users remain incredibly loyal

Nov 16, 2019

Much has been said about Apple’s unexciting progress with the AirPods Pro and the iPhone 11. So why are Apple fanboys and girls still so devoted? IMD Business School’s Howard…

Even Facebook’s Libra can’t escape the fintech establishment

Nov 06, 2019

It’s hard to believe regulators can learn faster than entrepreneurs, but they do. Back when Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April 2018, Senator Orrin Hatch (a Republican from Utah) interrogated Facebook’s…

How Some Companies Beat the Competition…for Decades and Even Centuries

Jul 25, 2019

The average lifespan of companies is becoming shorter. For them to survive the competition it is important to learn to jump across knowledge disciplines and create new knowledge about how…

Commentary: Big Tech’s growth spurt may be coming to an end

Jul 05, 2019

Apple’s launch of ‘Sign in with Apple’ heralds the start of the end of radical innovation in Silicon Valley. LAUSANNE, Switzerland: Silicon Valley’s reputation as a bastion of creativity, innovation…

The Shadow Of Regulation Looms Large Over Big Tech

Jun 07, 2019

It was once hard to see governments taking on the likes of Facebook and Google, but not now At anyone’s political height, it’s hard to imagine how they might fall.…

Why Uber’s business model could come undone after its IPO

May 11, 2019

Nothing new can come from a situation without suffering. If any new understanding about the nature of platform companies is to materialize in 2019, it will be because of the…

Commentary: Why Jewel Changi Airport should be enjoyed in person – not through a smartphone

May 04, 2019

Technology can make our lives better so why is it making us sadder and lonelier instead? SINGAPORE: The new experience provided by Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport, which opened this month is…

How To Successfully Leap Toward A New Form Of Knowledge

May 01, 2019

Many of today’s business leaders are increasingly facing the threat of their core businesses being encroached upon by upstarts outside of their industries. Despite their best efforts to instill innovation,…

How the Crackdown on Huawei Will Force China to Become Self-Sufficient

Mar 23, 2019

It’s common knowledge that while humans now live longer, companies die faster. The average life-span of companies listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 was 61 years in 1958. It’s now less than 18…

Data Analytics, Not Innovation, Makes Tech Giants “Giant”

Feb 07, 2019

Facebook’s decision to integrate WhatsApp and Instagram is About expanding its "network effect" Internet companies are often dubbed the “fruit flies” of the business world. Change is rapid, life cycles…

What Big Consumer Brands Can Do to Compete in a Digital Economy

Dec 07, 2018


No industry is failing faster than retail. Just last month, the 125-year-old Sears—once the world’s largest retailer—filed for bankruptcy. The public has more or less come to expect the shuttering…

How Businesses Can Keep Up In A Rapidly Changing World

Aug 24, 2018

To gain any groundbreaking insights into marketing, consumer psychology, popular art, or even a mobile app’s user interface, an innovator is still necessary to synthesize human experience, newspaper articles, and…

For Some Platforms, Network Effects Are No Match for Local Know-How

Jul 26, 2018

When is it possible for David to beat Goliath in the platform economy? On March 25 mighty Uber bowed out of Southeast Asia by selling its operation in several countries…

The Revolutionary Approach Honda Took to Rise Above Competition

Jul 24, 2018

A bold decision always looks good—until it is wrong. To facilitate evidence-based decision-making, managers must carry out frequent experimentation to diminish the dark space of ignorance and to arrive at…

Why Business Leaders Need to Embrace Artificial Intelligence

Jul 10, 2018

The upshot is that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive computing can exert either a complementary effect or substitutional pressure. But that outcome is not predetermined.

These Dueling Piano Companies Can Teach Business Leaders How To Handle Copycats

Jul 02, 2018

When industry knowledge matures, copycats always catch up. Because latecomers often inherit a lower cost structure without the legacy assets, they exert competitive pressure on industry pioneers. That’s why Steinway can’t compete…

The One Decision P&G Made That Transformed Their Industry Forever

Jun 25, 2018

When the first boxes of P&G’s Tide detergent went on sale in 1946, it was the first synthetic detergent that could deep-clean clothing—removing mud, grass, and mustard stains “without making…

Steve Jobs Used This Trick To Time Apple’s Strategic Moves Perfectly

Jun 19, 2018

To come up with an integrated strategy, every effective leader must begin with the big questions: What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world?…

How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied

Jun 12, 2018

Outlasting competition is difficult. Doing so over decades or a century often seems impossible. Since the great Industrial Revolution, every country that has become rich started by copying others: the French copied the British, the Americans copied the Germans, and the Japanese pretty much-copied everybody else.

Trade wars are good? Not for the U.S. or Trump

Jun 09, 2018

The public should know this by now; whenever the U.S. administration is in deadlock at home, it has historically looked for sideshows abroad, to create an external crisis, a shifting backdrop so for the public to focus on a new dramatic event.

How Trump Understands China’s ZTE Better Than Congress Does

Jun 08, 2018

The U.S. Congress was not impressed. They were not impressed by the latest lift on ZTE ’s ban from buying American technologies, even with strings attached.

GDPR isn’t enough to protect us in an age of smart algorithms

May 31, 2018

Europe’s new privacy law comes with teeth. Within hours of the General Data Protection Law (GDPR) coming into effect, an Austrian privacy campaigner used the new EU legislation to file a…

The Ultimate Question for Xiaomi

May 23, 2018

Whether Xiaomi can achieve a $100 billion valuation depends on if it can destroy an industry as fast as Google. Earlier this month on May 3, Xiaomi—the world’s fourth-largest mobile…

What Netflix Has That Google And Facebook Don’t

Apr 18, 2018

A subscription model is what's helped the online streaming giant to stay true to its customers.  “It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand…

The Only 2018 Resolution You Need Is This Productivity Hack

Dec 31, 2017

Here is a radical approach to keep your new year's resolution. Preserve willpower in a distracted world. Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, between the maple-syrup-glazed roast turkey and the lemon…

How The Narrative Of Google And Facebook Comes Undone Right Before 2018

Dec 24, 2017

It has been a tough year, full of bad news, but none of it exposes tech giants more than the latest FCC ruling right before 2018. It’s hard to think of…

Ditched By Disney, Netflix Races To Become Content King

Aug 09, 2017

It's been a busy week for Netflix NFLX +0.22%. On Tuesday, Netflix found itself cornered by Disney, who announced it will remove its movies from the streaming behemoth by launching its own direct-to-consumer services.

Why M&A Strategy (And Your Retail Experience) Just Changed Forever—Amazon Swallows Whole Foods

Jun 19, 2017

Last Friday, AMZN +0.62% sent another shock wave rippling through all retailers. The e-commerce giant announced the intention to purchase health foods grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Share prices for Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Costco all tumbled.

With Echo Show, Amazon Seizes The Lead In The Race To Artificial Intelligence

May 10, 2017

Riding on a recent surge in share price, Amazon sent another shock wave through the tech world on Tuesday by launching a smart Wi-Fi speaker that not only hears what you say, but also shows you what it sees.

How Amazon Stays More Agile Than Most Startups

May 02, 2017

Last Thursday, Amazon launched Echo Look. The company’s latest addition, much like its digital cousins, is essentially a Wi-Fi speaker — a sort of Siri-in-a-tube — that listens to and obeys…

Could Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, The World’s Second Richest Man, Be Humanity’s Last Hope?

Apr 08, 2017

Following the stock rally last week, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, passed Warren Buffett to become the world’s second-richest person, behind only Bill Gates.

The Best Companies Aren’t Afraid to Replace Their Most Profitable Products

Jul 14, 2016

For a long time, the Silicon Valley funding model has been hailed as a powerful alternative to the stifling way corporate America works. Many are betting on the new generation…