Author Archives: Soren Kaplan

Four Types of Customer Experiences for Competitive Advantage

Want to improve your customers’ experience? Try these connected strategies. What’s the secret to a winning business model and long-term competitive advantage? It’s not just about technology, products and services. Your customer experience may just be the ultimate competitive advantage. Strategy and innovation experts Nicolaj Siggelkow and Christian Terwiesch just published a new book called Connected Strategy: Building Continuous Customer Relationships for Competitive Advantage.  ...

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Forget Your Business Plan. Create a Strategy Map.

Strategic plans become outdated the moment they’re created. Instead, create a one-page strategy map. Having run the internal strategy consulting group at HP, and then consulting to both startups and big companies like Disney, Visa, Colgate, Medtronic and others, I’ve created hundreds of strategic plans. Business strategy used to be a clear and methodical process. No more. Today’s discontinuous technologies and disruptive change have reinvented the ...

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Amazon’s Success Boils Down to Six Building Blocks

Replicate Amazon’s secret formula for winning big in the digital age Having run strategy and leadership development programs across the Fortune 1000 for over the past 25 years, I’ve seen lots of business models. As I highlighted in a prior article on The Future of Seamless Shopping, nothing currently parallels Amazon when it comes to innovation. Amazon’s management system is designed for speed, agility, and scale. ...

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Don’t Make a New Year’s Resolution. Create a Start-Stop-Continue Plan Instead.

Real change requires more than just doing something new. It also involves stopping what doesn’t work and continuing what’s already working well. When I work with leaders and organizations looking to create change and innovate, I always tell them the same thing: strategy is as much about what you don’t do, as it is about what you decide to do. It’s natural to look for a fresh start when we’re ...

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Top Strategy and Innovation Books of 2019

The best strategy & innovation books deliver new insights, examples and tools for reinventing business. I’ve recently written about the disruptive change and innovation upending markets like product packaging, travel and hospitality, management consulting, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing. No matter the trends, technologies or transformations, every industry faces similar challenges: What business models must we create for the future? How do we differentiate our offerings? What strategies will help ...

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Mentoring Is the Secret to Innovation Say Silicon Valley’s Top VCs and Entrepreneurs

Mentoring transforms big ideas into high-impact innovations. Having worked with dozens of the Fortune 1000 companies, coached startups, and founded three companies, I can say there’s a universal truth when it comes to innovation:  big ideas are just ideas until they deliver real value to the world. That’s why just about every venture capitalist, entrepreneur, corporate innovator and university researcher is searching for the ...

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The Future of Smart Cities

I’m sitting here in a large convention center in Los Angeles about to deliver the closing keynote at the Southern California Public Power Authority annual conference. It’s basically a gathering of the top municipal utilities in Southern California that serve more than 5 million people and deliver 16% of all power used in the sunny state. And it’s all about the future, disruption, ...

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Run Wildly Effective Meetings With This One Powerful Template

Getting the most out of meetings is easy if you know how to effectively design them. One of the biggest black holes in workplace productivity is the poorly designed, poorly run meeting. No wonder 71 percent of senior managers view their companies’ meetings as unproductive and inefficient. When meetings aren’t effective, the natural instinct is to schedule yet another meeting to make ...

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How Big Companies and Startups Use Co-Creation to Innovate

The latest research says “co-creation” is an untapped opportunity for innovation. Here’s how to do it. When I ran the internal strategy consulting group at HP, we constantly asked ourselves, “how can we get our $40 billion global behemoth operating more like a startup?”  That’s because like most big companies, we struggled with risk-taking and moving fast. Startups have different issues. Many upstarts ...

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