How we can learn from companies such as H&M or Zara

Dear reader

The modern multitaskers rely on entirely different channels for communication. They are more comfortable with social media, the web, apps… For them it is key that they get a sense of “one-to-one” marketing communication. This also implies more interactiveness.

To implement fast changes requires new corporate thinking and development of new capabilities: Incrementation listening to the consumer – without an arrogant mind.

It is hard to summarise a book in a few words. Thanks to the European Business Review, Jimmi Rembiszewski who wrote the book with me an I had the opportunity to write this article in the last edition of the European Business Review.

From Great to Gone Markeeting in the digital agePlease click to download and to share the article.

I think the book is a good reading but – it’s not up to me to make a final judgement. Only you, the readers, can tell.

Best regards,
Peter Lorange


Pictures from inside a US embassy

Dear reader

Marketing, you might agree, has always something in common with hyperbolism. I mean, nothing ever is as good as it is promoted. Not even this blogpost.

And if I claim to publish “pictures” from inside a US embassy, it is a bit of both teasing my readership and the national security agency (which has not the best image for the moment).

Yet, I show you pictures from inside, however, it is not the embassy but the ambassador’s residence.

Villa OtiumVilla Otium
US Ambassador’s Residence

As announced last week, I’ll add some pictures from the breakfast meeting. The atmosphere was very relaxed and still it was very cultivated as I usually don’t wear a tie for breakfast and don’t eat every day from porcelain dishes with golden rim (I usally sit on a table in the public hall of my business school at 7 a.m., drinking coffee from a vending machine in a regular china cup).

HR Breakfast 11 HR Breakfast HR Breakfast2 HR Breakfast3Unfortunately, nobody played the grand piano in the backroom. By the way, if you are interested in the history of the residence, there is wonderfully designed booklet about the Villa Otium. You can download it by clicking on the ancient archtiect’s plan here below.

Wishing you all a good time.
Peter Lorange

Villa Otium Oslo Architects plan

My presentation at the US Embassy in Oslo

Dear reader

A little bit more than a month ago I informed you about my visit to the US embassy. Ambassador Barry White in Oslo invited Philipp Boksberger, who is the COO of the Lorange Institute, my son Per and myself to a breakfast meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to give a presentation on “Innovations in Shipping”.

The US embassy is located in the building still, which was opened in 1959. It is a triangular building consisting of four stories and a basement, measuring 59 meters by 47 meters by 47 meters (a year ago, the groundbreaking ceremony for an embassy at a new location was conducted in Oslo).

US Embassy in Oslo

However, the presentation and the breakfast meeting took place at the Ambassador’s residence. The Villa Otium, built in 1911, was designed by renowned Norwegian architect Henrik Bull for Hans Andreas Olsen, the Norwegian Consul General at St. Petersburg and his wife Ester, the niece of Alfred Nobel.

Bildschirmfoto 2013-06-21 um 17.16.47

Now, originally I intended to speak about innovations in shipping as at the same time the NOR Shipping Fair took place in Oslo. But then I changed the subject of my presentation and spoke about a something, which is key not only in shipping but in all industries: the human talents.

The presentation focused on HR is easily summarized:

Companies must acquire and develop relevant competences. Only then are they capable of satisfying the key customers through innovations. Key is, to get the relevant competencies on board, which means, that HR is more important than ever. I even consider HR to be key and it should be, in my opinion the CEO’s extension.

You may download the presentation but mind: I am not the expert in creating slides. I am more a typo-fixed presenter. I hope you’ll get over it.

I will soon present you some pictures from the meeting, too. The residence is what the Swiss would call a “bijou” (a jewel). I am looking forward to this and remain

Peter Lorange 450px-US_ambassade_i_Oslo

How do you choose to invest?

Dear reader,

Have you ever thought about how you take a decision before you invest in a project?

Risk investment

From an analytical perspective it is no longer possible to understand the erratic markets movements. To understand the underlying psychology of investments is therefore becoming a key element of day-to-day decision-making.

On June 11 and 12 you will gain an understanding of behavioral finance, and its implications on various risks.

Jeffrey Satinover is teaching behavioural finance on
11.06.2013 – 12.06.2013

Sign up for this 2-day course. One of our innovations is the modular structure. You can book each module of the master program individually. Should you start an Exc. MBA, the fee is reimbursed and the ETCS points will be credited.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

P.S.  Some time ago, Jeffrey gave us an inteview. You’ll find it here below. A german version of the interview is available here (as PDF download): Interview Jeffrey Satinover

Money is like water: it always takes a line of least resistance.  Where are the global capital assets flowing to?

I will be evasive: Global capital assets are for the most part NOT flowing, but, to continue the analogy, are being dammed by doubt. Corporations all over the world are sitting on huge cash hoards. The question is rather: To where will these assets flow once the dam bursts as financial dams always do? And–is there enough fundamental value whence it will flow to justify the influx, or will a new bubble be created? Most likely a mix of the two possibilities. However, regarding Switzerland, more capital is flowing into Switzerland than a country of 8 million can accommodate

Where do you see Switzerland in the shifting and changing financial markets?

Switzerland has an extraordinary opportunity–again this century as once before in the last–to benefit itself and the world economy both through its industries and because of its intact civil society. It can and should play a prominent role as a neutral haven for business–while being aware, and properly savvy about what a prize it is.

Switzerland has been under huge pressure by various countries, including the U.S. This has more to do with the tradition of American protectionism than with moral. America is protecting it’s own tax havens.

I doubt this has anything to do with “protectionism” in the political sense but–as I think you are getting at–simple self-interest. However, that self-interest, in my opinion, is being improperly calculated by both the present and prior US administration. The amount of tax revenue it has received from the pressure it has exerted is trivial. And it is not the Swiss who are hurt: It is also large numbers of “small” Americans who have never been involved in tax evasion.

Why should a country like Switzerland give up a competitive advantage like the banking secrecy. It protects predominantly the privacy of individuals from greedy fiscal authorities and not tax exiles.

It shouldn’t. But this has always been a tension in the nature of Switzerland: It is small, but because of its efficacy plays a disproportionately important role in economic affairs–a point of pride and of caution. It is subject to pressures from larger countries.

Let’s talk about investment banking. As a financial center, Switzerland must offer both, asset management and investment banking. Will regulations (Basel III and others) really “tame the beast”? And are these regulations really necessary from a banking and financial perspective?

The “beast” can never be tamed as it lies in the heart of man, as novels, fairytales and epic poetry so much more clearly explain than can regulators! Regulations necessarily limit previous excesses, not newly devised ones. I have written an essay with Didier Sornett about it (** “Taming Manias”).

Some investment banker lost huge amounts of money. Are they victims of the market or is it a sign that not even specialists have a clue how to handle the intricacies of the market?

Neither. These kind of trading frauds are remarkably common. The problem is that once “Risk Management” is quantified and automated–I say this teaching the subject myself at the Lorange Institute of Business!–the largest risks are commonly ignored: Human risk. Senior management should actually KNOW the people they have made responsible for billions of dollars of other people’s money. If they can’t know them, they should become smaller. Losing a huge amount of such money is simply the most painful route toward becoming smaller.

A final word about speculative operations on falling prices and economic downturns. This sounds very weird in the ears of ordinary people. Do you see a counter movement to this bad but widespread habit?

Speculating and short sales are not bad. They are a necessary and important part of how markets function. Remember: If regulations prohibit open speculation, clever investors will find indirect and hidden ways of accomplishing the same. Having said that, it is of course true that one may put in place regulations that mitigate the risks–for example, larger reserve requirements for investment banks under certain circumstances.

*Jeffrey Satinover, M.D., Ph.D., is the Managing Director of Quintium Analytics, LLC. He is responsible for the trading strategies employed by the firm’s advisees and partnerships. He was previously Director of Research at Von Kohorn Research and Advisory, Inc. in Westport, CT.

Dr. Satinover is Distinguished Professor of Science and Mathematics at The King’s College in New York. He is a Visiting Scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Department of Management, Technology and Economics in the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risk. He taught at Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

** Taming Manias. J.Satinover and D.Sornette. In Governance and Control of Financial Systems A Resilience Engineering Perspective. Edited by Gunilla Sundström, Deutsche Bank, Germany and Erik Hollnagel. Institute of Public Health. University of Southern Denmark. Denmark (Series : Ashgate Studies in Resilience Engineering)

Steering a ship is like leading a company

Dear reader

Some of you now that I have been fascinated by the sea ever since I was young. Growing up in Norway with its countless fjords and its shipping heritage might have ignited this fascination and been responsible that I went into shipping with my own shipping company.

BBC Chartering Group Magazine

Click the image to download the interview

Moreover I have been committed to shipping as business academic, and even today at my own business institute I organise a shipping module to discuss all the issues in and around the industry trying to pass on my knowledge – and still learning new things.

Today, shipping companies are challenged more than ever to innovate, not only regarding their assets, products and services but also their cultures, organizations and structures if they strive to stay as top performing companies.

What is needed to manoeuvre a shipping / transportation company through these turbulent times? Not only will we discuss these issues in the upcoming module

Innovation in Shipping on Februar 11 / 12

Probably the best MBA in Zurich - the Executive MBA of the Lorange Institute of Business

I furthermore have been interviewed by Raymond Fish of the magazine of the BBC Chartering Group about the challenges of the industry.

I would like to share this interview with you and hope to see you in February.

Until then I wish you always fair winds and following seas!

Peter Lorange

Why should business integrate ethics?

Dear reader

It is always with great interest and curiosity that I follow the research work of other professors, especially when they teach at our business school in Horgen.

This time I recommend you a reading, which is co-authored*) by Mark Esposito. Mark is associate professor at the Grenoble Ecole de Management in France and also visiting professor at the Lorange Institute of Business.

Prof Mark Esposito Prof. Mark Esposito

If you like to see, hear and work with Mark, you should not miss the upcoming 5th Zurich Business Forum on September 21/22.

During the forum, a 2-day event, dedicated to innovation and technology, you can meet Mark during his Friday afternoon workshop with a clear focus on open innovations. (Download 5th ZBF Programm).

The book I recommend is called “Business Ethics A Critical Approach: Integrating Ethics Across the Business World” and I could hardly get better to the heart of the book than Nigel F. B. Allington from the University of Cambridge, UK who wrote that “this provocative and stimulating new book is a welcome diagnosis of the ethical issues underpinning a wide range of academic disciplines and subjects.”

Click the image to download a info sheet (pdf)

I am looking forward to meeting Mark in August. In the meantime I wish you all a nice summer holiday and a good reading!

Peter Lorange

*) Co-Authors

Patrick O’Sullivan is Professor and Head of Department of People, Organizations and Society at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.

Mark Smith is Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.

Mark Esposito is Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Leadership at Grenoble Ecole de Management, France.

Who is the worlds most influential individual?

The magazine ‘global focus’, edited by EFMD, the European Foundation for Management Development, asked interviewees to consider which individuals have had the greatest influence on management education over the last 20 years.

Global Focus, the magazine of EFMD, rated Peter Lorange of the Business School "Lorange Institute of Business" as number 5 of the world's most influential individuals in the field of management educationClick the image to download a pdf with the results

Two people were mentioned by over 50% and rank on top of the list: Peter Drucker and Henry Minzberg who both stressed management as practice.

We were nevertheless most surprised and very happy indeed when we discovered that our president, the founder of the Lorange Institute of Business, Dr. Peter Lorange was rated the 5th most influential individual in the field.

We take our hat off to Peter Lorange and congratulate him on this great achievement.

The Lorange Institute of Business

The ranking from #1 to #5

1. Peter Drucker

2. Henry Minzberg

3. CK Prahalad

4. Michael Porter

5. Peter Lorange
Peter Lorange is the President of the Business School the Lorange Institute of Business




Brussels based EFMD with over 750 member organizations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 81 countries is a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development and is also recognized globally as an accreditation body of quality in management education with established accreditation services for business schools and business school programs, corporate universities and technology-enhanced learning programs.

New leadership profiles for deans

Dear reader

I have always been convinced that anything but innovative projects and products will succumb. For this reason I was very aware of the fact that – as a contemporary business school – I would not get away with any dean, but only a dean with both an academic background and (for instance) strategic skills.

The Korn/Ferry Institute

The authors Ken Kring and Stuart Kaplan of the Korn/Ferry Institute*) focus in their paper “The business school dean redefined” new leadership requirements and how these requirements have a strong influence on business schools.

“Business school deans who will thrive in the coming years will have a different leadership profile from their predecessor.”

In their analysis they concur that the business school deans who will thrive in the coming years will have a different leadership profile from their predecessors, one that emphasizes strategic skills, enterprise management, innovation, and people and relationship effectiveness. All these will be required to forge ahead in business education in the organizationally flat world of academia, and during a time of flat enrollment.

Business schools, the authors write, must innovate, refocus, and restructure, or risk falling behind their academic competitors. Just like private enterprise, business schools are undergoing a fundamental transformation in response to changing student “buyer” values, the Internet, globalization, shifting demographics, and unprecedented economic pressures.

As a result, business schools are hungry for alternatives to the traditional dean candidates, who historically possessed deep backgrounds in core areas such as finance or economics and undertook a more straightforward mandate.

“The idea that future problems can be creatively and wisely solved within silos is so wrong.”

According to their research a new leadership profile for business deans has emerged, one that emphasizes:

Strategic skills
Enterprise management
People and relationship effectiveness

Sally Blount, the dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management draws the conclusion that “the problems of the future are so difficult and so complex that the idea of solving these problems creatively and wisely within silos is so wrong.”

We at the Lorange Institute of Business have renounced on silos right at the start. We did it for the good of good of education of our students.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

P.S. Download the study by clicking on the banner!

Studie von Korn/Ferry Institute: Wie muss der Rektor der Zukunf aussehen?
*) The Korn/Ferry Institute generates forward-thinking research and viewpoints that illuminate how talent advances business strategy. Since its founding in 2008, the Institute has published scores of articles, studies and books that explore global best practices in organizational leadership and human capital development.

Erfolgreiche Schweiz dank Innovation

“Wenn die Schweiz nicht so innovativ wäre, dann hätte sie heute grössere Probleme.” sagt Peter Lorange im Interview mit Raphael Corneo von Mediaplanet.

Ist Innovation auch lernbar? Und warum Innovationen nicht gleichbedeutend sind mit Neuerungen? Die Antworten auf diese und weitere Fragen finden Sie im Interview.

Laden Sie das Interview als PDF herunter (Click aufs Bild).


“Lorange Thesis” Opens in Germany

Dear readers,

for most of the things we do we expect something in return. At school we are expecting good grades. Later in life we are expecting a good wage in return for our work. Life is not only about compensation, and we might do something for love from time to time.

What reward can a student expect for his thesis paper? Good grades, for sure. A feeling of fulfillment, having achieved something extraordinary. Sometimes, however, there is even a return larger than grades and fulfillments.

Our faculty member Bill Holstein tells us an exciting story about how a student of the Lorange Institute of Business put his thesis into practice. A story almost bigger than life!

I congratulate Ralph Detert on his commitment and his success! Extremely well done!

Peter Lorange


Lorange Thesis Opens in Germany
*) William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

If you ever took a course in calculus, did you, like many students, spend more time wondering whether anything about calculus was at all relevant to anything in your life and why you had to take the course, rather than working on calculus itself? For some Lorange students, they have the same questions about writing a thesis.

In a May 3, 2011 blog, Peter Lorange wrote “It is very satisfying to conclude your studies with a paper that reflects what you have learned and that demonstrates all the progress you have made.”

Satisfying? In most cases, after the fact, absolutely yes, but in a few, the satisfaction comes only because the pain has stopped. Demonstrating progress? Again yes, in almost every instance. The ‘pulling together’ of data, analysis and interpretation to support meaningful conclusions is an exercise that produces long-term benefits. Applying concepts learned in class, being forced to communicate clearly and succinctly, and creating a large piece of work under a deadline is perhaps even more valuable.

But occasionally a Lorange thesis produces immediate benefits and goes well beyond being satisfying, good for the soul, or useful. This story is about one such thesis.

Ralph Detert is the CEO of a German company that produces “Leading products in optical metrology for semiconductor manufacturing.” In addition to his CEO duties in the global high-tech universe, he is a member of an investment group; perhaps ‘venture fund’ would be a more descriptive term. One of the group’s interests was gastronomy and starting a chain of restaurants in Germany. Questions included: Which cuisine? Where to Start? Which target audience? What ‘theme’ or ‘style?’

Ralph tackled these and many more questions in his MBA thesis at Lorange, which he finished in September 2010. Jumping to the end of the story, the first restaurant opened in Munich just a few weeks ago.

An early finding of the thesis research was that food culture in Germany is changing – not as rapidly as in the U.S. perhaps, but changing significantly nonetheless. Important drivers of the change are a growing health consciousness, changes in the demographics of the workplace, particularly in the role of women in business, and the impact of globalization on the way people work, on what they know about foreign cultures, and the cuisines they are interested in trying.

The results of economic environment and the changes in food culture are quite clear; Germans have less time and less money for eating out, yet they spread their limited budget across more eating-out events. ‘Restaurant visit’ no longer implies a sit-down and a nice meal. Snack and fast food gastronomy is the fastest growing segment of the industry, but it is usually neither healthy nor cheap.

Thus the German gastronomy market is up against customers whose lifestyle is adapting to changing conditions and, despite tight budgets, more, rather than less eating out. Paradoxically, the thesis found in the segment of younger, more educated, more trendy buyers, a desire for not just cheap and fast, but a desire for entertainment, communication and ambiance in addition to the food. The German gastronomy market has been slow to react to these changes and to anticipate evolving customer needs. The thesis asserts that there is significant opportunity for new, agile entrants who understand what the market wants. Based on the thesis research, the investment group decided to develop the first of what is hoped will become a national chain of restaurants.

Survey research with randomly-chosen participants in areas where the new restaurant concept might be implemented verified that a large segment of the market is looking for more than good food at a good price/performance ratio. They want a trendy environment, a pleasant away-from-home experience, simplicity, and the opportunity to communicate and enjoy friends and colleagues. The first restaurant was built to cater to those expectations and includes a vitamin-rich wok cuisine that is light and fresh and tasty. The cuisine is a European/Asian cross-over, a mega food trend according to the research. The food was designed by a Michelin-star chef. The restaurant is trendy with a warm and cozy ambience.

Throughput time is flexible – fast if customers prefer, more casual and relaxed if desired. Costs are reduced by offering ‘partial service:’ guests order via iPads built into the tables but food is delivered by wait staff. Customers pay at a checkout counter at the exit. This positioning straddles fast food and a family-type of restaurant experience and enlarges the potential market. A good urban location, with 5,000 office workers in buildings within a radius of 300m ensures adequate traffic and exposure.

Comments from my final thesis report: The thesis pulls together a strategy for sustainable competitive advantage and growth of a chain of restaurants in Germany. The business model is sound and clearly differentiated from the existing players. The target market is well analyzed and supported. In addition, financial forecasts and an implementation plan are provided.

A classic example of what a Lorange thesis can be. Every venture fund should have this kind of support!

What is left is for you to see the Lorange thesis for yourself. Here are the details:

EAT. LIFE KITCHEN | Luisenstraße 14 | 80333 München | T 089 638 591 21

Need further encouragement? Here are the first reviews posted on in late September.

  1. The food and the ambience were super. I can truly recommend. the place.  We are about to go again.We will be back shortly…
  2. The food is awesome, light and fresh from the wok. The team is friendly and super fast. The location is convenient, only a short walk from the Central Station or the Koenigsplatz. Parking has not been a problem so far. I can only recommend it! Yummy!
  3. Great atmosphere, brilliant food and a very friendly staff. Last week I was there three times. Prices are very moderate for Munich. Not just for lunch. We lost time and stayed for a while after several glasses of wine. I can only recommend the place.
  4. A new restaurant. We were there last week and were very impressed. Great for lunch, light meals with fast and friendly service. I will definitely try this after work as well. Really great wines-at super prices! Beautiful, stylish interior and you can sit outside too!
  5. Super dishes, a different place for a change. Dishes are fresh and not heavy and spicy, as I like it! Friendly service. I’ll go there more often as of now!
  6. Trendy, super-tasty, fast and not expensive. Reminds me of Vapiano, but the food is much better. I’ll be back!


I’ll be at the Eat. Life Kitchen in April 2012 during my next visit to Lorange Institute. Look for Audrey and me near the espresso machine. After all these years of fussing with thesis students about their written English, you can fuss with me about my translation of the comments from German.

Are you working on a thesis? Peter is right; it is satisfying. Best of luck!

*) Dr. William K. Holstein

The former assistant at Harvard who earned his PhD in mathematical economics was (among many other teaching activities ) visiting professor at IMD.

Today, he has been an associate Partner at Crystal Partners AG, Zürich since 2008 and Senior Advisor at Lat Link-Partnership in Change Consultancy, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the author of three books on Information Technology, BASIC programming, Operations Management. One of his recent publications include ‘Efficient and Effective Strategy Implementation’.