Revenue growth management. New thinking required.

Dear reader

While most companies are struggling to improve their economic results, a fact comes immediately to mind: the net revenue line is the most powerful leverage to improve EBIT.

It is not easy to drive an increase in net revenues without increasing price, but it is possible and feasible. I have seen great companies doing it through product differentiation, smart segmentation, and improved channel focus; sharp consulting firms such as Globalpraxis are leading the charge in many sectors with outstanding results.

Globalpraxis - consulting at high level

One of the keys to successful business today: understand the modern consumer, innovate regarding his/her needs, and communicate this innovation effectively. Result: more sales at a higher price!

To better understand modern consumers is essential. They are typically different from the traditional breed – multitaskers, who simultaneously swipe their iPhones, work on their iPad, read a newspaper, listen to loud rap music, drink a cup of coffee, and miraculously hold a conversation. We may not necessarily like such a person. Still, it is key that we try to better understand what he / she wants.

Keys to successful business today: understand the modern consumer

This brings us to the importance of coming up with relevant innovations – i.e. something that today’s consumer might need and appreciate. It would be better to bring these out fast (even if on their own, they may be relatively small) rather than to rely on major innovations that might emerge from a central lab, and on an infrequent basis. We could talk about new business models here, such as new routes to market, or developing innovative, more luxury-centric brands. Innovations could also come in the form of further modifications of one’s products, and so on.

Communicate a given innovation to the target customer group. Social media might be particularly key here.

The next step would then be to create an effective way to implement and communicate a given innovation to the target customer group. Social media might be particularly key here. This might be more effective for reaching the modern consumer than traditional advertising, for instance.

Silo thinking does not work (cartoon)The all-too-frequent silo thinking would not work

The amazing, and encouraging, result of all of this is that we might then be in a position to state a higher price, and to sell more! This is value-based selling, not discounting! Plus, our profitability would also grow – good news!

So, there are plenty of opportunities in today’s business world, but to benefit from them would require a focus across disciplines. The all-too-frequent silo thinking would not work!

Yours,
Peter Lorange

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Working Smarter in a Digital Economy

Dear reader

Let me start with a wrong statement: “The future of business is digital.” Wrong, you might ask? Of course it is wrong. The present and the business of today is digital.

Digital business is omnipresent. This is a fact that makes the search for answers on how to profit from it not easier. Everybody is somehow aware that “business is online” and that “the internet is a cash cow”. These are commonplaces.

We will look closer at noteworthy issues such as how to be successful when doing business online and how to gain a new understanding of our way through the cyberspace and the threats, rights, and duties connected to it.

Digiatl Business. Forum. April. 2013.Our day event “Speed, action: results!” on April, 19. Book your seat right now.
Download program

Just think of all the companies and brands that are now advanced by the digital opportunities that allow to acquire, to excite and to engage their customers.

We want to know how some of today’s most important practices look like. We have thus invited speakers from renowned companys such as Robert Beer from XING, Giovanni Fantasia from ebay or Microsofts country manager advertising online, Arend Hendriks.

We are aware that business networks have a growing impact on us. But is this transformation of the information society good or bad? And for whom?

We will provide you with answers. Join us for our day event “Speed, Action: Results!” and learn how to work smarter in a digital economy.

I am looking forward to welcoming you!

Yours,
Peter Lorange

Here are the speakers of the 5th Zurich Business Forum

Dear friends

The 5th Zurich Business Forumis about to open its doors: on Friday/Saturday 21/22 September.

Again we have a terrific agenda and great speakers and lecturers. Though, I don’t like the idea of lecturers. They don’t lecture. They run workshops and you rather discuss with them in an unbiased way the relevant topics.

A great opportunity for all parties involved to meet new partners, new ideas, new peers – in brief: it’s a networking hotspot.

I am looking forward to seeing you and the speakers below.

Yours,
Peter Lorange

 

Keynote-Speakers

Karl Landert, Credit Suisse

Karl Landert, former CIO Credit Suisse
Use it or loose it: How IT impacts modern banking.

 

 

Karl Pilny

Dr. Karl Pilny, Asia expert and author
Tomorrow’s success: Green Innovation and Technology

 

 

 

Presenters

AZ Medien CEO Ch. Bauer

Dr. Christoph Bauer, CEO AZ Medien AG
What comes after the newspaper? New business models in media

 

 

Peter van Bladeren Head of NRC Nestlé Research Centre Lausanne

Peter van Bladeren, Head NRC Nestlé Research Center
What shall we eat tomorrow? Innovation in consumer Goods

 

 

Daniel Krebser CCO, Atizo AG
Daniel Krebser, CCO, Atizo AG
A world without licenses: crowdsourcing/open innovation

 

 

 

Dr Mark Esposito Professor, Founder & Director Centre Labs for Responsible Competitiveness

Dr. Mark Esposito, Founder & Director Centre Labs for Responsible Competitiveness
How to turn venture into success: Bottom of the pyramid innovations and business opportunities.

 

 

Erhard Rüttimann President and CEO of Communication Partners AG

Erhard Rüttimann, President und CEO von Communication Partners AG
The turn of the tide: how technology impacts the modern firm.

 

 

Alfonso Tasso, VP Sales & Operations Swisscom Hospitality

Alfonso Tasso,     VP Sales & Operations Swisscom Hospitality
Why and how the Internet is going to change and innovate the hotel industry?

 

 

Rudolf Burkhard Business Development Director, VISTEM GmbH & Co. KG
Rudolf Burkhard, Business Development Director, VISTEM GmbH & Co. KG
Effectively use our scarce innovation resources: a theory of constraints.

 

 

 

Peter Curtis CEO, Seaspan Corporation

Peter Curtis, CEO Seaspan Corporation
Sail on! Innovation in ship design

The educational revolution – M.I.T. and Stanford offering lectures for free

Dear reader

Faculty member Mike Johnson*) and chairman of the FutureWork Forum – a partner of the Lorange Institute – has urged us to publish this article by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, pointing to one aspect of the digital learning revolution. the future work forum is a partner of the business school the lorange institute of businessHere at Lorange, we wholeheartedly approve of this approach to online learning. We’re on that wavelength too, and intend to be more and more involved in the coming months. Look out for news from Lake Zurich to add to that of those Californians.

Here is an extract from the New York Times article to get you into the mood for the coking education revolution.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

***

by Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

Andrew Ng is an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, and he has a rather charming way of explaining how the new interactive online education company that he cofounded, Coursera, hopes to revolutionize higher education by allowing students from all over the world to not only hear his lectures, but to do homework assignments, be graded, receive a certificate for completing the course and use that to get a better job or gain admission to a better school.

“I normally teach 400 students,” Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning. “To reach that many students before,” he said, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”

Welcome to the college education revolution. Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. The costs of getting a college degree have been rising faster than those of health care, so the need to provide low-cost, quality higher education is more acute than ever.

online education - the educational revolution.

At the same time, in a knowledge economy, getting a higher-education degree is more vital than ever. And thanks to the spread of high-speed wireless technology, high-speed Internet, smartphones, Facebook, the cloud and tablet computers, the world has gone from connected to hyperconnected in just seven years.

Finally, a generation that has grown up on these technologies is increasingly comfortable learning and interacting with professors through online platforms.

The combination of all these factors gave birth to Coursera.org, which launched on April 18, with the backing of Silicon Valley venture funds, as my colleague John Markoff first reported.

Private companies, like Phoenix, have been offering online degrees for a fee for years. And schools like M.I.T. and Stanford have been offering lectures for free online.

Coursera is the next step: building an interactive platform that will allow the best schools in the world to not only offer a wide range of free course lectures online, but also a system of testing, grading, student-to-student help and awarding certificates of completion of a course for under $100. (Sounds like a good deal. Tuition at the real-life Stanford is over $40,000 a year.)

Coursera is starting with 40 courses online — from computing to the humanities — offered by professors from Stanford, Princeton, Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania.

Penn University of Pennsylvania Stanford University University of Michigan Princeton University

“The universities produce and own the content, and we are the platform that hosts and streams it,” explained Daphne Koller, a Stanford computer science professor who founded Coursera with Ng after seeing tens of thousands of students following their free Stanford lectures online.

M.I.T. and Stanford have been offering lectures for free online.

“We will also be working with employers to connect students — only with their consent — with job opportunities that are appropriate to their newly acquired skills. So, for instance, a biomedical company looking for someone with programming and computational biology skills might ask us for students who did well in our courses on cloud computing and genomics. It is great for employers and employees — and it enables someone with a less traditional education to get the credentials to open up these opportunities.”

M.I.T., Harvard and private companies, like Udacity, are creating similar platforms. In five years this will be a huge industry.

While the lectures are in English, students have been forming study groups in their own countries to help one another. The biggest enrollments are from the United States, Britain, Russia, India and Brazil. “One Iranian student e-mailed to say he found a way to download the class videos and was burning them onto CDs and circulating them,” Ng said last Thursday. “We just broke a million enrollments.”

To make learning easier, Coursera chops up its lectures into short segments and offers online quizzes, which can be auto-graded, to cover each new idea. It operates on the honor system but is building tools to reduce cheating.

“We just broke a million enrollments.”

In each course, students post questions in an online forum for all to see and then vote questions and answers up and down. “So the most helpful questions bubble to the top and the bad ones get voted down,” Ng said. “With 100,000 students, you can log every single question. It is a huge data mine.”

Also, if a student has a question about that day’s lecture and it’s morning in Cairo but 3 a.m. at Stanford, no problem. “There is always someone up somewhere to answer your question” after you post it, he said. The median response time is 22 minutes.

These top-quality learning platforms could enable budget-strained community colleges in America to “flip” their classrooms. That is, download the world’s best lecturers on any subject and let their own professors concentrate on working face-to-face with students. Says Koller: “It will allow people who lack access to world-class learning — because of financial, geographic or time constraints — to have an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

When you consider how many problems around the world are attributable to the lack of education, that is very good news. Let the revolution begin.

***

Mike Johnson, founder of the future work forumMike Johnson, chairman and founder of the FutureWork Forum, is a leading commentator, consultant and writer on the Future of Work, Talent Management, Corporate Communications and How to Work as an Independent. He is the author of 12 books on business and management issues and has written several series of world-of-work studies for both The Economist and the Financial Times, as well as over 100 global and Europe-wide studies for international corporations and institutions. He founded Johnson & Associates in 1982 in Brussels and has developed a long-standing reputation as a researcher and reporter on a wide range of organizational issues. (read more about Mike Johnson)

How to handle chaos or new order in tomorrow’s world?

Dear reader

a few weeks ago 52 students graduated from our business school: an important step in the personal and professional development of all graduates!

My faculty fellow Bill Holstein held a terrific speech I would like to share with you.

Download Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012
by William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

He compared the current economic situation with the weather forecast and concluded that we’ve entered an area of unpredictability, which has a lot to do with the increased speed of communication.

I quickly summarize a few of his statements:

“In 2005 there were 134 million mobile phone users in Africa. In 2011, only six years later, there were 660 million – an average growth rate of more than 30 percent per year. (…) Such explosive growth in such a chaotic area of the works spells opportunity for those who can spell correctly.”

Bill Holsteins Graduation Speech (Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012 William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich) at our Business School“Sales on eBay conducted over mobile phones amounted to $600 million in 2009 and over $5 Billion in 2011. More than an 8 times increase in two years! And eBay expects the percentage of sales over mobile phones to grow 100 percent more in the next few years. (…) This changes the business model for a traditional retailer dramatically. Many will not be able to respond fast enough to survive.”

“U.S. workers tenure in their current job is 4.4 years. The average number of jobs in a lifetime: 11.4 for men, 10.7 for women, not three as for me.”

Bill summarized his speech in one word: chaos. Chaos is the opposite of the idea of order.  Or as Bill put it: “when conditions are chaotic, you must apply different techniques. “ This is the true challenge.

Yours,
Peter Lorange