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Our Insights

Our team will introduce a major thought leadership deliverable approximately once per quarter. We will also issue other, smaller-scale content on a rolling basis.

August 2017

By Michael R. Wade

This is the first in a 4-part series of articles about digital disruption by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), a joint initiative of IMD business school and Cisco. Th...

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June 2017

By Lauren Buckalew, Michael R. Wade, James Macaulay, Tawfik Jelassi

Public Sector and the Digital Vortex illustrates how government organizations can harness digital disruption for positive change. For their own viability as well as that of constituents, public sector...

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June 2017

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan, Andy Noronha

In this report, we use the analogy of the Digital Vortex to illustrate the state of digital disruption across industries in 2017. Industries are ranked according to their vulnerability to disruption,...

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June 2017

By Michael R. Wade, Andy Noronha, James Macaulay, Joel Barbier

This paper lays out a new digital transformation execution framework. Just as a vortex helped us explain how disruption changes the nature of competition, the analogy of an orchestra illustrates how t...

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May 2017

By Michael R. Wade, Andrew Tarling, Remy El Assir
Contributor: Rainer Neubauer.

In March 2017, over 90 executives attended an IMD Discovery Event to learn about the leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours required to succeed in a digitally disruptive environment. New research...

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April 2017

By Michael R. Wade

With its reputation at stake, Apple must expand on its current strategy and open new markets to play in. Harvesting as much profit as possible from its current hardware business makes sense, but it...

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March 2017

By Michael R. Wade, Michel Peter Pfäffli, Raphaël Rollier, Blaise Vonlanthen

This paper lays out a practical framework for transformative, technological urban initiatives referred to as ‘Smart City projects’ and is targeted at city leaders across the globe who aspire to make...

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March 2017

By Michael R. Wade

Imagine that you are an executive overseeing retail banking at a large financial services company. In addition to the normal challenges you face as one of the company’s leaders, you are confronted wit...

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March 2017

By Michael R. Wade

In sum—the consensus is that economic policies need to pursue new, more ambitious goals related not only to individual income and country productivity, but also to life satisfaction and happiness. Bei...

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March 2017

By Michael R. Wade, Andrew Tarling, Rainer Neubauer

This report identifies a number of key competencies and behaviors of Agile Leaders who thrive in digitally disruptive business environments.

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November 2016

By Arturo Bris, Michael R. Wade

Opportunities for greatness are rare, and all notable success stories can be traced back to someone, somewhere making exactly the right move at just the right time. One of those rare moments exists...

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October 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan, Andrew Tarling
Contributors: Jeff Loucks, James Macaulay, Andy Noronha, Joel Barbier.

In May 2016, around 80 executives from 42 global organizations attended an IMD Discovery Event hosted by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. The aim of the event was to explore how...

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October 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Michel Peter Pfäffli, Raphaël Rollier, Blaise Vonlanthen
Contributors: Remy El Assir, Andrew Tarling.

This paper lays out a framework for assessing a city’s transformation needs and provides a structured approach to analyzing and implementing smart city project

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September 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Have you ever wondered how companies like Uber, Amazon and Spotify can offer such low prices, make such low profit margins but still continue to operate? You’re not the only one. In our work at the...

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September 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan with Lindsay McTeague.
Contributors: Jeff Loucks, James Macaulay, Andy Noronha.

In February 2016, around 70 executives attended an IMD Discovery Event hosted by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. The purpose was to shed light on strategic responses to digital...

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August 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Google is well aware of its vulnerability. More than 90% of the company’s revenues and almost all of its profits come from search-related advertising. As long as people click ads on computers, tablets...

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August 2016

By Michael R. Wade with Pierre-Luc Leboeuf.

You are probably watching the Olympics this week, supporting your home country and cheering on your favorite athletes. It seems to us, however, that the Olympic games are in need of a refresh....

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August 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Uber announced that it is selling its Chinese operations to Didi Chuxing, its great Chinese nemesis. Uber is exiting the very market that its CEO Travis Kalanick declared to be, “the #1 priority for...

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July 2016

By Michael R. Wade

I remember the early days of the Internet when the Yahoo directory was my home page. Capturing, categorizing, and presenting the Internet in a clickable tree structure was doable back then, and Yahoo...

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July 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Unilever announced last week that it would purchase Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion. On the surface, this may look like yet another desperate attempt by a lumbering legacy giant to buy (and overpay...

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June 2016

By Michael R. Wade with Jeff Loucks, James Macaulay, Andy Noronha.

Digital disruption sounds like another business buzzword - until it happens to your company. Seemingly out of nowhere, startups and other tech-savvy disruptors attack. Your customers bolt for the door...

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June 2016

By Michael R. Wade

26.2 billion! That seems like a big ticket price, but Microsoft is getting a good deal. Here are the top reasons why the acquisition makes sense for Microsoft.  First, LinkedIn is undervalued. Even...

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June 2016

By Michael R. Wade

I recently spent a week visiting companies in China, trying to learn as much as I could about digital transformation and trends in that country. I suspected that there were major differences between h...

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June 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Andrew Tarling

Digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than at any time in history. Many companies will benefit enormously from digitization. Others will not. The real...

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May 2016

By Michael R. Wade

The term “Smart City” has lately become a buzzword for anyone involved in governing a city, yet it remains opaque and relatively ill-defined. Currently, the term is used as a catch-all for various...

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May 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Change has been relentless since the turn of the millennium, and the pace of change is only expected to accelerate as we move into the next decade. Several factors are contributing to this acceleratio...

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May 2016

By Michael R. Wade

Scenario analysis is a key tool for organizations wanting to unpick and understand the complexities of a digitally disrupted environment. We have developed a set of four scenarios each describing a...

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May 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jeff Loucks, Andy Noronha, James Macaulay

This report emphasizes the fact that, in digital transformation, it's not only algorithms and architectures that are needed. Compnaies must also transform their workforces. Ultimately it is people tha...

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April 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan

In a tradition spanning more than 500 years, Chinese people have been giving each other money in red envelopes, called hongbao, as part of the annual New Year celebrations. These hongbao have now beco...

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April 2016

By Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Carlos Cordon

Firms today are beginning to understand the importance of social and digital media to their corporate strategies. They have struggled to survive during a period that has greatly threatened their...

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March 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative, surveyed nearly 1000 executives across 15 industries about their attitudes and behaviors towards digital disruption....

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February 2016

By Michael R. Wade, Jialu Shan

Digital disruption is a global phenomenon, but that does not mean that it is evenly distributed across the globe. The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative...

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November 2015

By Joseph Bradley, Jeff Loucks, Michael R. Wade, Andy Noronha, James Macaulay
Contributors: Jialu Shan, Remy El Assir.

Value Vampires The DBT Center has defined a ‘value vampire’ as a company whose competitive advantage shrinks the overall market size. They are not simply companies that produce better mousetraps - wha...

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November 2015

By Michael R. Wade, Jeff Loucks, James Macaulay, Andy Noronha

This report expands on the imperative, outlined in Digital Vortex, to create new value for customers - cost value, experience value, and platform value - and provides a taxonomy of digital business...

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November 2015

By Michael R. Wade, Jeff Loucks, Andy Noronha, James Macaulay

This report identifies the capabilities organizations need to identify and respond to digital disruptors, and go on the offensive to disrupt others.

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October 2015

By Donald A. Marchand, Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Michael R. Wade, Anouk Lavoie Orlick with Susan Stehli.
Contributors: Jim Barrington, Christian Bucheli, Filippo Passerini.

There have always been market disruptions as new technologies emerge. How is “digital” different? Most importantly, what are the best strategies for businesses to adopt in order to successfully underg...

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June 2015

By Michael R. Wade

This paper lays out three key questions organizations need to answer before embarking on their own digital transformation journey.

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