Improving your life and finding meaning in your work, leadership in a digital age, new innovators from China, philanthropy, mindfulness – quite a diverse range of topics that form the core of IMD learnings. It is the sum of all these parts that make for a true business leader – one with a heart and not just a mind.

This afternoon we dive deep into the diversity of OWP learnings. In a room of participants that are primarily comprised of blood-related relatives at the “Navigating your family enterprise into the future” class by Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship Peter Vogel. Family business members around the tables were asked what societal values drive their family business or foundation? One participant voiced his loud and clear: “In order to build a company you need to build a society around it”. Professor Vogel explained how: “Often a family business can be the biggest employer in a town or city, so being concerned about impact beyond the business line is becoming increasingly important.” Interesting debates formed in the lively room such as: What are the latest trends and strategies to successfully govern and manage a family enterprise? Or which strategies can preserve and grow a family’s wealth across generations?

To that end, the IMD Global Family Business Center is currently accepting submissions for its annual award that recognizes family-owned enterprises which stand out in their efforts, performance and progress in the field of sustainability.(IMD -Pictet in Family Business Award).

Next door, we explore what’s wrong with business today? is it all about jumping on the digital revolution bandwagon?

In this afternoon’s class, get ready to Leap! Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Howard Yu takes us through his six months of research on one such example of a company who did miss the bandwagon: Polaroid. In order to stay afloat in the digital marketplace, Polaroid didn’t manage to make the right decisions at the right time.

Building a new infrastructure for sales didn’t prove to be a priority for the company and hence made it lose its top competitive spot and ultimately, led to its demise. Triggering Polaroid’s downfall was pressure on pricing and a difficulty to differentiate coupled with the inability to recognize the magnitude of importance of the digital wave – and what effect it was to have across industries worldwide.

“The point is, the shift to digital happens faster than anyone ever imagines, in the boardroom and beyond,” said Professor Yu explaining the core of his expertise and body of research of which resulted in the book LEAP. A business book that explores how outlasting competition is not difficult but doing so over decades or a century is nearly impossible –unless one ‘leaps’. How can pioneering companies endure and prosper in a world of constant change and inevitable copycats? As Howard explains: “We are no longer living in a world where there is a first-mover advantage, but latecomers in the market can come sweep up the prize before you can blink.” It’s a new world order and you can adapt and thrive or risk losing the fortune of companies like Kodak and Polaroid.

As expected, this first sunny afternoon at OWP is full to the brim with tons more information to digest from trending industry tech talk on topics like: “AI and marketing: the good, the bad and the ugly?” To more general management classes such as “When can we trust our gut? The process of decision-making” fill the afternoon for the 400 participants who may not yet have discovered the best in-between session secret … sneaking into the IMD mini golf putting green during the coffee break for a few swings in between classes in the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center.

Stay tuned for more live insights from
OWP 2019