Leader in Innovation Special Report published in the Swedish Business magazine Dagens Industri

maj 2nd, 2015 • InnovationsNo Comments »

What´s happening now will have a greater impact on us than the innovation of the railway!

When I talk about the ongoing globalization I talk about it as a series of waves, and right now, I´d say, we are in the midst of the third globalization wave.

This third globalization wave is powered by three distinct factors on the market; the low interest rate ever, the ever increasing pace of digitalization and the likewise increasing pace of automation in general.

Concretely this means, among others, that all jobs that can be digitalized will be digitalized and that will be a good deal. According to a study at Oxford University (quoted in The Economist 2014) at least 50 % of todays jobs will be digitalized and automated within 20 years! Our own measurements even show us that this is likely to happen faster than that! This is also the starting point for the Swedish governement and its future minister, Kristina Persson, when it comes to new ventures to protect the Swedish welfare and create the necessary new replacement jobs.

Very much in the same way as for digitalization, everything that can be automated will be automated, and that too will be a good deal. Investments in digitalization and automation will increase as there are a lot of capital available on the market and as the return on more traditional investments is low.

Due to the fact that companies nowadays can both buy and sell produts and services almost freely on many global markets, competence and technology supplies through smart digital solutions will further increase the pace of digitalization and automation and outperform the pace of development tah depends on local supplies of compentencies and technology only.

Another consequence of the three empowering factors is that many companies in the western world now move their asian/chineese production facilites back home again.

Understanding Red and Blue Oceans will become imperative to success

The increased competition means that it will become even harder to be unique on the market which in its turn will lead to consolidation to larger bodies in many markets.

We see today how small and midsize companies are taken over by industry giants that sell massproduced standardproducts, i.e. commodities. Working with such commodity businesses often means that the market becomes a ”Red Ocean”, i.e. a market where all competitors ”bleed” (hence its name). The Red Ocean i characterised by hypercompetition and tuff price press, which requires continuous rationalization of cost and also means a constant threat of being subjected to hostile overtake or closure/splitting.

The opposite to a Red Ocean is the ”Blue Ocean”. A Blue Ocean is something you create yourself by launching new innovative Business Models, with unique Value Propositions and that are tailor-made to match the needs of well understood and well defined target groups. On the Blue Ocean you create a whole new business logic, that leaves the competition behind as they can not easily copy your Value Propositions right off.

On the Blue Ocean you can apply value based premium pricing and thus increase both revenue and profit in your company (The notion of Red and Blue Oceans were first defined in the book ”Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim & Mauborgne).

I argue that it is difficult but indeed possible to create innovative Blue Oceans on all markets today. It´s all about mobilizing your core capabilities, what is often referred to as you company´s DNA, in order to create a whole new business logic, at the same time as you reduce or completely eliminate the traditional business logic from the market.

Some examples of Blue Oceans are; Über, whose business model totally changed the groundrules for Taxi; Spotify, with its business model that totally changed the market for music distribution; and LEGO, that based on an old business model and operation were heading towards bankruptcy when they managed to create a Blue Ocean leading to a situation 10 years later where they had a market value equal to the Ericsson group!

To innovate your business model and create a Blue Ocean requires guts, knowledge and guidance of the whole organisation, that also needs to stand on its tiptoe to find power to change. Everything from budgeting, reward systems and career paths to recruiting, research and development processes are affected. But what is the alternative if you don´t want to close the business or sell it off cheaply to be closed down by a new owner?

So, what is Innovation? 

Well, a dear child has many names, but what innovation is really all about is to challenge your own thinking, see the market and the customers straight into their eyes, and do what you are absolutely best at in order to create new groundrules that provides competitive advantage at the same time as it eliminates the competitors value propositions. Innovation means that we realize new, unique and valuable ideas not only for new products and services, but also for all aspects of the company, such as finding a new business model or executing a new effective and repetitive innovation process that subsequently leads to new products, services and business models. A company´s innovation capability is heavily correlated with market leadership, growth and profit.

But can we measure and develop Innovation Capability?

Yes, this is quite possible today. You can measure, benchmark and evaluate your organizations innovation capability in order to step-by-step improve it; It´s not easy but possible and above all necessary to assure future success and counteract an as-is situation where you might be heading towards a Red Ocean. You can not simply sit still in the boat and hope that everything will stay the same. It will not happen, even the ancient chineese said that you cant step into the same river twice.

In other words, you havet to equip your company well in order to constantly challenge, sharpen and regularly change, both your products and services as well as your business model and your value propositions. It is the companies with the greatest innovation capability that will be the clear winners during the third vawe of globalization. 

So what´s happening now?

As i said in the beginning, -”what´s happening now will have a greater impact on us than the introduction of the railway”!

Just like then, existing power structures will be broken and replaced by new ones, jobs will dissapear and have to be replace by new ones and the welfare in general will be reallocated in our society. To thrive, we must be proactive and influence the development in order to assure that it leads to a positive and sustainable society.

As i see it, Sweden could become a world leader in Innovation and the famous ”swedish model” can thus continue to be a good role model for sustainable community development during the ongoing third wave of globilization and beyond.

Launch of the worlds first free online based innovation measurement

mars 11th, 2015 • Entrepreneurship, InnovationsNo Comments »

I am very proud to officially launch the InnoSurvey online. The worlds first free, and probably most comprehensive, innovation measurement at our new company Innovation 360 Group. .

Get a free comprehensive innovation measurement report with evidence based advice on how to sharpen your Innovation Capability. It´s just a click away and probably the most valuable half hour you can spend if you want to grow your business successfully!

Have fun!


Help us building the largest Scandinavian innovation database in the history…

oktober 22nd, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, InnovationsNo Comments »

Participate in the most advanced and deepest innovation survey made in the Scandinavian history. In return you will get an extensive and executive innovation report analyzing the innovation capability of the Scandinavian players from small disruptive and lean start ups to large corporations. The report will be sent out when we reached our Big Hairy Audacious Goal of building the largest and most comprehensive innovation databased in the Scandinavian history.

Start here (in Swedish!)

Key Note at CFO Executive Day

oktober 20th, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, InnovationsNo Comments »

If interested I will give a speech at CFO Executive Day about how to innovate your business model to compete in the new global landscape. Have a look at the program.

Key Focus CFO Executive Day

Global economic instability has kept a tight grip on the market in recent years. Now there are signs of a slow recovery and some indicators indicate that consumer demand may be on the way up. Critical is to maintain growth and profitability and to adapt and innovate in the new global landscape. This places high demands on you as a CFO to pro-actively contribute to your company decides to stop and go in the right place and that you have a strategy for managing the growing risks to the economic uncertainty means.

I have funded Sweden’s first specialized education company in programming, robotics and renewable energy.

oktober 9th, 2014 • EntrepreneurshipNo Comments »

According to EU we will have a lack of 1,000,000 programmers already year 2020, at the same time as Europe have a high permanent unemployment rate. Due to this and an old friends wish I have funded Sweden’s first specialized education company in programming, robotics and renewable energy. I am very proud to say that today they have lunched there web site as well as their first one-week-camps in Robotics. Have a look at !

2,5 years later, a dubble turn-aound and a post merger

september 12th, 2014 • B2D, Board, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource, Merger & Aquistions, Venture CapitalNo Comments »

Now the assignment is closed and results delivered. I maintain status as investor in this fantastic venture.  In 2,5 years the assignment has resulted in turning Digital Inn from a 30 M reseller with losses into Scandinavia’s #1 onsite and ecommerce Apple profitable reseller with an annual 50M sales. Shifted from a traditional retailing strategy to a premium branded multichannel supplier of Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, including the start of a large B2B Apple venture.

Some Highlights:

• Analysed operations; reduced costs; increased profit margins through innovative and strategic work, positioning and assortment work; and optimised inventory and processes.

• Created and executed a turnaround plan that included acquisition, integration and turning around a major competitor.

• Improved gross margins.

• Automated and digitalized sales, marketing, logistics and management systems.

• Introduced an innovative omni-channel approach of selling, supplying and balancing goods in all channels (on and offline).

• Increased stock rotation and reduced stock levels.

For the swedish audience, there is a detailed reportage describing the turn-around. Please read it here.


New assignment

juni 5th, 2012 • NewsNo Comments »

Today it was officially launched that I will start up as the Turn-around CEO of Sweden’s largest Apple Premium Reseller, really looking forward to that! Will be great fun.

The story about Ziperall & Lean Start-ups

mars 30th, 2012 • UncategorizedNo Comments »

MORE ACTION Sweden and Scandinavia is innovating with a goal-oriented leadership and open environments. That is good, but to maximize the innovation power Sweden and the Scandinavian countries need to add a little bit of MacGyver.

For some time, we have measured and evaluated a large number of companies’ and organizations’ innovation ability with a completely new concept for innovation measurement.

It has proven to be major cultural differences between regions and countries; in Sweden and the Scandinavian countries, for example, we have a goal-oriented leadership and open environments which include a lot of discussions. At the same time we are lacking a bit of MacGyver: for those of you remembering the TV series the hero who makes bombs out of bamboo sticks and some sugar, or builds a vehicle with a Swiss army knife.

Basically, business development and successful innovation work are about accomplishing activities that give something in return and ignore the others. For Lean Startups, this is made by a learning process, and for MacGyver, who in this context symbolizes entrepreneurship, by utilizing the resources at hand.

Both can be seen as role models for how companies with a minimum effort manage to drive their innovation and development to a level which really gives results.

Hurdlers and Great by Choice

According to IDEO, a world-leading innovation and design company in Palo Alto, hurdlers are one out of ten competences/personalities needed in order to drive innovation work effectively.

A hurdler is a person who can do anything out of nothing, and quickly as well. Or, to quote from Jim Collins’ new book Great by Choice, “firing bullets and then fire cannonballs once you know what’s on target”, and preferably in combination with an extreme endurance or what Jim Collins refers to as the 20 miles march.

A successful concept has been systematically and persistently working toward targets, in combination with shooting small-bore until you hit and then bring out the big guns. However, this also requires a certain kind of culture and personality.

In the measurements we have made recently, it is evident that endurance, extreme belief in oneself and having the guts to do much out of little are characteristics that distinguish winners. Characteristics which in combination with the things we are good at in Sweden, namely dialogue and goal-oriented leadership, become a fusion that really gives innovation power. Especially on the level required for rapid growth and success in a global market.

However, according to the measurements we have made, Swedish and Scandinavian companies are not culturally good at doing much with little, thinking very highly of themselves and never giving up. A call to all Swedish and Scandinavian firms: let’s find the MacGyver’s among you and give them the space they need. Set the ”Jante law” aside.

Lean Startups

One of the very big trends right now is so-called Lean Startups, where you enter the market quickly and build with standard components. The focus is on continually learning in small rapid iterations.

Typical features are minimal costs, developing cheaply and taking help from customers and other external partners in order to develop what the market wants. This, combined with a goal-oriented leadership, collaboration in open environments, dialogue and some really effective hurdlers is a recipe worth applying and following.

An exciting example of the recipe above is Dropbox, where the founders by applying the Lean Startup methodology went from 100,000 users to 4 million users in just 15 months. Good entrepreneurs, understanding of people’s needs, a substantial drive and a present learning process have made Dropbox to a success story.

Today new companies are being started with business models and distribution channels which we have never seen before. Globalization has created a new golden age for those who help themselves, see the possibilities and are able to mobilize the right work methodology. This combined with finding the company’s inner core and exploit it fully leads to success.

What do customers really want? How do we know that we are making progress in our product development? Questions that sound familiar? Thinking “Lean” is not only for startups; any company wishing to perfect its innovation capacity could learn from the simple principles of the methodology.

The story of Ziperall – a Swedish Lean Startup

We have had the pleasure of working closely with the founders of; some young entrepreneurs who went from idea to complete concept within two months, and in less than four months went from break even to selling tens of thousands of garments just in Sweden.

What is the secret? The idea? No, the product is far from unique. The secret is more likely a “MacGyver” and a structured innovation environment with good infrastructure, as well as a genuine interest and understanding of how people function and make decisions.

The company was started as a spin-off to the “DI Gazelle” winner and “A Great Place To Work” company Estate Europe. The garment has literally taken the world by storm. In this moment, a Ziperall is sold through (referring from) Facebook every minute…

Lady Gaga takes innovation to avant-garde levels

mars 23rd, 2012 • InnovationsNo Comments »

How offers become almost impossible to copy

WHAT ARE YOU SELLING? By understanding what you are actually selling, you can find your unique abilities and become sustainably competitive.

Sitting on the plane home from Monaco and have just, together with some Bearing colleagues, run our innovation management program at Monaco’s business school and the MBA program of Luxury Goods.

All the big brands send their business developers to this program, and business development is what it turned into – for all of us. The trip led to reflection, and it all started with a discussion about Lady Gaga planning to pour blood and other more compromising body fluids into her new perfume.

So what am I selling?

Not long ago, an unnamed person in the Harley-Davidson’s group executive board, said that what they are actually selling is the opportunity for a 43-year-old accountant to dress in black leather, ride through a small town and scare people.

I asked the same question to the MBA students at the Luxury Goods program, i.e. what they are actually selling. It was obvious that the question was not new to them, but it still sparked debate and discussion.

New technology has entered the scene and it is no longer about expensive products impossible for ordinary people to buy, but even more about identity, recognition, lifestyle and building your own personal, individual brand. Technology becomes a part of the luxury to express oneself and to be special.

Somewhat incisively you could call it techno-avant-gardism, in which new technologies and channels in all forms become key elements for positioning oneself.

Examples of things that we probably will see more of are shoes communicating with our mobile and giving us updates on how we move, and smart solutions on how to easily scan body measurements for custom-made deliveries of clothing, furniture, vehicles and experiences of various kinds.

This is good news in a business where you no longer can create exclusivity with the price. More and more people can afford to buy luxuries at the same time as copying has made ​​it very difficult to justify high prices. Identical copies with a nearly equal quality will sooner or later enter the market.

Basically, it has always been about identity and positioning, and this is what the luxury goods industry is selling in the reality. The price is irrelevant to most people. There are great opportunities for innovation in this field.

How do I avoid being copied?

Perhaps you remember how IKEA was copied in China? An entire warehouse, including the dress code of the employees, was copied. What is not as simple to copy is the DNA of a company, the inner mechanism, viewpoint, leadership, culture, personalities, knowledge, skills, relations, locality, creativity and working methods.

All of these mechanisms, often called capabilities, make up the basis to create value for customers – mechanisms that are difficult to copy. This is the mother of inventions, the very fine mechanics and the source.

By asking myself questions about what I am really good at, what I am actually selling and what the customers perceive that they are buying, I can begin to innovate my business model. Then I am also able to generate values ​​that are difficult to copy. This is also the key to success for the luxury industry.

The automotive industry is working hard on new business models, such as Toyota who is experimenting with offering a monthly car including everything. Recently, several car makers have launched ”branded” cars with luxury brands like Gucci, one of them is Fiat. That is an innovation of the customer experience.

Creating a luxurious feeling or exclusivity is not enough. Consumption as such is one of the important keys where customers are offered to take a stand, belong to a group and its values. The group must not be too large, but still large enough to be recognized.

National innovation strategy is driving societal -Sweden world’s leading innovative country

augusti 15th, 2011 • Entrepreneurship, Innovations, Social ResponsibilityNo Comments »
New institutes springing up like mushrooms and universities is investing heavily. Now Sweden tops the list of the world’s most innovative countries. Simply innovation focus on an unprecedented scale. Have a look at our new trend watch.