Gamechanger Project Lab

October 28, 2022 at IE Business School, Online

How will you shape the future of your business? What is your strategic vision to innovate and transform? Which ideas will you embrace and apply? And most significantly, how will you become a “gamechanger” leader of the future?

The Global AMP is all about transformational growth, of you as a leader, and how you can drive transformation in your business.

It’s not just about leading your current business, sustaining the strategies that others have created. As markets change, your business needs to change. You as the future leader, need to take your business to the next place. To change the game.

That means thinking beyond your current strategy, and your ways of competing and operating – beyond what your current leaders think, as priorities and possibilities. You need to challenge the conventions, the assumptions, and the limits.

Why does the Gamechanger Project matter?

This is your opportunity to develop a new blueprint for the future of your business – or even a new business of your own – and how you will make it happen. And it’s real. Not an exercise, or fantasy. Your future business starts here.

The gamechanger project is one of the most valuable parts of the Global AMP. Both in terms of learning, and ensuring you and your future business get a significant return on your time and financial investment. The project runs throughout the duration of the program – helping you to apply all the best ideas and tools as you progress – and presenting your blueprint on graduation day.

As Global AMP academic director, I’m here to help you. You can also talk to people in your own business – maybe find a sponsor (your CEO?) or develop a project team – even during these early stages. We will have group sessions, and one-to-one sessions, including during each of the XDots at the end of each module.  And you can contact me at any time for advice.

You can use any of the tools and templates from the Global AMP during your presentation, as you choose – however you should probably make some reference to your strategic purpose/vision, changing industry/markets, growth strategy, customer proposition, innovative solutions and business models, and transformation roadmap to get you there – and about you!

So what do we mean by “transformation?”

Business transformation is about significant, lasting, non-reversible change to the way in which the company operates and creates value, typically where at least 25% of total revenues comes from new business units or business models. It can take time, but also sets the business on a new course for a better future. Here are some examples of such transformations:

  • Adobe … transformed from product to service, from document software into digital experiences, marketing, commerce platforms and analytics
  • Amazon … transformed its own infrastructure into “Amazon Web Services” which enables other organisations to operate their online businesses.
  • DBS … transformed itself from a regional bank to a global digital platform, a “27,000-person start-up” and crowned “Best Bank in the World.”
  • Microsoft … transformed from a business model based primarily on selling product licenses (IP), to a cloud-based platform-as-a-service business.
  • Netflix … shifted from DVDs by mail into the leading streaming video content service and now a top original content provider.
  • Ping An … transformed itself from insurance into a cloud tech business providing fintech and AI-based medical imaging & diagnostics.
  • Tencent … transformed from social and gaming business to a platform embracing entertainment, autonomous vehicle, cloud computing, and finance.

An example we have explored is Orsted, the Danish energy company that transformed itself over the last 10 years from a state-owned, coal-fired utility into the world’s leading wind power business, and drove exponential growth through new global markets and services, while doing so. Sustainability was the obvious catalyst for transformation, but financially it was about letting go of the declining legacy business, to create a future growth business. Here is a 20 min video describing some of the challenges, changes and impacts in more detail:


What are some examples of Gamechanger Projects?

Over the last few years, Global AMP participants have each developed their projects, and then taken them back to their businesses for implementation, and to shape their own futures. Here are just a few examples:

  • In USA, Eloine is founder of a PR agency supporting African business. She had a passion to do much more for African companies, creating a venture fund and start-up incubator, connecting Africa with the world.
  • In Portugal, Ricardo is CEO of a real estate business. He wanted to do more for clients, shifting from selling homes, to being a lifestyle hub for local communities, delivered with partners, driving new growth.
  • In South Africa, Carel is MD of business banking. He wanted to improve the speed of offering business loans 10 times. He transformed the process, cutting through old red tape, and lunched a new service.
  • In Turkey, Ahu was CEO of her family’s traditional car parts business. While sustaining the old business, she created a new ventures business to drive transformation, launching an electric charging business.
  • In Mexico, Carlos was COO of a leading alcoholic drinks business. He wanted to explore how to tap into the fast growth craft beer market, and so created a new business model to support independent brewers.
  • In Dubai, Sophie was founder of a woman’s forum and investment fund. She wanted to shift online to reach more people, creating a platform ranking companies on diversity metrics, and driving improvement.
  • In Latin America, Carolina is CFO of an energy business. She explored how to use a key asset – the optic fibre distribution network – in new ways, shifting to also become a communications business.

Sometimes, people even find that the project takes them in new directions, and they start a new venture, either within or beyond their existing business, to make their dream come true.

Gamechanger Workshops and Videos

During the Global AMP we will have a number of sessions dedicated towards your own Gamechanger Project, and applying the ideas from the program to your own business future.

These sessions are catalyst session, introducing the key concepts, essential tools, useful insights, and checking on your progress. The real work, however, is done by you independently, ideally engaging back with stakeholders in your business, so that the project is real, and will have the best chance of future success.

You can also email me anytime during the duration of the journey, to check on your ideas, understanding, and to share your progress. Here are the dedicated sessions:

March 2023: Transformational Leaders (self-study)

  • Satya Nadella, Microsoft
  • Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker
  • Hooi Ling Tan, Grab
  • Ben Francis, Gymshark
  • Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO … in 2014, he stepped up to take the fading tech giant to a new place, embracing AI and cloud as engines of transformation, and turning Microsoft from a $300 million into a $2 trillion business. In particular he gave the organisation purpose and mindset – famously, a growth mindset, a concept developed by Carol Dweck and saying “I want to build an organisation of learn it alls, not know it alls”. Much else has changed in Microsoft, as he opened it up, with new collaborations and ventures in every market.

Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa, co-founders Warby Parker … “Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?”

Hooi Ling Tan, Grab co-founder … discusses growing the ride-hailing platform that became a “super-app” in Southeast Asia and how digitizing the region’s economy has helped empower both drivers and customers. She says success for a start-up is when the company no longer depends on its co-founders.  However, she is a constant innovator, fusing ideas from other places, typically through partners, including an e-wallet, a peer-to-peer paying system and insurance. Indeed, she sees payments as the fuel that powers her “super app”, enabling it to become the most convenient, integrated and trusted source of anything.

Read more about Hooi Ling Tan and Grab

Ben Francis, founder and CEO of Gymshark … Gymshark is a British fitness apparel and accessories brand, manufacturer and retailer headquartered in Solihull, England. Founded in June 2012, Gymshark creates and distributes its own range of fitness wear. In 2020, the company was valued at over £1 billion. Ben Francis is the majority owner of the company. Francis talks about how he started athleisure brand  as a teenager and how he has scaled it to be one of the UK’s most valuable privately held companies.

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway … the 92 year old business investor is currently the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is one of the best-known fundamental investors in the world as a result of his substantial investment success possessing a net worth of over $108 billion as of February 2023, making him the world’s fifth-wealthiest person. Here, the legendary investor shares two stories about women who started from nothing and sold their businesses to him.

Join the online discussion to reflect on what you can learn from these 5 inspiring, transformational leaders – What drives them as leaders. and how do they lead? How are they transforming their organisations and markets for the future? How can you apply these insights to your own future, and your business?

Then back together in Segovia:

20 Apr 2023: Gamechanger Workshop 2 (Segovia)

  • Future Map
  • Moonshots and Markets
  • Opportunities and Growth Drivers
  • Business Models

22 Apr 2023: Gamechanger Workshop 3 (Segovia)

  • Growth Map
  • Future Space
  • Transformational Shifts
  • Stakeholder Engagement

2 Jun 2023: Gamechanger Workshop 4 (online)

  • Innovation Map
  • Customer Insight
  • Value Propositions
  • Business Models

12 Jun 2023: Gamechanger Workshop 5 (Madrid)

  • Organisation Map
  • Future Back Strategy
  • Transformational Journey
  • Performer Transformer Leaders

14 Jun 2023: Gamechanger Workshop 6 (Madrid)

  • Impact Map
  • Future Story
  • Size of the Prize
  • Pitch Decks and Elevator Pitches

16 Jun 2023: Gamechanger Project Presentations (Madrid)

  • Each Participant presents their Project, plus Q&A
  • Followed by Graduation Ceremony

What’s the Gamechanger Toolkit?

You are smart and experienced, so you don’t need to just follow a process. But to help you, I have developed a toolkit with a wide range of templates and frameworks to help you think, and apply the Global AMP content.

  • Gamechanger Toolkit … a collection of templates to help you think and develop, over the 6 months of your project

Use the tools gradually during the program – we will focus on specific ones, in specific sessions – but also you can jump around and explore ideas, go back and redo the early tools again later, and embrace others too.

I have brought together over 200 resources – inspiring articles, trend reports, case studies, toolkits and more – which you can explore for inspiration as you wish.

  • Future Recoded … useful resources about futures, trends, scenarios, purpose, and change
  • Growth Recoded … useful resources about strategy, markets, brands, customers, sustainability
  • Innovation Recoded  … useful resources about innovation, creativity, design, business models
  • Work Recoded… useful resources about people, organisations, teams, agility, transformation
  • Leadership Recoded … useful resources about leadership, courage, and high performance

I have also profiled over 100 business leaders, and 100 most inspiring companies, largely through one to one interviews and published in my various books. You can dip into them here:

  • 100 Leaders … from Anne Wojcicki to Bernard Arnault, Cristina Junqueira to Ben Francis, Zhang Ruimin to Zhang Yimin, and many more.
  • 100 Companies … from %Arabica to 1Atelier, 77 Diamonds to A Boring Life, Aerofarms to Alibaba, Babylon and and more.
  • Leadership Letters … inspiring letters including Satya Nadella’s first day as CEO, Richard Branson to his grandchildren, and Jack Ma stepping down
  • Leadership Videos … inspiring videos of great leaders, like Jeff Bezos, Emily Weiss, Tan Le, Tobi Lutke, and Warren Buffett

Additionally there’s a wide range of useful resources – personally, I chose to search for new insight and ideas in Business Insider, CB Insights, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, McKinsey Insights, Strategy & Business, and many others.