Global AMP Graduation, IE Business School

June 16, 2023 at IE Business School, Madrid

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!

One more time, what is 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:

And just as a reminder, here’s a short 3 min video from McKinsey to summarise some of the aspects of business transformation – from setting out a vision to engaging people, from seeing the opportunities for new growth and changing agendas of customers, from organisation culture change to business model reinvention, from improving the existing business to innovating the future business:

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.

And don’t forget about yourself … what will you do as a “transformational” leader, how will you step up and change yourself, how will you engage others – particularly your current leaders, and what’s your plan for the coming years?

How can you use 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.