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News Story:

New business course


New Innovation Course to Boost Business Growth

Ashridge Business School is set to launch the UK’s first course on Business Model Innovation. It is designed to help managers create new businesses and transform existing businesses, a vital task in a low growth economy.

A recent
Economist Intelligence Unit  global survey of 4000 managers revealed that 54% believe that business model innovation is more important for success than product or service innovation; IBM found that companies whose operating margins had outstripped their competitors’ over the previous five years were twice as likely to emphasise business model innovation, rather than product innovation or cost reduction. Yet most courses on innovation are focused on enhancingproducts or services.

Ashridge is the first UK school to focus a course specifically on business model innovation.

The best known business model innovators such as Amazon, Apple or Ebay see entirely new ways to create, deliver, and capture value.  But business model innovation need not be so high profile. Threadless T-Shirts gets customers to provide T-shirt designs.  Zipcar provides car rentals through a car-sharing model.  Rolls Royce will sell jet engines on a cost per operating hour.  BA considered financing its landing slots with a special bond secured against the slots.The Evening Standard chose to become a free newspaper.

The course focuses on five aspects of an operating model:
-        the assets and major activities that are central to operations: can any be changed significantly?
-        the technology and business processes: can they be automated or digitised?
-        the sourcing strategy and choice of business partners: can more be outsourced or insourced and with whom?
-        the organisation design and people: can more be decentralised or centralised and who should be on the team?
-        the source of revenues: which stakeholders will pay for the value we are delivering?

Participants will learn to challenge existing models and create new businesses.

Andrew Campbell , Course Director and Director of the Ashridge Strategic Management Centre , said:  "Business model innovation is a new frontier in management. While many companies have processes and skills for developing new products and new markets, few have a well-honed capability for developing new business models.”  

"The problem is often over commitment to the existing business model.  I cannot recall a single business review meeting or a strategic plan review, I have attended where the business model was laid out for examination and challenged to see if there is a better way.”

"Adapt or die is a trite statement. But many managers fail to adapt because they do not know how to create a new model to fit the new circumstances: they are held back by operating practices they do not know how to challenge. Woolworths failed because it was caught in the middle between small focused retailers and large grocers. Newspapers and magazines need new business models to survive in the face of on-line media.  Banks need new business models, even if only to respond to public disdain and regulator pressure.”

Business Model Innovation  runs 19-20 November 2012 and is for innovation and corporate development specialists, finance, marketing and operations managers with responsibility for developing their business, consultants and other professionals responsible for growth, innovation or new business development.