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Ground Control – Change your perspective to create new things

It happens when you have had the last night out with the peers and the morning after you are walking through the town where you have had the classes - in this case Tel Aviv. Walking along on the sunny beach the day after and reflecting the last week, everything we have done and learned comes to mind. Suddenly you realise how amazing this week at Kellogg-Recanati has been.

Not becoming too emotional, but you suddenly see all the amazing possibilities these Kellogg classes give you: First meeting great, flexible, intelligent and absolute different people from so many countries and with different cultural background. Then you have all this knowledge gathered, discussing cases and business models from different views and finally you have the professors doing a fantastic job in keeping up to date with the course content and really making the classes an experience.

Reflecting the classes, of course you got tired sometimes, but the learning experience was very good. Even the difficult group work under time pressure in digital product marketing seems to be very helpful for future cases you have to solve in real life.

Being an entrepreneur myself, I was amazed to see that so many of my classmates had eye opening experiences to what it means to become an entrepreneur. Great ideas about products and digital ecosystems were flying around and discussed throughout the week. Much more after the SOSA experience (SOSA stands for South of Salame and is an innovator’s community, established for the startup ecosystem in Tel Aviv), when some of us who never did a pitch under the eyes of venture capital companies before presented their ideas. Two of my classmates from Rome and Toronto did an amazing job - it sounded like that had worked on this idea for years. It was an excellent preparation from our Professor Izhar Shay as he invited big Venture capital funds to the classroom for discussions. The day after he even invited a start-up trying to raise 20m USD in a B-series financing from two funds that have been in the classroom too, so all of us good follow the pitch situation and the discussions and questions afterwards.

Reflecting on growth hacking and the digital ecosystem, it all sounded not too new to me working in digital transformation, but taking those stories and explanations of Professor Mohanbir Shawney into consideration, you get a new idea of how to re-think products and how to define them for the future. The cases of Tesla and even the Modu case where amazing when you take a deeper look at the strategy behind to set up a whole ecosystem by integrating hardware and software and a new approach. For instance when Tesla Motors pushes out new functionality for the car via a software update over the air, not touching any kind of hardware, not installing anything needing the car to go to service centers. Also very interesting how these companies try to fence their ideas into a greater context, and by this avoiding other competitors to enter the space. All of this is a strong help when you think about how to change and transform traditional companies for the coming years with totally different set ups compared to the last century. Digital ecosystems will support their transformation and being less vulnerable to incumbents entering their territories.

Growth hacking, this is what I have been doing for companies for a while on the strategic side, has enormous potential, when you can transfer this knowledge and ideas to traditional medium-sized companies starting to transform themselves. I can recommend my recent article about predictions in the travel industry here.

Finally, this is what makes the two year Executive MBA experience so invaluable: lots of learnings and the exchange of ideas and approaches to business challenges from different backgrounds, ‎new insights about what is working and how, and the social gatherings beside when you meet all the other amazing people from all around the world.

I have never been a fan of David Bowie, but the final comments from Izhar Shai at the venture capital lecture to the class in combination with this song (made by a Canadian astronaut when he was in space for 6 month two years ago, so it’s not faked) nearly made it - I have to cite Marc-Felix Serrao who posted that even VC's sometimes have a heart :-).

“Keep your minds open, think from different perspectives and believe in what you are doing.“

Change your perspective: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo&feature=youtu.be

(Ground Control by David Bowie, filmed by the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield two years ago whilst doing a six-month trip in space).

Want to know more about the EMBA and its costs and such things? Here is an older post about it from some month after I started it.

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