Delighted to bring you this interview with Alexander Osterwalder, the author of two hugely influential books, that we found super useful, see more about them here. He will be speaking at the Lean Startup Conference in Berlin Feb. 12. 

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

We’re working on our next book “The Invincible Company”. The book covers two main topics: how to build an innovation portfolio to continuously innovate and how to compete on business models rather than just products, technologies, service, and price. The book also covers all of the new topics we’ve worked on over the last couple of years, like innovation metrics, innovation culture, and the ideal org chart for companies in the 21st century.

How was the last year, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

We tested our new tool, the Business Portfolio Map, with great success. It’s amazing to see how senior leaders in companies across the globe immediately connect with the concept.

Our work on Business Model Mechanics and Business Model Shifts took a bit longer than I expected. We’re trying to codify strategic business model moves and the corresponding case studies. This helps people compete beyond product and price. We didn’t just want a list of cases like IKEA, CitizenM, Spotify, and many more. We wanted to create a reference library to help business people up their competitive game.

What are your plans for the future?

Our main goal with Strategyzer is to bring strategic business tools and better processes to companies across the world and at scale. We have no interest in being the traditional training or consulting company. We use blended online learning and software applications to bring better strategy and innovation processes into companies. At MasterCard we got over 15% of the entire staff to use the Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas. At Bosh we introduced innovation metrics that we co-developed with them and others. At Bayer we introduced Spark, a self-service innovation kit for teams. The plan is to convert one company after the other.

What will you be talking about at the Lean Startup Conference in Berlin Feb. 12? [Event details, including the agenda here]

I will focus on the topic of Business Model Mechanics, Business Model Shifts, and Innovation Portfolios. It’s our very latest thinking. It’s exciting, because I’ll also show a couple of new ideas that I’ve never presented before. It’s also exciting to participate together with our new Strategyzer team member, Tendayi Viki. Our concepts and ideas strongly complement each other.

What inspired you to attend it?

To learn from others and share our latest ideas. It’s really about advancing innovation practices together, based on what we all learn every day in the field.

Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

I develop all our ideas together with Yves Pigneur, my co-author, and the Strategyzer team. Yet, those ideas are strongly influenced by people on the Thinkers50 list and business practitioners.

Steve Blank, entrepreneur turned educator, is definitely a must. He constantly pushes the boundaries with ideas on his blog. I also like to stay up to date with Rita McGrath’s (Columbia) and Roger Martin’s (Rotman) ideas. More recently I got interested in a more humble type of leadership. There, Marshall Goldsmith (#1 leadership coach) and Alan Mulally (former CEO of Ford) have been a great source of inspiration. For the topic of corporate culture I follow Amy Edmondson (Psychological Safety), Patty McCord (formerly Netflix), Dharmesh Shah (co-Founder Hubspot), and Garry Ridges (CEO of WD-40).

On Twitter I follow @AdamMGrant @bill_fischer @hnshah @ValaAfshar and @tseelig as social filters. Finally, I carefully follow Jeff Bezos on everything innovation, in particular his annual letter to shareholders.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

On our blog blog.strategyzer.com   or on Twitter, where I share a lot @AlexOsterwalder and @strategyzer. I’m also a big user of Instagram @AlexOsterwalder to share how and where I work.


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