This course equips participants with fundamental financial and accounting concepts to make evidence-based strategic and managerial decisions. Participants learn to connect financial ratios and key performance measures to strategy by interpreting their firm’s financial statements and understanding their relevance and limitations. This course will help participants become more effective at interacting with accounting and financial groups and to ask the right questions to leverage financial data to create winning strategies.
We begin with an understanding of fundamental macroeconomic theories on national economic indicators, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade. Next, participants study core microeconomic insights about the efficiency of market exchange and market failures. While standard economic modelling assumes fully rational decision makers, we examine important findings from psychology and economics on predictable irrationalities in individual decision-making.
You have created a breakthrough new product that could disrupt your industry, but can you successfully bring it to market? After all, the world is full of innovation. The biggest challenge is differentiation. This course combines the fundamentals of consumer psychology, market analysis, traditional and unconventional marketing and public relations strategies, so participants can systematically and successfully launch innovative products and services. Using cases and real-life scenarios, we identify key success factors for a successful innovation introduction, understand how to build a successful brand strategy, create development, and launch plans for new innovations.
Even the most intriguing business idea will fail if it is not competently embedded in a suitable framework of financial management. An ability to speak the language of finance, an understanding of what creates value, and an awareness of how to orient an organization towards value creation in a constantly changing environment are essential characteristics of successful business leaders.
This foundational course equips participants with the basics of sound financial management of organizations. Participants become familiar with modern aspects of capital budgeting, company valuation, financing, and value-based management. They will also learn about current opportunities and challenges in managing the value of companies in the light of technological advances.
In recent years, sustainability has become a major trend for corporations and in financial markets alike. Investors as well as policy makers are increasingly requesting that companies actively consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects in their strategies.
This course enables participants to define sustainability and sustainability strategies in the context of corporate social responsibility and corporate financing. They become familiar with common investor’s sustainability strategies, rapid changing policies and market environment when it comes to sustainability. Working through case studies, participants gain a basic understanding of opportunities and challenges related to integrating sustainability aspects in key business functions such as management controls, reporting, and financing.
This course provides an overview of state of the art prescriptive analytics to approach business challenges in the digital age. Participants learn how to analyze processes, identify crucial tradeoffs and make value-enhancing decisions. Selected topics include queueing models, revenue management, management of service platforms and blockchain applications.
In the digital age, companies are increasingly confronted with the necessity of strategic and organizational change. In this course, we will discuss how leaders can prepare their firms for change. We will discuss the different challenges associated with identifying the need for change and with preparing the workforce for the implementation of planned change. Based on real-life examples, we will explore effective concepts and tools that can help master those challenges.
This session will shed light on how strategic choices are shaped by digital transformation, the pace of change and the imperative it creates for businesses. We will explore how companies are adapting (or not) and leveraging new opportunities in this competitive, technology driven environment. We will focus on what companies are doing in the different dimensions of their activities and the key challenges they face while embarking on a digital journey.
We will place special emphasis on the digital strategies companies are putting in place to engage with external partners and to harness open innovation to reinforce internal capabilities, different collaboration models and the most advanced strategies in innovation scouting.
This course delivers evidence-based frameworks on leadership and is carefully delivered to ensure participants have sufficient opportunity to understand, apply and practice these concepts. Participants will first establish their leadership purpose and build a robust, personalized plan to close the gap between their current leadership capability and desired end state. Participants will also develop strategies to influence and motivate teams and shape the organizational culture needed to embrace digital innovation.
The purpose of this course is to study the fundamentals of modern data analysis as they pertain to leadership in the digital age. Participants will learn about the potential pitfalls in data collection and how they may lead to biased data sets. The discussion will then move to a critical evaluation of the presentation of data in graphs or via summary measures. Finally, the focus of the course will be on the analysis of data sets and on the interpretation of numerical results for business purposes.
These twin courses participants with an introduction and an overall framework of value creation in the digital age. This course aims to provide participants with an introduction and an overall framework of value creation in the digital age. Key concepts of digitalization such as platformization, datafication and the GEAR framework of digital value creation (governance, enablement, amplification and value creation) are introduced. The framework will also be served as a navigator for Realizing Digital Value Creation (RDVC).
While digital markets offer great profit opportunities, online businesses pose distinctive management challenges, like strong network effects. In this course, we will explore how to successfully navigate these challenges. We will discuss strategies for launching a new online business, strategies for gaining market control, and strategies for the successful evolution of a business. In the last part of the course, we will discuss how market design techniques, e.g., dynamic pricing and reputation systems, can be used to create a well-functioning digital marketplace, and what new business opportunities blockchain technology offers.
We generate an estimated 2.5 exabytes a day. This data is also called the oil of the 21st century as it can contain a plethora of actionable insights. But the abundance of data makes consuming it like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant – a losing proposition. As a consequence, AI techniques are heralded as the solution.
This course introduces the relevant techniques to collect, process, and gain insights from large amounts of data. First, we will cover Big Data technology and illustrate how a start-up can process exabytes with simple scripts and a credit card. Next, we will introduce artificial intelligence techniques and how they can be used to mine data. Finally, we will focus on more recent AI technologies such as deep learning that have revolutionized many application domains. Practical exposure to these techniques and discussions on their maturity illustrate how they can be leveraged for businesses and society.
In this course participants will be introduced to the theory of disruptive innovation and will learn the patterns that lead established companies to fail and new entrants to win. They will also learn how incumbents can successfully react to disruptive attacks and how new entrants can develop disruptive business models. A special focus will be on digital disruption and on how digital technologies transform business models. Participants leave with a new perspective on understanding customer needs and identifying growth opportunities.
The ethical challenges surrounding digital transformation are not limited to the protection of privacy. In this module, participants will learn relevant ethical and legal principles, and how to apply them to a variety of digital transformation cases ranging from algorithmic discrimination and decision-making to liability issues triggered by autonomous systems, and the concept of contextual integrity of data. We will also examine the similarities and differences between the ethical and legal approaches to addressing these challenges.
You can read about entrepreneurship in a case and discuss innovation in a classroom but the only way to experience being on the cutting edge of business is to go to Silicon Valley. Here, you’ll have unfettered access to entrepreneurs and executives, learn about idea generation, start-ups, rapid growth, financing, IPOs, and leading explosive growth.
Discover the ecosystems that facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit, develop your innovation network, and discover the keys to building your innovative mind-set.
Immerse yourself in the unique ecosystem that combines interdisciplinary academic powerhouses like Harvard, MIT and start-ups in life sciences and data analytics that deliver scientific breakthroughs and technological advances.
The US East Coast is also home to some of the best-known technology and biotech companies in the world, which have been operating as large enterprises for decades. Perhaps it is the Wall Street effect, but investors on the East Coast take a more hard-nosed approach to business. Discover the difference in pitching, negotiating and accelerating in the US East Coast.
Known as one of the most entrepreneurial countries, Israel receives the most start-up funding in the world after the United States. Despite having almost no natural resources and poor infrastructure, Israel emerged in the 1990s as a high technology powerhouse, becoming known as “Silicon Wadi.”
Here, you will access the effective and sustainable entrepreneurial methodologies used by established corporations to transform ideas into value generating products and services. You will be given state of the art models, theories and practical tools in fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, based on methodologies and insights that Israeli professionals and academics have developed over the years.
Meet with government and business executives and experience the ecosystem that drives entrepreneurship in the “Start-up Nation”.
Understand business with the world’s new digital-age super power.
With the new and emerging trends in e-commerce, automotive, e-payment, AI, Big Data, Face Recognition and other technologies, China is set to lead the way as it transforms its market, economy, and society into a global, financial, manufacturing, and cyber powerhouse. The “New China” will affect almost every region around the world, every industry, both online and offline.
While the Chinese government continues to promote innovation by enhancing support for the commercialisation of scientific and technological achievements, the environment is challenging and competition is fierce.
Get on-the-ground insights on the dynamic Chinese economy, markets and culture. You’ll learn from executives who demonstrate the grit and innovative spirit needed to thrive in this budding international centre for innovation.
Switzerland is a thriving proving ground for start-ups and an innovation hub for digital, medical and financial technologies.
Here, diverse sectors of the economy come together to promote innovation. You will experience how businesses, governments and universities actively collaborate and exchange knowledge to expedite the transfer of research into marketable products and services.
Set against this backdrop, you will learn how to ideate and prototype your capstone project in an incubator environment under the guidance of leading innovators from Switzerland’s diverse sectors. You will also expand your understanding of the various factors in the innovation ecosystem that are required to launch successful breakthrough digital transformation initiatives.
In some modules you will work on current business challenges from real companies in Switzerland, Israel and the USA. Instead of learning from business school case studies, executives of companies from different industries and sectors present the challenges they face and ask you to provide them with a business solution. Working in teams, you will draw upon the diverse expertise and analysis of your team members to create innovative solutions and receive real-time feedback from the company’s executives on the viability of your proposed models, processes, products or services.
The global pandemic of 2020 firmly established the necessity of a sound digital strategy for businesses to not just thrive, but to survive. During the crisis, retailers and restaurants without a digital presence succumbed quickly to pressures such as physical distancing while digital orchestrators like Amazon dramatically expanded their market share.
Today, discussions about digital strategy have swung sharply from “why” to “how” and “what”. Around the globe, general managers are quickly moving digital strategy out of its silo into core business strategy as they try to identify their roles within the digital platform ecosystem. Google, Tencent and Alibaba have established their prowess as orchestrators of digital interactions and transactions. Should new entrants pivot their business models to act as aggregators, feeders, or enhancers? Or, dare they take on the giants as orchestrators? These are some of the questions facing managers adapting to the post-COVID world.
As digital strategies are created, managers must also consider new organizational models to support a successful transformation. How should they structure organizations for work? Should teams be designed around fixed employment or projects? How should they coordinate resources in these new structures? The future or work increasingly looks very different.
General managers are also grappling with the social implications of digital transformation. While AI and machine learning can increase business efficiencies, governments may decide to step in to regulate their use if wide-spread adoption leads to wide-spread job losses or rising public concern over data privacy, security and ethics. For example, the pandemic of 2020 demonstrated that massive job losses can happen nearly instantly. While governments can support unemployment in the short run, the risk of large sections of the population instantly becoming redundant threatens the entire fabric of society. Therefore, governments will seek and champion industry partners who can channel digital technology to create both efficiencies and social value.
We have entered unchartered territory sooner than expected. Managers need a multi-disciplinary approach to creating digital value and fast!
This is why a core component of the University of Zurich’s Executive MBA program is the challenging pair of courses on digital value creation. Designed by Michael Hilb, an entrepreneur, board member and professor, the pair consists of Digital Value Creation and Impact Project Exchange. Together, they bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and practical applications to deliver relevant skills general managers need to survive and thrive in the next decade and beyond.
Digital Value Creation launches the pioneering journey with in -depth analyses on digitalization trends, the implications of disruptive technology, governance issues and digital platform business models. The course acts as a navigation framework for participants as they journey through the program and begin the Impact Project Exchange journey towards the Master Thesis.
Impact Project Exchange spans fourteen months and is enriched by being delivered in incubator settings and with feedback from change agents.
Pioneering participants are guided through four stages of the innovator’s journey – ideation, design, execution and amplification – through three lenses. Beginning with the lab lens, participants use science and established theory to inform the ideation and design of their projects. They learn to rapidly generate ideas, practise problem framing, and test their ideas against theory. Next, using the factory lens, participants plan the execution phases of their impact projects while fine-tuning their designs under the guidance of advisors and experts. Finally, the studio lens helps participants conduct rapid market-testing with end-users, including employees, co-workers or clients.
Participants who choose digital value creation as the focus of their program thesis can expand their projects beyond this course to develop a mature, sophisticated and vetted business solution ready to be implemented back at their organizations. Participants and their corporate project sponsors benefit from developing new efficiencies, processes or products with regular consultation and guidance with our expert faculty throughout the program as participants fine-turn their thesis.
Throughout course, participants benefit from the insights of faculty advisors and seasoned change agents who have dramatically transformed businesses and industries. Industry experts from large tech companies, serial entrepreneurs, and leaders from traditional companies bring their significant breath of experiences creating digital value to shape the participants’ projects. Feedback will be fast and strong but invaluable in helping participants understand how to clearly define opportunities, navigate failures and pivot to adapt.
“A key takeaway from this course will be for these leaders to realize that in the age of disruption, you cannot rely on formal structures”, says Hilb. “By collaborating with change agents, our participants will realize the power of networks as a critical factor in their continuing ability to create value and to make an impact.”
To create value in the digital age, the innovator’s journey must be tested in the field. This is why significant portions of the Impact Project Exchange are conducted in innovation hubs and start-up environments. “Setting the course in incubators was critical to the design of the program,” says Hilb. “The setting immediately sets participants in the mindset required to innovate.”
After successfully completing the course, participants are able to spot and clearly articulate opportunities, develop these opportunities into real outcomes. The journey to bring their projects to maturity allows participants to reposition themselves within their companies, expand their networks and sharpen their ability to create value for themselves, their organizations and, ultimately, society in a hyper disruptive digital age.