Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age

Program Overview

Companies today — no matter their size, history, or industry — are constantly looking over their shoulder. Facing hyper-competition and increasing demands for growth, they see innovation as their best hope, typically focusing on new products, services, and technologies. But the cost of those innovations is significant, in terms of money, time, and risk. What these companies are missing is a systematic framework for creating and implementing profit-generating ideas that leverage existing products, markets, and infrastructure.

That opportunity can be seized by innovating your business model. Less risky and less costly than other forms of innovation, it can also add powerful competitive advantages. Success, though, requires a structured process that eliminates guesswork and subjectivity and can be duplicated across all areas of the organization. Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age enables business leaders to learn and adopt this process — and uncover potential innovations that range from simple but highly effective adjustments to industry-disrupting changes that are difficult or even impossible to copy.

Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age - Serguei Netessine

In Business Model Innovation, participants will discover new ways to dramatically improve profitability and productivity within their organization, says Academic Director Serguei Netessine.

Program Experience

In Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age, you will:

  • Uncover within your organization currently unidentified ways to dramatically improve profitability and productivity
  • Improve your ability to get organizational buy-in and execute on new business models
  • Conduct an audit of your current business model and generate ideas for innovations
  • Learn a systematic framework for evaluating, experimenting with, and prototyping your ideas
  • Develop defense mechanisms beyond intellectual property protection
  • Master a framework for driving and managing innovative change in your firm

A Systematic Framework: Discover a structured process that eliminates guesswork when designing a business model.

Most organizations systematically and rigorously maintain and monitor key metrics such as quarterly financial statements, productivity levels, and market position. But they rarely evaluate their business models as thoroughly, leaving the opportunity to modify and even transform these models untapped. Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age helps participants unlock this potential by developing a process for innovation that can be managed and turned into a driver of growth.

Unlike innovation that involves the creation of new products, services, or technologies, this brand of business model innovation can come from anywhere in the company. It requires fewer resources and less time to implement, and can result in innovations that are far more profitable and transformative than product- or technology-driven ones.

Embrace Failure: Professor Serguei Netessine says failure is part of the process when innovating a business model.

Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age provides a systematic framework that relies on practical management rather than startup agility or luck. You will begin applying this framework to your own business during the program, conducting an audit of your current models and identifying areas for potential innovations. You will also learn a process for experimentation that addresses weaknesses in proposed business models and experiment with those models to quantify their value and viability. Working in small groups, you will apply class learnings to a real company.

Because the critical last step in the process is implementation, you will be immersed in a half-day simulation on change leadership, strengthening your ability to get buy-in and drive change in your organization. You and your team will act as consultants to a company going through a change effort, working to successfully sell that effort to those in the organization. This powerful learning experience, a highlight of the program, allows you to apply new approaches, learn from real-time feedback, and hone your skills.

Led by Professor Serguei Netessine, a global thought leader in business model innovation, the program also leverages the expertise of other Wharton faculty who specialize in big data, artificial intelligence, business ecosystems, and digital disruption. In addition, successful business model innovators will share their experience and insights with participants in two highly interactive sessions. By the end of the program, you will have the tools and skills needed to create value in your organization and to better position it in your market and industry.

Business Model Audit: Uncover within your organization currently unidentified ways to dramatically improve profitability.

Session topics include:

  • The Imperative of Business Model Innovation in the Age of Digital Disruption
  • Navigating Digital Disruption
  • Transforming Around Big Data and AI
  • Lean Development and Discovery-Driven Planning
  • Business Model Innovation in Large Organizations
  • The Risk Driven Business Model Approach
  • Leading and Managing Innovative Change
  • Platform Ecosystems: Strategies that Leverage Networks
  • Opportunities & Challenges of Digital Transformation

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Listen to Faculty Interview:

Professor and Vice Dean of Global Initiatives Serguei Netessine talks about Business Model Innovation for the Digital Age on Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for executives who are experiencing significant changes in their markets, anticipating more nimble and robust competition, and/or facing profit margins that are under pressure. The curriculum is particularly relevant for business unit leaders who have been tasked with finding new avenues for growth within an existing product line, service, or geographic territory. C-suite-level executives, and board members seeking to maintain their organizations’ relevance and standing in their industry will also benefit.

Job titles may include:

  • Managing Director, Regional Director, Country Manager
  • Senior Vice President, Vice President
  • Director of Business Development
  • Innovation, R&D Manager

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Serguei Netessine

Serguei Netessine, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions; Departmental PhD Program Coordinator; Vice Dean, Global Initiatives, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Business model innovation, operational excellence and entrepreneurship

Eric Clemons

Eric Clemons, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions, Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Information technology and business strategy, managing the risk of information technology implementations, risk-reward tradeoffs in outsourcing and off-shoring

Saikat Chaudhuri

Saikat Chaudhuri, DBASee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Associate Professor of Management; Executive Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Mergers and acquisitions, organizational adaptation, outsourcing, technological innovation

Kartik Hosanagar

Kartik Hosanagar, PhDSee Faculty Bio

John C. Hower Professor; Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Internet advertising, internet marketing, and media

Rahul Kapoor

Rahul Kapoor, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Innovation, technology management and strategy, industry evolution, firm boundaries, business ecosystems

Nancy Rothbard

Nancy Rothbard, PhDSee Faculty Bio

David Pottruck Professor; Professor of Management; Chairperson, Management Department, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career development


I'm the founder and president of DMD America, Inc. I offer pharmaceutical and biotech companies a data solution around drug product and pricing information. Our company has had a great run, but as you get bigger, you get nervous about somebody else coming along with a better strategy or way of executing. That’s why I took Business Model Innovation.

To my delight, Professor Netessine and the other faculty taught me how to think differently, so we can protect our company’s future. Professor Clemons framed how companies like Amazon, Netflix and other major disruptors were able to take advantage of market opportunities. He was really good, a solid storyteller with a great sense of humor.

My key takeaway really was understanding how to redefine our business model as it relates to our overall and long-term strategy, and we’ve done quite a bit at my company since I returned from the course. The business model we were shown in the class applies to any company of any size in any industry. So we adapted our thinking, and it helped us frame the secret sauce our company has that makes customers want to work with us. It got everyone excited, and we’re not looking back. This is how we’re doing things in the future.

I’d recommend the course 100%, to any business. It would be especially good for companies who are incumbents, to challenge their thinking and clear out the cobwebs of what seems to be working now but might not work so well in six months or a year. I enjoyed the class so much that I decided to take another Wharton Executive Education course, Strategy and Management for Competitive Advantage.”“

Bill LittleFounder and President, DMD America, Inc.

Date, Location, & Fees

September 30 - October 4, 2019Philadelphia, PA$10,950

May 4 - 8, 2020Philadelphia, PA$10,950

Download the program schedule, including session details.

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