Wharton Executive Education Introduces Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age

Program helps companies find a systematic, repeatable process to transform their current business models.

July 18, 2018

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

Philadelphia, PA: When most people think of innovation, they think of technology. But there is a way for businesses to become innovative that does not require investing millions of dollars in research and development to produce a new technology. In fact, there is another form of business advancement that does not include the risk and cost of a conventional approach to innovate—and this different approach can lead to significant competitive advantages.

Wharton Executive Education’s new program Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age is designed to provide leaders in every industry with a systematic, repeatable process for analyzing and transforming their current business models—a process that can uncover ways to dramatically improve profitability and increase productivity.

“Transforming your business model differs from traditional innovation in a number of important aspects,” says Serguei Netessine, who is the academic director of the program and a professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Most companies innovate by developing a new product, service or technology. Increasingly though, it’s becoming riskier and doesn’t provide the ROI it once did.” Business model innovation, in contrast, is less costly and can be done anywhere in a company.

“It demands neither new technologies nor the creation of brand new markets,” says Netessine. “It’s about delivering current products produced by existing technologies to existing markets. And because it often involves changes invisible to the outside world, it can bring advantages that are hard to copy.”

Grounded in the research of Netessine, an internationally renowned expert and published author in the subject, Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for executives tasked with finding new avenues of growth to learn directly from the experts. Wharton faculty, led by Netessine, will help program participants conduct an audit of their current business models and uncover ways to dramatically improve profitability and productivity. Attendees will also learn how to experiment with and prototype their ideas so that they can get organizational buy-in and execute on new business models when they return to work.

“Without a framework for identifying opportunities, it is hard to be systematic about the process,” says Netessine. “This explains why it is generally done on an ad hoc basis.” Instead, it should become a discipline within organizations, repeated regularly and systematically. This is especially important for companies relying on business models that haven’t changed for decades, and for those growing wary of the risk of traditional innovation.

“Every industry has companies who are losing their competitive edge, or whose conventional methods for growth are no longer producing ROI the way they used to,” says Netessine. “They may be relying on business models that haven’t changed for decades—and are prime targets for disruption. Business model innovation can get that competitive edge back, and because it often takes place behind the scenes, it can create advantages that are difficult or even impossible to copy.”

For more information about this program, visit: Business Model Innovation in the Digital Age.


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 13,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 98,000 graduates.


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The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
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