Christmas Food for Thought 2021

Publicerat 20 December 2021

As the end of the year is approaching, we would like to thank all of you who have participated and co-created in our learning sessions. We hope that this holiday season will give you some time to relax and reflect. Therefore, we have put together a selection of 2021 book releases for you.

First on our list is Distinguishers: Winning Customers at Speed, Scale & Lower Costs. In this book, Sandra Vandermerwe, who coined the term customer focus in the late 1970s, revisits this crucial concept together with KTH Executive School faculty member David Erixon. The authors analyse companies that seem to be better than others at making and taking new markets. These companies think deeply about customers, recreate practices from the bottom up, and outpace and outgrow competitors. You can hear David give an extract of the book and present their four-step model in the video below.

The second book we recommend is Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and from Inside Amazon, written by Amazon alumni, Colin Bryar and Bill Carr. They describe how the company reached its state-of-the-art practices. It also offers advice on how others can adopt these practices. The title refers to Amazon’s product development process, which is about working backwards from the customer experience when deciding what to build. A way for innovation teams to move beyond products or technologies and focus on value crucial to customers.

We also recommend Upskill och reskill written by one of our highly appreciated faculty members, Pär Lager. It explores the essential challenge of how to make learning a part of work and life in general, every day. The author shows how to seize the new learning opportunities available, and describes three perspectives. You can hear Pär present his thoughts below (Both the book and the video are in Swedish).

Last but not least, we also selected The Future of Money: How the Digital Revolution is Transforming Currency and Finance. Eswar S. Prasad of Cornell University provides an overview of how digital technologies are transforming the financial system. The implications might be: physical money will disappear, central money bank money will compete with new private versions, financial intermediation will be transformed, and new opportunities will appear. As always, with opportunities come risks. In the words of the author, “A glorious future beckons, perhaps.”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Your friends at KTH Executive School