Workshop at the HWZ

Workshop "Rethinking Business"

fluidminds offers seminars and workhops on Business Model innovation and customer insights. During the workshop participants learn how to use the tools like the Business Model Canvas for their own company. For corporations, custom-designed workshops are possible. If  you are interested in further information, please contact Patrick.Staehler[at]

Course Description

In 2008 the financial crises has spread to the whole economy and a recession is expected for 2009. Companies prepare for the dire situation by cutting costs and by hoarding cash. Growth and investments in new ventures are definitely not on the top of agendas for 2010.

Despite all this growth remains the most important value driver for companies, since growth attributes more to share holder value than the cash flow from existing assets. Even for big, established companies such as General Electric a big proportion of their market value is based on the expectation that they will grow thanks to new initiatives and not just by  squeezing more cash out of their existing assets.

Note, that some of the most successful companies such as Apple and Microsoft were founded during the recession after the first oil crisis in the mid 1970s. Luckily, the founders had no idea how bad the economical circumstances were at that time. Dell and Compaq were founded in the aftermath of the second oil crisis. Google grew after the burst of the Internet bubble. So there seems to be anecdotical evidence that bad times create new opportunities or to quote Joseph Schumpeter - there is creative destruction that breeds new firms.

At all times due to the resource allocation process (e.g. budgeting or investment processes) firms invest in sustaining innovations which help improve their existing product range or which make their existing processes more efficient. Traditional strategy tools like competitors' analysis, benchmarking, Porter's five forces or the analysis of today's customers' needs and habits lead to strategic convergence. This means, that the strategies of the competing companies within an industry are converging so that none can achieve a lasting competitive advantage. They compete with the same weapons so that nobody can achieve a sustainable profit. It is like an arms race that nobody can win.

The course focuses on disruptive innovations that will shape the future of an industry and create new market spaces with less competition. Traditional courses on innovation strategy focus on product and process innovation, at fluidminds we focus on disruptive Business Model innovations. The course is not about the optimization of an existing strategy or of existing processes, it is about rethinking the core of a firm, its Business Model.

Course objectives

Participants will

  • understand what strategic innovation and Business Model innovation are
  • find ways to build game changing Business Model innovation
  • understand the dominant logic of a firm and an industry
  • learn the limitations of today's resource allocation and strategy process in the innovation process
  • be able to overcome the limitations of the firm's dominant logic by using the Business Model framework to describe today's business
  • find starting points for Business Model innovations
  • understand the role of today's customers and their inertia for innovations that do not fit their dominant logic
  • be able to manage the difficulties in the adoption and diffusion process of a Business Model innovation

What do participants think of the course?

"it dramatically influenced my way of thinking"
Manager mail order house

"it turned out to be one of the courses of the 1st semester with the most "early wins" for my current work."
VP Business Development

"I felt it is more important to understand why the customer likes / dislikes a product offering than telling him/her why he/she should like it from the seller's point of view."
Manager mail order house

The course was "characterized by a hands-on and practical approach...which yielded valuable insights for real-life Business Model innovation through numerous practical exercises."
VP HR, logistics


Dr. oec. Patrick Stähler
Partner fluidminds GmbH
Tel: +41 79 770 27 09



The foundation of Business Model Innovation in English

"It's almost 20 years ago, when our founder, Dr. Patrick Stähler, wrote his Ph.D. on Business Models in the Digital Economy. To celebrate this, we have decided to translate the work into English, so more people can enjoy the texts."