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Enhancing our Understanding of Business Ecosystem Dynamics and the Capabilities Companies Need to Succeed

“ The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different ” - Peter F. Drucker

Who We Are

The Center for the Future of Organization is an independent think tank at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.

We strive to serve as a premier global hub for applied research and practical discourse on new paradigms of Leadership and Organization with special regards to the role of digital technologies as drivers of competitive advantage.

We achieve this through customized research projects and think tanks, executive education and advisory, and by a global virtual platform for knowledge development and exchange.

How We Work

In the tradition of Peter Drucker, we work across disciplines, combining conceptual depth with practical applicability and ethical responsibility.

In the spirit of bridging communities we work in close collaboration with thought and practice leaders from academia, business, and consulting and a high-level network of corporate supporters from across the globe.

Together, these elements form a unique multi stakeholder network and learning architecture.

What We Do

Contributing insights and enabling cross-functional dialogues about the challenges of globally networked organizations

Customized Think Tanks and Dialogue Platforms

Formats that connect global thought leaders and senior executives for an in-depth exploration of specific issues

Applied Research that Makes an Impact

No ivory tower research for academic journals but relevant action research that helps organizations to master the challenges of a digitally connected world.

C-level Briefings and Strategic Advisory

Designed to contextualize insights from our research and think tanks to provide tangible and actionable perspectives for transformational change initiatives.

Executive Programs

Interventions that generate awareness about the key challenges of networked organizations and help develop the related individual and organizational capabilities


Upcoming Events

ABC Round Table: Ecosystem Leadership

June 13, 2023  |  08:00 am – 9:30 am Pacific Time

What are key success factors for business ecosystem engagement? What kind of mindset and behaviors do leaders and their organizations need to effectively navigate a non-hierarchical, horizontally networked system? What are the related political, strategic, and organizational implications?

In our tradition of connecting perspectives from Academia, Business, and Consulting (ABC), we have invited a mix of prominent thought and practice leaders to an unscripted dialogue in which they will explore these questions.

This event is connected to the current edition of Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ) which focuses on Business Ecosystem Leadership. All participants of this Round Table have contributed as authors to this issue.

Past Events


ABC Round Table: The Quest for Purpose

About this Event

Purpose is one of the big buzzwords of our times – both when it relates to personal growth and self-realization or the cornerstones of a company’s strategic orientation, its values, and its contribution to society and the planet.

Like it is the case with curiosity – the topic of our last Round Table – purpose remains an elusive concept that has been puzzling philosophers, theologians, psychologists, strategists, leadership developers – you name it.

In our tradition of connecting perspectives from Academia, Business, and Consulting (ABC), we have invited some of the world’s most prominent thought and practice leaders to engage in an unscripted dialogue on the subject.

This round table event is free of charge.



ABC Round Table: Organizational Curiosity

Organizational Curiosity Nov 3, 2022, 8:00 - 9:30 am PST | Zoom

Our “ABC” Roundtables are an online event format to which we invite some of the world’s most prominent thought and practice leaders from the world of Academia (A), Business (B), and Consulting (C) to engage in unscripted conversations on key issues of 21st century leadership and organization.

We produce these Round Tables in close association with our JV partner Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ), which allows us to dig even deeper into the topics we choose: You will find ideas and viewpoints of Round Table participants in dedicated DLQ contributions, and we provide a summary of highlights of each dialogue in the next issue of the magazine.


Research Projects

Business Ecosystem Leadership and Organization

Towards a Capability Framework for Leaders and Organizations

Leadership and Organization in the Context of Digital Transformation

A Corporate Consortium Action Research Initiative

The Global OSML Index ®

Leveraging Social Media for Competitive Advantage

Executive Programs


Linking Talent From Academia, Business, and Consulting

Roland Deiser

Founder and Executive Chairman, CFFO

Roland Deiser is a Senior Drucker Fellow and serves as the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Center for the Future of Organization. Prior to his engagement with the Drucker School he served for 10 years as a Senior Fellow with the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California (USC).

Roland is a Associate Professor of Political Science and has held teaching and senior research positions at numerous universities in Europe and the United States. He has published four books and more than 40 articles in scientific and professional journals and books. Throughout his career, Roland put a strong emphasis on linking academia with practice. He was the founding Dean of DaimlerChrysler’s Corporate University and created the Executive Corporate Learning Forum (ECLF), a global network of large multinational corporations that jointly explore how to develop and sustain strategic capabilities in fast changing environments (www.eclf.org).

As a keynote speaker, he has been addressing audiences in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and he has been working as an advisor to Fortune 500 corporations such as BASF, Bertelsmann, Credit Suisse, Cisco Systems, Daimler, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Xerox, SAP, or Siemens. He has also served as an expert for the German Federal and State Commission on the impact of the Internet on the future of universities.

Selected Publications

How to Succeed in Business Ecosystems. A Capability Framework for Business Ecosystem Leadership. (CFFO Press 2021)

Organizing for Business Ecosystem Leadership. Insights from Expert Conversations and a Global Survey (CFFO Press 2020)

Shaping the Future of Transformational Learning. ECLF Conversations and Cases from the Last Five Years. (ECLF Press 2020)

Digital Transformation Challenges in Large and Complex Organizations (CFFO Press 2018)

Designing the Smart Organization: How Breakthrough Corporate Learning Initiatives Drive Strategic Change and Innovation (Jossey Bass, 2009)

Transformers: Executive Conversations About Creating Agile Organizations (ECLF Press, 2014)

Six Social Media Skills Every Leader Needs (with Sylvain Newton, McKinsey Quarterly, 1/2013)

Talent Management in the Creative Age. In Borensztejn, H (ed.): Growing Talent – a Corporate Duty (Marshall Cavendish 2010)

Bernie Jaworski

Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts

Professor Jaworski joined the Drucker School in 2012 after having served as IMD’s executive vice president for North America, expanding the Switzerland based school’s reach into the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Prior to working at IMD, Jaworski spent a decade as a senior partner of the Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. During his Monitor career, he co-founded and co-led two of the global practice areas – the e-commerce practice and the executive education unit.  Among other activities, he was a senior team member of a number of significant, multi-year corporate transformations.

From 1996 to 1999, Jaworski served as the Jeanne and David Tappan Marketing Fellow and a tenured full professor of marketing at the University of Southern California, where he ranked as one of the top five marketing scholars based on number of publications and citations. He has also served on the faculty at the University of Arizona and as a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, as well as on the review boards of the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research. He is the co-author four textbooks on e-commerce and has taught topics including leadership, corporate strategy, and service management. His most recent book is The Organic Growth Playbook (2018), co-authored with Robert S. Lurie.

The Organic Growth Playbook

Bob Pickard

Executive Fellow | PR Counsel

Bob Pickard (@bobpickard) is a respected leader in the international public relations industry, and an expert in corporate communication, social public relations and leadership image. He was recently listed in PR Week of London’s ‘Global Power Book’ as one of his industry’s most influential executives.

The co-founder and principal of Signal Leadership Communication Inc., Bob specializes in social media and PR counsel for executives and organizations dealing with digital disruption, especially on image, issues, relationships and reputation.

Before Signal, over 25 years Bob built multinational PR consulting businesses based in the United States, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Canada. His positions included Asia Pacific CEO of Burson-Marsteller, North Asia President of Edelman, and Founding Partner/EVP of Environics Communications.

A member of the Canadian delegation to the UN Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 1992, Bob has a long record of involvement in sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and climate change communication advocacy.

He has often appeared in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, BBC World News, CBC News, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Channel News Asia, China Central Television (CCTV News), The Globe and Mail, etc.

Richard Straub

President, Peter Drucker Society Europe

After stepping down from his executive role in IBM by end of 2005 concluding a 32 years career in the company, Richard Straub has taken on a working portfolio at the intersection of Academia and business. This includes the roles of the Director of Development at the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), Secretary General of the European Learning Industry Group (ELIG) and Senior Advisor to the Chairman IBM Europe, Middle-East and Africa. In preparation of the Centenary Peter Drucker Forum to be held in Vienna in November 2009 he established the Peter Drucker Society of Austria of which he is currently the President.

In the course of his international IBM career Richard Straub held various executive line and staff positions in IBM such as Assistant General Manager PC Marketing for IBM Europe based in Paris, global Chief Learning Officer based in the US and Director of Learning Solutions for Europe, Middle-East and Africa.

For the last 10 years he has been increasingly involved in European Union level industry initiatives in the area of skills, lifelong learning and innovation as Chair of the European Career Space Consortium (ICT skills and new University curricula required for the 21st Century Economy), the Living Labs Policy Group and the Open Innovation Strategy Group.

Richard is married with Ilse and has 2 children and 4 grandchildren. He lives in Paris, France.

Leandro Herrero

Executive Fellow

Leandro Herrero has pioneered the concept of Viral Change™ – an innovative approach to creating large scale behavioral and cultural change in complex organizations. He is the author of several books on the subject of leadership and the management of change, including Homo Imitans, Viral Change, Disruptive Ideas, New Leaders Wanted and The Leader with Seven Faces.

A psychiatrist by background, Leandro spent many years in hands-on leadership positions in global companies before founding The Chalfont Project Ltd, a consulting group dedicated to 21st century organizational architecture and design. He is also the founder and chairman of the Viral Change ™ Global network of companies.

Leandro is frequent speaker at international conferences and serves as a senior advisor to Boards and top management teams of large organizations on issues of change, leadership, human collaboration, organizational branding and innovation. He holds a Medical Doctor degree from the University of Barcelona, and an MBA from Henley College. He lives in Beaconsfield near London, UK.

Mark Abdollahian

Clinical Professor

Dr. Mark Abdollahian is one of the world’s leading experts in data driven strategic decision making, with special emphasis on advanced predictive analytics. His global experience spans national policy, corporate strategy, economic development, finance, public-private partnerships, M&A and business process reengineering.

Mark creates, architects and implements enterprise class data and strategy analytics used by the US Government, the World Bank and the United Nations as well as private sector companies worldwide, including Arthur Andersen, Motorola, McKinsey, Raytheon, British Aerospace, Chevron and DeBeers. Dr. Abdollahian develops, manages and applies behavioral and predictive analytics to strategic and operational issues across government and business, focusing on bringing to market next generation innovations today.

Dr. Abdollahian is author of dozens of articles and two books on data driven strategy across business, politics and economics. He is a board member for several private and nonprofit enterprises and lectures to audiences worldwide. Dr. Abdollahian is a Full Clinical Professor at the Division of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University, cofounder of Sentia Group, and currently chief executive officer of ACERTAS.

In addition to his degrees in Political Science, History, and French from Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Abdollahian holds a Master’s degree in Foreign and Defense Policy and a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Mathematical Modeling from Claremont Graduate University.

Arvind Bhambri

Professor of Strategy and Organization

Arvind Bhambri specializes in strategic change, competitive strategy, global business development, and leadership. He has twice received the Golden Apple Award for MBA instruction. In a 2008 special report on executive MBA programs by the Wall Street Journal, Professor Bhambri was profiled as one of fourteen best Executive MBA professors worldwide. In 2009, he received the Evan C. Thompson Award for Learning and Teaching Innovation.

Professor Bhambri has served on the faculty of USC’s Marshall School of Business for more than 30 years. In addition, he has served on the faculty of the Getty Museum Leadership Institute, Bocconi University, University of Hawaii’s Advanced Management Program, and the Owner Managed Business Institute in Boston.

He is also a seasoned top executive coach and has been advising top executives and boards on issues of strategy, organization and leadership since more than 30 years. Among other projects, he was significantly involved in the design and implementation of GE’s famed Work-Out program.

Arvind holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Master in Management from the Indian Institute of Management. He lives in Pasadena, California.

Sven Hackmann

Executive Fellow

Sven Hackmann is a business leader with an extensive background in technology innovation, business incubation, complex transactional negotiations and venture investing. Throughout his career he has developed strategies and businesses across sectors including transportation, energy, municipal infrastructure and healthcare. His background uniquely combines leadership experience in global corporate contexts with the entrepreneurial start-up world.

Svan currently serves as Managing Partner at Rapid Venture Partners, an early stage innovation and venture development firm, which creates sustainable businesses through de-risked partnership models and superior operating performance.  Previously, Hackmann served as Executive Vice President of Veremonte, an international investment and holding company based in London, where he was responsible for developing Veremonte’s growth strategy, including acquisitions, equity investments, joint ventures and partnerships.  In that capacity, he worked on the development of Formula E, the first FIA sanctioned all-electric race-car series.

Prior to joining Veremonte, Sven spent twelve years in senior leadership roles with Siemens where he was widely recognized as an intrapreneur for supporting the launch of multiple businesses.  As Vice President of the Siemens US Cities Program, he was responsible for the organizational development, roll out and ongoing success of Siemens’ strategic initiatives related to Smart Cities and infrastructure development in the United States.  Within Siemens Healthcare, he was instrumental for developing the company’s entrepreneurial healthcare business.

Roderick Millar

Fellow | Director of Publishing

Roddy Millar is the Editor-in Chief of of Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ), a quarterly magazine which he founded in 2011 to provide scholarly and practical insights on Executive Development, Corporate Learning, and Organizational Change. He is also the CEO of Ideas for Leaders, a fast-growing library of insights from global thought leaders and scholars on issue relevant for managers and executives, and the founder of the Scottish Leadership Institute.

In January 2022, Ideas for Leaders entered into a Joint Venture with the Center for the Future of Organization to reinvent and co-publish DLQ as a pocket-sized periodical that combines thought and practice leadership with a social dialogue platform. Through established strategic partnerships with more than 50 top business schools and a growing number of Fortune 500 corporations, DLQ has unique access to cutting edge thinking and practices.

Roddy received his Master degree of Arts in Economic and Social History from St. Andrews University, and his MBA from the University of Houston. He lives with his wife and three children in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Leonard Lee

Executive Fellow

Leonard Lee is the Founder and Managing Director of neXt Curve, a San Diego-based research advisory firm specializing in helping enterprises identify and pursue value opportunities forming at the nexus of emerging technologies that are shaping an increasingly digital global economy.

Leonard is a former Managing Partner with Gartner Inc. and Associate Partner with IBM and PwC. He has extensive experience helping Global 500 companies drive business innovation and value through digital technologies and has helped top technology firms with their go-to-market strategies for their products and services.  As an associate partner with IBM’s Electronics Center of Competence, he led collaborations with IBM Research in first-of-a-kind projects applying emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (Watson), advanced analytics and modeling, 3D printing and what is now known as the Internet of Things across a wide range of supply chain, predictive maintenance and resource optimization use cases.

Leonard’s experience covers multiple industries, having led innovation and transformation initiatives for leading corporations in entertainment & media, telecommunications, financial services, energy, pharmaceutical, and the technology and electronic industries.  Among other projects, he led the integration programs for some of the largest M&A transactions in the pharmaceutical and technology industries, as well as global digital strategy initiatives for an oil & gas major and a leading technology company.

Joseph Pistrui

Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Joseph Pistrui is an accomplished scholar in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation and family business. His most recent research has focused on entrepreneurial thinking, managing and leading styles with an emphasis on how to best teach entrepreneurial practices to students and executives.

Joseph’s long-standing international career is rooted both in academia and management. Over the last 19 years, he has been serving as a Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at IE Business School. During his tenure, he held the positions of Dean for Executive Education, Director of the Entrepreneurial Management Department, Co-Academic Director of the IE-Brown University joint EMBA, and founding Academic Director of the Senior Fellows Program.

While at IE Business School Joseph founded the IE Venture Lab accelerator, co-designed the inaugural IE Brown University joint EMBA, and he served as a founding faculty member of the Global Senior Management Program developed and delivered jointly by IE Business School and University of Chicago-Booth School of Business. Joseph continues to serve as an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at IE University.

Before turning to academia, Joseph worked 25 years in various executive positions, first with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the United States (eleven years) and later as an adviser to global organizations such as AstraZeneca, BBVA, Bosch, BT, Citi Group, DT, Financial Times, HSBC, Microsoft, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, Vestas, and others. His contribution to these organizations has been based on his distinctive ability to navigate between the practice of management and a wide-ranging set of management theories.

In addition, Joseph has been an adviser to countless early stage startup teams, and he has been a co-founder in three early stage educational technology startups. In 2018 he co-founded Kinetic Thinking, a learning and development framework that helps managers to move intentionally among four styles of thinking when facing entrepreneurial situations. The framework with its bespoke models and assessment tools facilitates pathways for personal and professional development and helps organizations build entrepreneurial thinking, as well as managing and leading capabilities.

Joseph holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ferris State University.  He was born in Detroit, Michigan USA, has lived and worked in Europe since 1993, and currently resides in Madrid, Spain.

Selected Publications

Recursive & Discursive Mode Of and For Entrepreneurial Action (together with Dimo Dinov, European Management Review, 2019)

The Role of a Manager Has to Change in 5 Key Ways (HBR.org 2018/10)

The Future of Human Work Is Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy (HBR.org 2018/01)

To Seize the Future, Create a Leadership Circle (HBR.org 2016/06

How Managers Can See the Future More Clearly (HBR.org 2015/10)

David Sprott

Henry Y. Hwang Dean, Drucker School of Management

David Sprott is the Henry Y. Hwang Dean and a professor of marketing in the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management and is on faculty at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. His research interests include retailing, branding, influence strategies, and marketing public policy.

He received his PhD in Marketing from the University of South Carolina and earned a BA in Business and an MBA from Kent State University. Prior to his arrival at the Drucker School, Sprott served as professor of marketing and dean of the College of Business at the University of Wyoming. At UW he led a renewed strategic vision embracing the student experience, quality academic research, and economic engagement of the state. Previously Sprott served on the faculty at Washington State University for more than two decades and held the Boeing/Scott and Linda Carson Chair of Marketing, among other leadership positions; he was a recipient of an Outstanding Faculty Research Award from the WSU College of Business.

Sprott’s research has been published in leading scholarly journals including Journal of Applied PsychologyJournal of Consumer ResearchJournal of MarketingJournal of Marketing Research, and Journal of Retailing. His teaching interests include retail management, leadership, brand management, consumer behavior, sales management, and research methods at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels.

Sprott is the author and co-author of numerous publications, including serving as co-editor of Handbook of Research on Customer Engagement, (Edward Elgar, 2019).

He is a member of several marketing and consumer organizations, including the American Marketing Association, Association for Consumer Research, and Society for Consumer Psychology.

Saar Ben-Attar

Executive Fellow

Saar Ben-Attar is the founder and Managing Partner of Ascent Growth Partners, a consultancy that focuses on strategic innovation and ecosystem-driven growth, supporting the fast-growing economies in Africa and Southeast Asia with offices in Johannesburg and Singapore.

Saar has been working with companies and their leadership teams for over 20 years, helping them to realize their growth aspirations by scaling innovations in rapidly changing markets. His clients include multinational corporations as well as SMEs and emerging companies from a range of industries such as Resources, Energy, Telecoms and Financial Services.

Recognizing the significant value that is created at the edge of an organization’s borders and beyond, Saar’s work is based on an innovation-driven approach to growth, which taps into broader opportunities in the ecosystem. In this context, he and his team at Ascent Growth assist clients in framing their strategic ecosystem challenges, re-shaping their related leadership mindsets, and developing the practical skills needed to transform their organizations into more adaptive and future-ready businesses.

Saar received a Bachelor of Business Science from Cape Town University and is an ASP Certified Strategic Management Professional.

Suzie Lewis

Executive Fellow

Suzie Lewis is a global business leader and executive coach with extensive experience in driving international transformation projects. She currently serves as the Managing Director of Transform for Value, an advisory firm that supports senior leaders and organizations on the human dimension of transformation, with a focus on building sustainable ecosystems and assuring sustainable change,

Before founding Transform for Value, Suzie served as a global Digital Transformation Leader for Airbus where she was responsible for developing and scaling the human-centred strategy for digital transformation across the organization. During her almost 20-year tenure in the aerospace industry, she led numerous flagship projects in the areas of culture change, digital transformation, innovation, strategy and governance, talent management, and lean/agile methodologies.

Suzie is a frequent keynote speaker and serves as a lecturer both for companies and business schools. She is the host of the popular Let’s Talk Transformation podcast series, which features world-class thought leaders exploring issues such as the future of work, platform-based business models, tech for good, new leadership trends, and more.

Suzie holds a BA in French and International Relations from Staffordshire University and an MA in French Literature from Toulouse University. She also is certified in the field of systemic coaching and in Agile and Design thinking.

Michael Lewrick

Seníor Expert | Business Ecosystem Design

Michael Lewrick is an internationally renowned thought leader on Design Thinking, who is known for his hands-on approach that provides practical instruments and frameworks for driving innovation, digital transformation, and business growth in the complex world of networked organizations.

He serves as an Affiliate Senior Expert with the Center for the Future of Organization, where he leads the Center’s Bootcamp Program on Business Ecosystem Design.

Michael is the author of an international bestseller series that includes The Design Thinking Playbook (2018), The Design Thinking Toolbox (2020), and Design Thinking for Business Growth (2022), which have been translated in multiple languages.

Prior to establishing his own advisory practice, he served as Chief Innovation Officer at the Telecom provider Swisscom and as Head of Innovation Labs of Deloitte Switzerland. As a postdoctoral researcher he helped shape the Design Thinking paradigm at Stanford University’s Design School.

Michael received his MBA from Bristol University and a PhD from Edinburgh University. He lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

Andrej Drinovsky

Director Consortium Initiatives

Andrej is an international talent management leader and coach. As a champion of agile principles, he creates human-centered organizational contexts for people to unlock their potential, engage in conversations, and assume self-responsibility for learning and co-creation across boundaries. He is the co-founder of the Agile Leader Research Group, which helps define the leadership qualities needed for a sustained agile transformation.

Andrej leads also the Executive Labs project at the Center for the Future of Organization, an initiative that connects cross-functional executive teams across companies and industries to jointly address complex issues organizations face.

Before starting his own advisory practice in 2021, Andrej served for more than 15 years in various roles at Erste Group, a leading European bank with 46,000 employees in 7 countries, where he last led a cross-functional agile team to design and implement an Executive Talent & Succession process with an emphasis on boundary-spanning, human-centered, transformational experiences.

He is a CTI-certified professional coach and holds a PhD in Talent management and Business Administration from Comenius University in Bratislava.

Partner With Us

We are in the midst of fundamental technological, political, and societal changes which reshape context of business.

Our Corporate Partnership Program connects corporations through conversations and consortium initiatives to jointly reflect and work on the transformational challenges leaders and organizations face.

We invite senior executives and corporations who share our values and have a keen interest in co-shaping the future of leadership and organization to get involved.


The Quest for Purpose – a CFFO/DLQ Round Table

by Roland Deiser (Transcript)

Purpose is one of the big buzzwords of our times – both when it relates to personal growth and self-realization or the cornerstones of a company’s strategic orientation, its values, and its contribution to society and the planet. Hosted by CFFO Chairman and Senior Drucker Fellow Roland Deiser, a round table of global thought and practice leaders explores this elusive subject that has been puzzling philosophers, theologians, psychologists, strategists, and leadership scholars alike.

The session features three lead authors of the Q1/2023 edition of Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ), which is co-published by CFFO: Ranjay Gulati, Harvard Business School professor and author of the 2022 business book bestseller Deep Purpose, Ralf Schneider Managing Director of the boutique consultancy Better Business (2B) and Sertac Yeltekin, General Partner of Purpose Venture Capital.  In the last 20 minutes of this session, two guests from the audience are joining the conversation.

Virtual Round Table | March 2023

Business Ecosystem Leadership – The State of the Practice

by Roland Deiser

Slide Deck Featuring Highlights from a Global CFFO Survey

In November/December 2022, we conducted a global survey to get insights into the current maturity level of Business Ecosystem Leadership, using the CFFO Ecosystem Leadership Index (ELX), an instrument we recently developed to assess companies along the 9 dimensions of our proprietary Capability Framework (see our paper How to Succeed in Business Ecosystems)

This slide deck provides an overview about the results of the study. A more detailed narrative report will be available soon.

Slide Deck | February 2023 | 55 pages

How to Succeed in Business Ecosystems: A Capability Framework for Business Ecosystem Leadership

by Roland Deiser

Building on our previous research about Organizing for Business Ecosystem Leadership, the paper defines and discusses nine critical capabilities organizations need to actively shape business ecosystems, leverage their potential, and serve as a constructive, indispensable player in such a dynamically evolving universe.

Structured along the three dimensions of strategy, organization, and relationship management, the nine domains form a powerful combination of structures, systems, and mindsets that provide a tangible guideline for companies who want to thrive in the new ball game.

32 pages | CFFO Press, 2021

Shaping the Future of Transformational Learning. ECLF Conversations and Cases from the Last Five Years

by Roland Deiser (Editor)

How do you design business processes as learning opportunities? How do you become an enabler of an ubiquitous learning culture? How do you support strategic and organizational change and act as an engine for transformation and innovation?  What capabilities, mindset, processes, and roles are required for this, and what is the appropriate operating model? What does this mean for the positioning of L&D in the overall stakeholder universe? What does it mean for the identity of the function?

Shaping the Future of Transformational Learning celebrates ECLF’s 15-year anniversary by sharing detailed summaries from seven events of the Executive Corporate Learning Forum (ECLF), a network of L&D leaders from about 50 global corporations. The book also includes eleven mini-case studies from ECLF members, featuring practices and strategic initiatives from companies such as Airbus, The Bank of Russia, Bertelsmann, Cisco Systems, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, ENI, Fiat Chrysler Automotive Group (now Stellantis), Siemens, and more.

Coffee Table Paperback, 412 pages | ©2020 ECLF Press

Design Thinking for Business Growth: How to Design and Scale Business Models and Business Ecosystems

by Michael Lewrick

In a business ecosystem, different companies collaborate along and across previously sacrosanct industry barriers, encouraging innovation and the development of groundbreaking new products and services.

Design Thinking for Business Growth delivers an eye-opening, fresh approach to designing and scaling business models and ecosystems. In this book, CFFO Senior Expert Michael Lewrick delivers a comprehensive procedural model for the design, development, and implementation of business ecosystems. He also presents the most critical design methods and tools you’ll need to make your own ecosystem a success.

352 pages | Wiley, 2022

Building and Leading Business Ecosystems – a Podcast with Roland Deiser

by Roland Deiser & Suzie Lewis

In this episode of her Podcast “Let’s Talk”, former Airbus Digital Transformation leader Suzie Lewis interviews Roland Deiser about building and maintaining business ecosystems in today’s world. The discussion touches the shift from individual to collective, the changes from 20th-century linear management models to more interconnected and collaborative approaches as well as boundary management in complex environments.

This is a verbatim transcript of the interview. You can listen to the podcast here

Podcast Transcript 08/2020

Organizing for Business Ecosystem Leadership

by Roland Deiser

To compete successfully in the digital age, companies must be able to shape and leverage an increasingly complex network of internal and external stakeholders, which constitute their “Business Ecosystem”. This means new challenges for leadership, strategy, and organization.

To gain insights into how organizations deal with this challenge, the author conducted a series of in-depth interviews with thought leaders and top executives as well as a global survey among senior leaders that focused on understanding the strategic and organizational capabilities it takes to act successfully within ecosystem networks. The responses point to existing capability gaps and offer perspectives on how to close such gaps.

The first part of the paper identifies 12 key issues that need to be on the agenda of organizations if they want to lead within the context of business ecosystems.  The second part reports the results of the survey, revealing the current state of ecosystem engagement.

CFFO Press, 2020

The Agility Challenge – an ECLF/CFFO Roundtable

by Roland Deiser

Over the last few years, agility has become a mantra for many – especially large – organizations. Hosted by Senior Drucker Fellow Roland Deiser, a round table of global thought and practice leaders takes a closer look at the challenges organizations face in their journey towards more speed, flexibility, and innovation power.

Bain’s Darrell Rigby, who just released his latest book Doing Agile Right and Amazon’s Michael Arena, author of Adaptive Space shed light on the agility challenge from two complementing angles. They are joined in conversation by GE Ecosystem Transformation Leader Peter Cavanaugh, who is currently engaged in a major transformational effort at his company. In the last 20 minutes of this session, Janin Schwartau (Chief Learning Officer at Thyssen Krupp) and Mathew Jacob (Transformation leader at Novartis, previously Shell) are joining the Round Table as guests from the audience.

Click here to view a full video recording of the session.

Virtual Round Table | June 2020

Digital Transformation Challenges in Large and Complex Organizations

by Roland Deiser

Based on in-depth conversations with more than 30 top executives from six major global corporations, the paper discusses nine key challenges large organizations face in their complex journey towards digital maturity. Understanding these challenges and their interplay will help leaders to structure the complex arena of large-scale digital transformation efforts.

CFFO Press, 2018

The Flipping Point: Deprogramming Management

by Leandro Herrero

Business is working in tunnel vision mode through the lenses of a limited worldview. Prestigious business schools and Big Management Consulting firms produce daily pieces of ‘research’ that are mere journalistic accounts of what 100 or 300 CEOs say. These CEOs repeat what they have read in the publications of the same business schools and Big Management Consulting firms. The circle of that colossal groupthink is alive and well. Organizations are now fully prepared for the past.

This book of 200 tweet-sized vignettes, twitter-on-paper, which can be read in no particular order, looks at the other side of things – flipping the coin. It asks us to apply more rigor and critical thinking in the way we use assumptions and management practices that were created many years ago.

Paperback: 240 pages | Publisher: Chalfont Project T/A Meeting Minds Publishing (May 18, 2020)

The Organic Growth Playbook

by Bernie Jaworski

Jaworski and Lurie show convincingly how a focus on changing high-yield customer behaviors can consistently drive faster revenue growth. Drawing on decades of client work, they provide a detailed, engaging account of a proven system for accelerating—or even doubling—growth. Their system has been adopted by a host of Fortune 500 firms as their marketing and growth planning process.

American Marketing Association (September 28, 2018)

Transformers – Executive Conversations About Creating Agile Organizations

by Roland Deiser

Transformers features 10 years of executive conversations about contemporary issues of leadership, organization, and transformational learning. It contains close to 100 summaries of speeches, discussions, case studies, and research results from the history of the Executive Corporate Learning Forum (ECLF).

Combining conceptual frameworks from thought leaders with lessons learned from the experiences of dozens of global corporations, the book is packed with insights about how to enable and drive of strategic competence in large and complex organizations.

ECLF Press, 12/2014

Six Social Media Skills Every Leader Needs

by Roland Deiser & Sylvain Newton

With 120,000+ downloads one of the most popular articles in the history of McKinsey Quarterly.

Over the last few years, social media has become an ubiquitous form of communication and collaboration, and in its wake, organizational social-media literacy is quickly becoming a source of competitive advantage. The article describes the impact of social media on leadership and organization, and it provides a six-dimensional framework of personal and organizational capabilities that are key to leverage its potential.

McKinsey Quarterly, 2013/1, pg 63-75

Homo Imitans

by Leandro Herrero

Behaviors change culture, not the other way around. Behavioral imitation explains how social change happens, how epidemics of ideas are formed, how social fashions appear, and how company cultures shape and reshape themselves. Understanding how social, behavioral infection works is the basis for the orchestration of any ‘epidemic of success,’ be it a successful change inside a firm or a counter-social epidemic to tackle negative socio-macro phenomena.

‘Homo Imitans’ will appeal to anybody interested in social change, with particular emphasis on how Viral Change™ works inside an organization. As such, this is a practitioner’s book for any manager and leader of any organization.

The Chalfont Project t/a Meeting Minds Publishing (April 25, 2011)

Viral Change

by Leandro Herrero

Viral Change(TM) provides a novel framework for change. Based on recent ‘discoveries’ across disciplines such as network and behavioral sciences, it shows how a combination of the right language and frame, a small set of non-negotiable behaviors (all spread by a small number of activists) and the creation of ‘tipping points’, creates lasting cultural change in organisations.

meetingminds; 2nd edition (July 15, 2008)

Designing the Smart Organization: How Breakthrough Corporate Learning Initiatives Drive Strategic Change and Innovation

by Roland Deiser

Filling a gap in the literature, this book offers an innovative interdisciplinary approach to learning for corporate strategic development, linking the domains of strategy, organizational design, and learning. To demonstrate how this process drives the boundaries of the practice way beyond the established notion of simple training and management education, the book is filled with detailed case studies from leading global organizations, including Siemens, ABB, BASF, the US Army, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EADS, Novartis, and more.

These studies reveal how large-scale corporations are using the power of dynamic corporate learning approaches to drive innovation, enhance cultural values, master post-merger integration, transform business models, enhance leadership culture, build technological expertise, foster strategic change processes, and ultimately increase bottom-line results.

Hardcover: 352 pages | Publisher: Pfeiffer; 1st edition (October 26, 2009)

Insights From the ECLF Silicon Valley Learning Expedition

by Roland Deiser

In fall 2011,  a group of 20 senior L&D executives from major global players such as GE, Cisco, ArcelorMittal, Fiat, Siemens, Deutsche Telekom, Santander, and others  joined an ECLF Learning Expedition to the Silicon Valley which was curated and led by Roland Deiser.  The paper features a summary of insights from conversations with various experts, innovators, start-ups, and L&D colleagues from the region.  It represents a synthesis of  thoughts and feedbacks that were generated by the group, structured into 20 key insights along four domains:

  • Insights about Innovation
  • Insights into the Development of Organizational Culture
  • Insights into L&D, Recruiting, Talent Management, and Leadership Development
  • Insights into the Future of Work and Organizations

ECLF Report | 14 pages | Los Angeles, 2011


Business Ecosystem Leadership – the State of the Practice

For the last three years, our research at the Center for the Future of Organization has been focused on increasing our understanding of the capabilities leaders and organizations need to succeed in business ecosystems, culminating in a nine-dimensional capability framework.

Based on this framework, we have developed an Index for Ecosystem Leadership (ELX) that provides unique insights about the current maturity state of a company.

To test the Index, we conducted a global survey among 167 corporations. This video is a recording of a webinar in which CFFO Chairman Roland Deiser discusses the framework and shares the findings of this research.

The Quest for Purpose – a CFFO/DLQ Round Table

March 6, 2023

Purpose is one of the big buzzwords of our times – both when it relates to personal growth and self-realization or the cornerstones of a company’s strategic orientation, its values, and its contribution to society and the planet. Like it is the case with curiosity – the topic of another of our Round Tables – purpose remains an elusive concept that has been puzzling philosophers, theologians, psychologists, strategists, and leadership scholars alike.

In our tradition of connecting perspectives from Academia, Business, and Consulting (ABC), we have invited three outstanding individuals to engage in an unscripted dialogue on the subject:

Ranjay Gulati | Author of “Deep Purpose” | Professor at Harvard Business School
Ralf Schneider | Managing Director, Better Business | formerly SVP at HSBC
Sertac Yeltekin | Co-Founder and General Partner | Purpose Ventures (Singapore)

The session is hosted by Roland Deiser | Senior Drucker Fellow and Chairman of the Center for the Future of Organization at the Drucker School of Management (CFFO)


We produce these Round Tables in close association with our JV partner Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ), which allows us to dig even deeper into the topics we choose: You will find ideas and viewpoints of Round Table participants in dedicated DLQ contributions, and we provide a summary of highlights of each dialogue in the next issue of the magazine.

Recorded March 6, 2023 | Length: 1:30:22

Organizational Curiosity – A CFFO/DLQ Round Table

November 3, 2022

Curiosity is in high demand, and business books about the subject proliferate. Major corporations have declared it to a key value they pursue. We should not be surprised. After all, curiosity drives creativity and innovation, creates connectivity, and fosters cross-boundary collaboration – key ingredients organizations need in times of digital transformation and ecosystem-based value creation.

In the CFFO tradition of connecting perspectives from Academia, Business, and Consulting (ABC), this round table brings together some of the world’s most prominent thought and practice leaders of this space to engage in an unscripted dialogue on the subject:

  • Simon Brown | Chief Learning Officer of Novartis and Co-Author of “The Curious Advantage”
  • Francesca Gino | Harvard Business School Professor and Author of “Rebel Talent”
  • Perry Zurn | Philosophy Professor and Co-Author of “Curious Minds – the Power of Connection”
  • Saar Ben-Attar | Managing Director, Ascent Growth Partners and Executive Fellow, CFFO

The session is hosted by Roland Deiser | Senior Drucker Fellow and Chairman of the Center for the Future of Organization at the Drucker School of Management (CFFO)

We produce these Round Tables in close association with our JV partner Developing Leaders Quarterly (DLQ), which allows us to dig even deeper into the topics we choose: You will find ideas and viewpoints of Round Table participants in dedicated DLQ contributions, and we provide a summary of highlights of each dialogue in the next issue of the magazine.

Recorded November 3, 2022 | Length: 1:30:22

Business Ecosystem Leadership – Capabilities you Need in the New Ball Game

Si Sihan, Founder of Catalytic Edge and the Antifragility Institute, sat down with CFFO Chairman Roland Deiser to explore and discuss the Capability Framework for Business Ecosystem Leadership which has been developed at the Center for the Future of Organization.

Recorded October 27, 2022 | Length: 46:33

The Agility Challenge – an ECLF/CFFO Round Table

Over the last few years, agility has become a mantra for many – especially large – organizations. Hampered by bureaucracy, cumbersome processes, traditional hierarchical thinking, and other diseases of the 20th-century management paradigm, they seek ways to redesign their structures and processes to allow for fast and flexible responses to the exponentially accelerating pace of change. Hackathons, swarms, shark-tank formats, tech hubs, incubators – initiatives designed to uproot established business and operating models proliferate, fueled by an ever-inventive consulting industry.

More often than not, these efforts are toothless innovation activism that happens on the fringe, in spaces that are disconnected from the core. Can we even turn large tankers into speed boats? This Round Table takes a closer look at this conundrum.

Bain’s Darrell Rigby, who just released his latest book “Doing Agile Right” and Amazon’s Michael Arena, author of “Adaptive Space” shed light on the agility challenge from two complementing angles. They are joined in conversation by GE Ecosystem Transformation Leader Peter Cavanaugh, who is currently engaged in a major transformational effort at his company.

In the last 20 minutes of this session, Janin Schwartau (Chief learning Officer at Thyssen Krupp) and Mathew Jacob (Transformation leader at Novartis, previously Shell) are joining the Round Table as guests from the audience.

AI in the Context for Corporate Learning

This Round Table, produced by ECLF and the Center for the Future of Organization at the Drucker School of Management, focuses on the emerging role of Artificial Intelligence in the context of Corporate Learning. As digital transformation dynamics trigger massive workforce transformation, large organizations are challenged with the design of quickly scalable learning architectures that allow for highly personalized, just-in-time learning.

Infosys and Siemens – both tech-heavy organizations with a significant headcount of employees – have been leaders in exploring how to leverage AI and ML for this purpose. Their global heads of Learning will be joined in conversation by Professor Tom Davenport, a world-renowned thought leader whose latest book “The AI Advantage: How to put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work” is a perfect fit with the topic.

A full transcript of this video is available upon request. If you are interested, please leave a comment or contact office@eclf.org.

Building Innovation Capabilities

Co-hosted by ECLF and the Center for the Future of Organization, three thought and practice leaders from the domains of Academia, Business, and Consulting explore one of the perennial challenges organizations face: How to build the capabilities to sustain innovation on an ongoing basis.

The “ABC” composition of the panel lends itself to a conversation that bridges conceptual thinking with real-life experience. We address innovation issues such as ambidexterity, ideation-incubation-scaling challenges, the role of innovation ecosystems, and more, and we discuss how to build the necessary capabilities to deal with them.


Driving Organizational Change

In this inaugural ECLF Virtual Round Table senior executives from Airbus, Cisco, Siemens, and ThyssenKrupp share their perspectives on “Driving Organizational Change” in an informal watercooler chat format.

Care – the Currency of Organizational Networks

Listen to the Maestro of Organization design, Roland Deiser share insights about Organizational design, networks, Innovation, and business ecosystems. Depth, clarity, seamless flow of thoughts – all rolled in one in this wonderful conversation. Enjoy!

Recorded June 24, 2020  |  Length: 46:16

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