Digital Strategies for Business: Leading the Next-Generation Enterprise

Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

The course is tailored to managers who would like to innovate new strategies and business models to enable their organization to thrive in the digital age. This course is best suited for professionals who want to think strategically and lead digital initiatives related to customer engagement, data analytics, channel alignment, lean innovation, product strategy and destructive competition.

Previous batches have come from:

  • Industries: Banking, Software, Consulting, Education and Healthcare.
  • Countries: United States, India, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Germany, UAE, Thailand, Switzerland.

About the course

Business is being disrupted by the advent of digital. Companies are racing toward transformation, but it requires leaders who think digital. David Rogers, faculty at Columbia Business School and a globally recognized leader on digital business strategy, has designed and developed this course to provide frameworks you can use to transform your company’s business model and thrive in the digital age.

The marketing paradigm has transformed with the rise of digital technologies. Companies today face a constant proliferation of social media channels, the growing power of connected customers, and an explosion of new digital tools. To succeed, marketers must be able to plan, implement, and measure the impact of digital strategies that are suited to today’s customers and integrated with their traditional marketing and business goals.


Emeritus and Columbia Business School Executive Education

Columbia Business School Executive Education is collaborating with online education provider Emeritus to offer a portfolio of high-impact online programs. These programs leverage Columbia’s thought leadership in management practice developed over years of research, teaching, and practice. By collaborating with Emeritus, we are able to broaden access beyond our on-campus offerings in a collaborative and engaging format that stays true to the quality of Columbia Business School Executive Education. You can read more about this relationship here.


Module 1 - 5 Domains of Digital Transformation


  • Pre-read – How Cities Score


  • 5 domains of Digital Transformation – Introduction – Part 1
  • 5 domains of Digital Transformation – Introduction – Part 2
  • 5 domains of Digital Transformation
  • Customers – Khan Academy Example
  • Competition – Co-opetition, Disintermediation and Asymmetric Competitors
  • Data – Example
  • Innovation – JC Penney Example
  • Innovation – Intuit Example of Indian Farmers
  • Value – The Metropolitan Museum of Art Example


  • Individual assignment – What are the strengths and weaknesses of your firm, your industry or the industry you are seeking to work in?

Module 2 - Customer Networks and the New Path to Purchase


  • Life Church Example
  • Customer Network Paradigm – Mass Market Vs Customer network model
  • Rethinking the Marketing Funnel
  • Mapping the “Path to Purchase”
  • Multichannel threat to Retailers – Part 1 – Showrooming
  • Multichannel threat to Retailers – Part 2 – Walmart example (Omni-channel)


  • Individual Assignment – Pick a recent non-impulse (high-involvement) purchase from the past year. Map out your path to purchase – research and interactions.

Module 3 - Understanding Digital Customer Behaviors


  • Introduction
  • Access Strategy
  • Engage Strategy - Part 1 & 2
  • Customize Strategy
  • Connect Strategy - Part 1 & 2
  • Collaborate Strategy


  • Individual Assignment – Develop an innovative customer initiative based on the framework learned.

Module 4 - Platform Business Models


  • Introduction and Rise of Platforms
  • What is a Platform?
  • 4 types of Platforms
  • Platforms – Then and Now
  • The Power of Network Effects
  • 4 Advantages of Platforms
  • Tool – Platform Business Model Map
  • How Platforms Compete – Part 1
  • How Platforms Compete – Part 2
  • Strategic Questions for Platforms


  • Individual Assignment: Map out the Platform Business Model map

Module 5 - COOPETITION, Disintermediation, and Asymmetric Competitors


  • Introduction
  • Co-opetition
  • Tool – Competitive Value Train
  • Tool – Competitive Value Train – Disintermediation and Intermediation

  • 2 Rules of Power in Value Trains

  • Changes in Strategic Assumptions


  • Individual Assignment: Draw a Competitive Value Train

Module 6 - Building Data as a Strategic Asset for Your Business


  • Introduction + Data as a strategic asset – Part 1 – Google Maps/ Apple Maps
  • Data as a key strategic asset – Part 2 – Nokia, the Weather company
  • Every Business Needs a Data Strategy
  • Case Study : Coca Cola
  • Case Study : British Airways
  • Case Study : The New York Times


  • Individual Assignment: Self-reflective – Is your business using data as a strategic asset? Where can it improve?

Module 7 - Big Data at Work: New Data, New Tools and Templates of Value


  • Big Data
  • New Sources of Unstructured Data
  • Tools for Unstructured Data
  • Availability of the Tools
  • 4 Templates of Value – Insight
  • 4 Templates of Value – Targeting
  • 4 Templates of Value – Personalization
  • 4 Templates of Value – Context
  • 3 Myths of Big Data – Myth 1
  • 3 Myths of Big Data – Myths 2 & 3


  • Group Assignment - Develop an innovative data initiative by applying the four templates of data value.

Module 8 - Innovation Through Experimentation: A/B Test and Minimum Viable


  • Introduction
  • 2 Kinds of Experiments
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 1. Learn Early
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 2. Be Fast and Iterate
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 3. Fall in Love With the Problem, Not the Solution
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 4. Get Credible Feedback
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 5. Measure What Matters Now
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 6. Test Your Assumptions
  • 7 Principles of Experimentation – 7. Fail Smart
  • The Convergent Experimental Method
  • The Convergent Experimental Method – Petco and Obama Experiments
  • When to use Convergent Experiments
  • The Divergent Experimental Method
  • The Divergent Experimental Method – Setting Limits and More than one Solution
  • The Divergent Experimental Method – MVP – Minimum Viable Prototype (or Product)
  • 4 Ps: Iterative decisions in ENTERPRISE Innovation
  • When to use Divergent Experiments


  • Group Assignment: How would you design an experiment to learn the best path with a given scenario?

Module 9 - Translating the Lean Startup to Enterprise Scale Innovation


  • Introduction + 4 paths for Scaling Up an Innovation
  • 4 Paths – Path 1 – MVP Roll-Out
  • 4 Paths – Path 2 – MVP Launch
  • 4 Paths – Path 3 – Polished Roll-Out
  • 4 Paths – Path 4 – Polished Launch
  • Picking the wrong path – Google Glass example
  • Organizational Challenges – Part 1 – Leading and Who Experiments?
  • Organizational Challenges – Part 2 – Building a Test and Learn Culture
  • Organizational Challenges – Part 3 – Planning to Fail
  • Organizational Challenges – Part 4 – Celebrating Failure


  • Individual Assignment: Assess your own company’s barriers to innovation

Module 10 - Adapting Your Value Proposition


  • Adapting your value Proposition: Customer Centricity during Rapid Change – Napster/iTunes case
  • How to adapt to a Shrinking Market – 3 Routes Out of a Shrinking Market
  • 1st Route – New Customers
  • 2nd Route – New Value
  • 3rd Route – New Customers + New Value
  • The New York Times: Adapting to Its Value Proposition – The Problem and the New Value they created
  • The New York Times: Adapting to Its Value Proposition – Organizational Shifts and Results
  • Adapt before you must
  • 5 Concepts of Market Value
  • Introduction of the Tool – Value Proposition Roadmap
  • Changes in Strategic Assumptions : Value Application
  • Group Assignment 1: Identify Key Customer Types by Value Received.
  • Group Assignment 2: Define Current Value for Each customer.
  • Group Assignment 3: Identify emerging threats.
  • Group Assignment 4: Assess the strength of the Current Value Elements.
  • Group Assignment 5: Generate new potential value elements.
  • Group Assignment 6: Synthesize a new Forward-Looking Value Proposition.

Module 11 - Mastering Disruptive Business Models

Highlights of Disruption

  • Disruption in the Digital Age
  • Theories of Disruption - Schumpeter + Christensen
  • Theories of Disruption - Problems with Christensen’s Theory
  • A Business Model Theory of Disruption
  • Two Differentials of Disruptive Business Models
  • 3 Cases of Business Model Disruption – iPhone
  • 3 Cases of Business Model Disruption – Netflix
  • 3 Cases of Business Model Disruption - Warby Parker
  • Tool + Summary


  • Group Assignment: Creating and assessing a disruptive business model

Module 12 - Surviving Disruption: 6 Incumbent Responses to a Disruptive Challenger


  • 3 Variables of Disruptive Business Models – Customer Trajectory
  • 3 Variables of Disruptive Business Models – Scope
  • 3 Variables of Disruptive Business Models – Multiple Incumbents

  • Tool – The Disruptive Response Planner

  • Six Responses – 1. Acquire the Disrupter

  • Six Responses – 2. Launch an Independent Disrupter

  • Six Responses – 3. Split the Disrupter’s Business Model

  • Six Responses – 4. Refocus on Your Defensible Customers

  • Six Responses – 5. Diversify Your Portfolio

  • Six Responses – 6. Plan for a Fast Exit


  • Group Assignment: You will be given a scenario to analyze the threat, and plan your response using the tool, The Disruptive Response Planner

Module 13 - Leadership and the Customer Value Imperative Frameworks


  • Role of Leadership in Digital Era
  • Understanding the Organizational Issues
  • Balancing Incubation and Integration
  • Customer Value Imperative and Course Wrap-up


David Rogers

Faculty Director Executive Director of BRITE, Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School Faculty Member, Executive Education David Rogers is the founder and host of the Center on Global Brand Leadership's acclaimed BRITE conference on brands, innovation, and technology, wher...

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Digital Strategies for Business: Leading the Next-Generation Enterprise at Columbia Business School

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