“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”

— PROF MICHAEL PORTER, Harvard Business School



Traditionally, strategy development methods rely on theoretical frameworks combined with lengthy data gathering and analysis. Being dogmatic and delivery oriented, they often do not integrate stakeholders in a participatory way. Resulting strategies often fail to meet expectations and, at worst, result in a 500+ page binder that never gets implemented

Strategy is about placing bets and making informed choices – deciding what to do and what not to do, where to compete and where not, and what value to offer at what price to whom. Strategy is about designing a business model that is desirable (customers are interested), feasible (the firm can deliver upon the promises made), and viable (the offering can be produced and sold at a profit) and that can succeed in a competitive environment. Strategy is about increasing the odds of success



We believe business model innovation is the foundation of any successful strategy …

… ensuring its desirability, feasibility, and viability in a competitive environment


We prototype ideas using intuition and follow an abductive reasoning approach …

… improving upon an initial design through inference towards a great strategy


We engage with stakeholders in a participatory way during the strategy process …

… maximizing their contribution to success and ensuring readiness to change


We understand that strategy is about differentiating in a competitive environment …

… by using game theory to anticipate how competitors may react to disruptive change


We at innovate.d have developed a design thinking based strategy development process to succeed in an ever faster changing business environment. Our latest book, Design Thinking for Strategy: Innovating towards Competitive Advantage, to be published by Springer Verlag, presents our approach towards crafting novel strategies that satisfy real customer needs, exploit the capabilities of the firm, and integrate the requirements to ensure financial success

We advise our clients on numerous strategic topics on their path to sustainable and profitable growth

  • Determining the primary dimension along which to compete as being customer centric, focusing on product and service innovation, leveraging core capabilities, or differentiating around prices
  • Identifying targeted customer segments, their jobs-to-be-done, their pains, and thought after gains as well as determining whom not to serve
  • Developing value propositions that satisfy distinct customer needs and are perceived as superior
  • Designing disruptive business models allowing to challenge the status-quo
  • Validating competitive market positioning using game theoretical tools, like Nash equilibria, or decision trees
  • Understanding the unique characteristics of new markets with respect to size, growth, maturity, sophistication, and competitiveness
  • Understanding competitors active in targeted new markets and their possible reactions to new entrants
  • Understanding the needs of customers in targeted new markets was well as their sophistication, willingness to change, and ease of servicing
  • Designing a market entry strategy based on acquisition and/or organic growth with respect to customers and capabilities
  • Understanding the brand value to customers and designing a strategy to optimize brand awareness
  • Developing a unique marketing message tailored to the targeted customers focusing on the value proposition as perceived by customers
  • Understanding which marketing activities apply best to which customer segments
  • Developing a social media marketing strategy focusing on generating leads and translating them into sales
  • Reviewing and streamlining the current products and services shelf structure and maturity of individual products and services offered towards future customer needs and strategic imperatives
  • Setting-up and managing the new product and service development pipeline focusing on a diversified portfolio of future offerings
  • Introducing a state-of-the-art product lifecycle management framework
  • Developing an offering strategy using game theory to cope with potential competitor reactions
  • Introducing value-based pricing models taking a customer perspective towards prices
  • Designing a pricing framework focusing on customer share of wallet rather than unrelated product or service prices
  • Maximizing profit margins by identifying the customer’s units of value and relating prices to value creation
  • Developing strategic pricing activities using game theory to cope with potential pricing wars
  • Rethinking customer communication channels using digital solutions, like apps, messengers, or chat bots, if and when desired
  • Determining the right balance between data digitization, user experience and business process automation, and digital business model transformation
  • Rethinking the IT systems architecture with respect to complexity, flexibility, straight-through-processing, and maintainability
  • Understanding and leveraging new technologies to gain/maintain a competitive advantage


Our design thinking based strategy review and development approach focuses on reducing the complexity early on by iteratively observing and learning. We use an enhanced variation of the Business Model Canvas framework as our primary design and communication tool. Through prototyping target business model ideas using intuition and validating them using experiments with real customers, implementable results that work are derived


Why not get in touch for a first non-committal discussion about how we can partner to modernize your strategy?



Although most of our clients value our confidentiality, some of them allowed us to showcase in an anonymized way what we helped them achieve

Our client had just completed a merger of two firms offering complementary financial services to their customers. We supported the board of directors and senior management of the merged firm in reviewing their corporate strategy and business model, with special focus on client ownership. Outcome resulted in an improved understanding of the merged firm’s strategic goals, especially with respect to customer servicing models and offerings portfolio, reducing conflicts of interests and avoiding duplications
The organizations structure of our client’s business came of age. It was no longer optimally aligned with customer servicing expectations. We supported the directors and senior management in reviewing and adjusting their business model. Using the business model canvas, we jointly developed and validated diverse options. The client finally retained a customer centric servicing model, that he subsequently implemented incrementally
Our client approached us requesting advise on selecting a new pension fund management software system. Early discussions showed that the client was unclear about its strategy. We supported our client in defining their business model to prepare for strategic technological decisions. Although the client thought its business model should be focused on serving beneficiaries, our joint analysis identified the ability to implement on superior pension plans efficiently as priority. Based on the outcome of the analysis, our client decided to select a pension fund management software system that supports flexibility in implementing plan changes over serving beneficiaries