“Gamechangers” by Peter Fisk (in German)

Introduction to the German edition of “Gamechangers”:

Living in Freiburg im Breisgau, I began to see the world differently. Maybe it was the fresh Schwarzwald air, or the effect of the Baden wines. More likely it was being at the heart of Europe, and at a time of German unification. Gone were the old politics of east and west, and the impact of new markets and digital technologies was just beginning. I studied in a physics research lab at Albert Ludwig Universitat, but my interest was much more in the changing human world. When the old Trabants rolled across the borders, it was a time of new thinking and opportunity, optimimism and excitement.

The world keeps moving forward. Change is relentless, accelerated by technology and globalisation, with new experiences and expectations. In the last 25 years, since my time living in Frieburg, markets have changed more than in the previous 100 years.  Whilst great German companies – from Adidas to BASF, AXA to BMW – have been powerhouses of their sectors for many years, they face challenges from new countries and new competitors, new technologies and new business models. The best new ideas are already out there – banking learning from hospitality, pharma from food, airlines from gaming – and from the new entrepreneurial hubs of Hyderabad, Schenzen, or even Nairobi.

“Gamechangers” are the new breed of businesses who play a different game. They don’t believe that success is achieved through heritage and scale, they imagine new possibilities through creativity and partnerships. They are uninhibited by the old conventions of business, and have little respect for the established boundaries of markets and nations. They embrace digital, fused with physical, to explore new ways of working, of engaging customers, and driving growth – embracing social networks, collaboration and customisation, franchising and syndication, advocacy and branded movements.  They win through imagination and ideas, by out-thinking the competition.

Whilst living in Freiburg, I developed a love of mountain running. The pain of the oxygen-depleting, muscle-burning ascent of mountains like the Kaiserstuhle, was quickly offset by the inspiring view across the Alps from the summit. In a similar way, today’s business leaders need to think bigger, see further, and imagine the future in their own vision. “Gamechangers” can be big or small, start-ups or established giants, with the attitude and confidence to win in this incredibly exciting new business world.

Be bold, be brave, be brilliant.

Prof. Peter Fisk, IE Business School and GeniusWorks

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