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Open Strategy

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Open Strategy

Mastering Disruption from Outside the C-Suite

MIT Press,

15 min read
7 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Open up strategy and ideation to employees, customers – and even the general public – to spur innovation.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


Professors Christian Stadler, Julia Hautz, Kurt Matzler and Stephan Friedrich von den Eichen describe the proven, centuries-old practice of open idea sourcing, involving diverse groups of insiders and outsiders. They fortify their fascinating examples and evidence with step-by-step frameworks and tools for crowdsourcing, strategy jams, contests and competitions – all designed to garner wide perspectives and diverse thought in service of innovation.


“The wisdom of the crowds” matches or exceeds that of experts.

Until the early 1700s, sailors had great difficulty calculating longitude. Resultant navigational errors led to the loss of many ships until the British government devised an open contest to solve the problem. Sir Isaac Newton joined those seeking a solution to determining latitude, but a clockmaker with no formal education won the prize. 

Wise organizations and governments use similar crowdsourcing techniques today to generate ideas, solve problems and devise strategy.

Disruption, unprecedented competition and complexity render traditional strategic planning obsolete.

Attempts to develop, communicate and successfully execute a business strategy produced by a closeted team of senior executives often seem predestined to fail. Any small group seldom overcomes its biases and blind spots. The participants prove too similar in outlook and too accepting of each other’s ideas to create novel ideas, solutions or strategies. And they may protect cash cows and pet projects at the expense of innovation.

A small leadership team can’t recognize all facets of...

About the Authors

Professor Christian Stadler teaches strategic management at the University of Warwick Business School. Professors Julia Hautz and Kurt Matzler teach at Innsbruck University. Professor Stephan Friedrich von den Eichen teaches business model innovation at the University of Bremen and runs IMP Consulting in Europe.

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