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Beyond Innovation: Business Models for Transformative & Competitive Advantage


Organisations based on traditional business models are coming under increasing pressure, from the forces of globalisation to digital disruption and rapidly changing buying patterns. Some of the most successful businesses of the last 10 years have been built on new business model concepts; models that encourage innovation and are always a step ahead of the competition. 

Now more than ever, businesses need to actively review and adapt their business models to ensure they have a blueprint for success. 

This new online programme is specifically designed for those with strategic responsibility for the direction of their organisation or business unit. It will support leaders through the process of reviewing, refining and delivering on a winning business model.

The programme

This six-week online programme offers the opportunity for you to access the expertise and insights from Cambridge academics from anywhere in the world. 

Each week will consist of three to five hours of applied learning and real-time interaction with Cambridge academics. The programme will cover multiple modules, offering you the opportunity to directly apply the learning to your specific challenges. 

You will have the opportunity to learn from successful businesses through the use of fully interactive case studies, which bring to life theory and practical application. 

On completion of the six-week programme you will have a clear understanding of the concepts and practical tools required to build a strategically significant business model.

Business model innovation goes online

Traditional business models are under increasing pressure, from changes in the market place, rapidly developing innovation and divergent buying patterns...

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Over the six-week programme you will delve into six key modules, with a practical assessment taking place at the end of each week. In the sixth week, you will use all that you have learnt to submit your final assessment which counts for 60 per cent of your final grade.

You will come away with a tangible, evidence-based assignment that can be used to gain support from senior management for fundamental change within your organisation or business unit.

Week 1
Orientation week – Familiarise yourself with the learning platform, the online programme team and the programme structure. Learn some common misconceptions around business models and understand the context and parameters for the discussion moving forward.

Week 2
Describe – What is a business model? Break apart business models and look at the big picture. You will be asked to fully and accurately describe your own current business model context.

Week 3
Analyse – Qualitative matrix and profit formula. Compare different company business models and identify how they determine competitive advantage. You will make a statement about how sustainable for growth the business model is in comparison to others.

Week 4
Propose – Six degrees of Innovation. Look at the characteristics of a transformative business model and understand how have they significantly changed industries. You will identify areas for potential change in your industry or business model and identify opportunities for transformation.

Week 5
Experimentation – Using case study examples, understand what it takes to change a business model and offer something truly innovative. You will experiment to see if your chosen opportunity is sustainable and profitable.

Week 6
Portfolio – Dive in to the business model innovation challenge. Put together your final proposal for an innovative change within your business context.


By the end of the six weeks, you will:

  • Have a strong, evidenced proposal for fundamental change within your organisation.
  • Develop the organisational capability to transform your business model through innovation.
  • Understand and use the tools and frameworks to assess business models and propose a viable way forward.
  • Systematically explore what kind of change innovates your business model.
  • Be comfortable thinking innovatively.
  • Study and learn with peers from around the world in an interactive and engaging way.
  • Receive full support along the way with a dedicated administrative contact and tutor.
  • Gain access to and feedback from University of Cambridge faculty and fellows.
  • Enjoy online study, reducing the need for time out of the office and travel. You will have the flexibility each week to access learning materials, balancing professional and personal responsibilities.
  • Receive a Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education signed certificate on successful completion (subject to passing the project work, interacting in the live session and forums and completing weekly peer reviews).

We limit the group sizes to a maximum of 25 participants. We feel that this gives each individual maximum opportunity to discuss and debate with the faculty, tutor and each other during the six weeks, whilst benefiting from a mixed and diverse group.

Who should attend

You will be an:

  • Executive in any size company, small or large, who is in a position to effect change, either within your strategic business unit, or on a wider level.
  • Executive in a senior level positions tasked to explore the future of your company’s business model.
  • Executive looking to make tangible impact in the direction of your organisation.
  • Executive looking to better your current business model and how you can propose areas for improvement and change.
  • Executive who wishes to identify ways that your organisation can maintain competitive advantage.
A transformational business model requires opening up your organisation to the right kind of innovation. This programme is an opportunity to explore what innovation means to you, reflect on your organisational direction and find a narrative that works for your future.
Stelios Kavadias, Academic Programme Director

Faculty & speakers

Stelios Kavadias

Professor Stelios Kavadias

Academic Programme Director
Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth and Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre

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Professor Stelios Kavadias serves as the Associate Dean of Research at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) and as the Director of CJBS's dynamic Entrepreneurship Centre. He is an expert on the innovation and growth challenges that small and large organisations face, and passionately shares this expertise with senior executives several open or custom executive education programmes. He directs the CEO Growth Challenge programme offered by the Entrepreneurship Centre, and has led custom programmes with major corporations such as HSBC, Barclays, Bayer AG, Qingdao Bank, etc.

As an expert on innovation he serves as an Associate Editor for Management Science's Entrepreneurship and Innovation department, and as the Department Editor for the R&D, New Product Development and Project Management department of Production and Operations Management Journal. Recently his work on transformative business models featured in Harvard Business Review, and Barclays sponsored a research report on scale-ups that he co-developed with a team of experts from CJBS. He is often invited as a keynote to leadership events for major corporations and has authored award winning case studies.

Prior to coming to the School, Stelios held the Steven A. Denning chair of Technology and Management at Georgia Tech in the USA, where he directed the GE Energy Project Leadership Management Programme. He has also been a Batten Fellow at the Batten Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Darden School of Business.

Christoph Loch

Professor Christoph Loch

Director of Cambridge Judge Business School
Professor of Management Studies

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Professor Christoph H. Loch is the Director (Dean) of Cambridge Judge Business School. Under his leadership, the School has risen in prominence driven by a strategy of deep engagement with organisations to connect knowledge creation with practical impact, especially in Executive Education, where CJBS aims to inform and facilitate problem-solving and behaviour change across a range of strategic challenge areas for corporate clients. He pioneered the CEO Growth Challenge Programme for scale-up companies and has continued to lead a few very senior level engagements with blue chip companies.  

Christoph’s overall research and consulting experience lies in the management of innovation in organisations, including technology strategy, strategy cascading, project selection, concurrent engineering, project management under high uncertainty, collaborative problem solving, and performance measurement. He also examines the motivation of professional personnel in organisations (such as R&D organisations), in particular, the emotional aspects of motivation and performance. His research impact, was recognised by the academic community through his appointments in several editorial boards such as Operations Research, Management Science, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management (JETM) and Research Technology Management, and he was identified as one of the top 10 researchers worldwide in innovation in the Journal of Product Innovation Management in 2012. He has published 50 articles in leading academic journals and 20 articles in managerial journals and management books; he has also co-authored four books on managing highly novel projects, on management quality in manufacturing, on management quality and competitiveness, and a handbook on the management of product development. Several of his case studies have been award winning and used in business schools across the globe. 

Before 2011, Professor Loch was Chaired Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD. There, he served as INSEAD's Dean of the PhD programme from 2006-2009, and as the director of the INSEAD Israel Research Center from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining INSEAD, he worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company in their San Francisco and Munich offices, after earning an engineering degree in Germany, an MBA at the University of Tennessee, and a PhD at Stanford.

Kostas Ladas

Dr Kostas Ladas

Associate of Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School

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Dr Konstantinos Ladas is an Associate at the Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School. He served as project manager on the relationship of technology and innovation for the School's Executive Education division. Previously he was head of network strategy - responsible for the fixed network - at OTE the incumbent telecom operator in Greece. He has more than 20 years’ experience in a broad range of high-level management positions in telecommunications and has served as adviser to the CEO responsible for technology selection and collective labour agreements negotiations.

Dr Ladas holds an MPhil in Techology Policy from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA. He has authored several papers in electromagnetics, mathematics and business journals.

Nektarios (Aris) Oraiopoulos

Dr Aris Oraiopoulos

University Lecturer in Operations Management

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Aris' interests lie in the area of new product development and R&D management, and particularly in collaborative settings such as joint projects between pharmaceuticals and bio-tech companies. Such projects are characterised by their highly uncertain nature and substantial costs, and therefore, mechanisms for managing risk and rewarding risk taking among the various partners are critical. In addition, he is interested in understanding how diverse perspectives regarding the key project metrics might amplify learning mechanisms, or alternatively, give rise to consistent biases that will undermine the project selection (e.g. new drug development) process. 

Aris’ research efforts are focused on how firms can improve their new product development (NPD) processes from the creation of new opportunities to the selection process to the implementation and development. His work has been invited for presentation in numerous academic conferences, and has been published in the flagships journals of the field.

Dates & fees

Please note that the live sessions during the programme will take place on Thursday lunchtimes. 

Dates Duration Fees *
2019 dates tbc 6 weeks (4-6 hours per week) £2,000 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate - where applicable - which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,000 + 20% = £2,400.

* Fees include instruction and materials. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 233KB) (updated 31 January 2018)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 250KB) (updated 31 January 2018)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to complete the full programme, including submitting the project work by the due date, interacting in the live session and forums and completing weekly peer reviews.


How many hours per week am I expected to put in?

Each week of the programme follows a clear learning structure on a platform that allows you to access the materials at your own convenience as well as partake in the set group forum discussion. We anticipate that each week involves around three to five hours, divided between watching videos and animations, working through case studies, reading, answering polls and taking part in the group discussions, both in forums and in live sessions each week. The live sessions will take place on Thursday lunchtimes during the programme. There is also an assignment each week that gets peer reviewed. You will also be expected to review an assignment from a peer. In week 6 you will collate these individual assignments, incorporating insightful commentary for your reviewers to create your overall submission.

What technology will I need to participate?

  • Sound enabled computer or device
  • Headphones with microphone
  • Internet – Minimum browser requirements - Google Chrome 30.0 / Mozilla Firefox 25.0 / Apple Safari 6 / Microsoft Internet Explorer 9
  • PDF reader – you can download Adobe Acrobat here for free
  • Adobe Flash Player to view videos and resources - you can download Flash Player here for free

What do the pedagogical materials consist of?

Each week will be introduced by video. The core materials consist of an interactive case study, animated explanations and readings and polls. You will also learn a great deal from your peers in the weekly forums guided by an expert tutor and in live online sessions with either the Lead or Consulting Academic and the rest of the cohort.

What does the application procedure entail?

Selection for our programmes is taken very seriously, and we ask prospective participants to complete the application form (email to receive this). We like to ensure a diverse and focused cohort and group participants based on their learning objectives and seniority within their company (everyone should be able to work and reflect on their own business model). A decision on each application will be made as soon as possible, at which point formal acceptance and the invoice for programme fees will be sent. 

Can I participate with colleagues?

We encourage collegial participation as it can maximise the learning benefits for the organisations. We do not accept more than four applicants from the same organisation and a group discount can be discussed with us. In group tasks, you may be split up so that you benefit from the maximum amount of different perspectives from the rest of the cohort.

What will be a typical class?

Our open enrolment programmes attract a diverse and international audience and although you will not meet face to face, we try to simulate an interactive experience for discussion and debate. We cap our numbers at 25 as this enhances the group and faculty interaction. You will also be split into smaller groups for some discussions to make sure that everyone has substantial opportunity to share opinion, ask questions and offer insights from their own context.

Do I get a certificate at the end?

Upon completion of the six weeks, and successful submission of the final assignment, participants receive a digital Certificate of Participation and Completion.   

What are the requirements to successfully complete?

You need to complete all the learning objectives for each week. Participation in the online forum discussions is mandatory, as is submission of weekly assignments and review of a peer’s assignment each week. You will also have to successfully submit your final assignment which includes a proposal to the board and a rational for your proposal by the end of the final week. This is then assessed by our online academic team and graded. You will get feedback on this within four weeks of the end of the programme.

There is an expectation that participants should attend all online meetings and live sessions. We will be recording the main sections of the online sessions. However, as a large part of these sessions is generated by participants, it is more valuable for each participant to attend. If they are not able to, we need to be informed well in advance. The live sessions will take place on Thursday lunchtimes during the programme. 

What if I am not available to attend all the live sessions and discussion?

We will record the live sessions, but not the individual group discussions and they will therefore be available to watch back. However, we recommend wherever possible that you attend and contribute, as this is an important element of the learning process. Peer to peer debate and faculty interaction highly enriches the learning process and creates an environment where ideas can flow and take shape. The live sessions will take place on Thursday lunchtimes during the programme. 

I have attended several online programmes in the past, from various institutions, however the additional value of this online programme is the live faculty and peer interactions. This opportunity to discuss and debate in the live sessions and breakout rooms is superior, as this mimics the benefits of classroom-based learning. I highly recommend this programme for anyone wishing to take a comprehensive approach to building and validating a strategy proposal.
Giovanny Leon, Pricing & Access Regional Director, LatAm & Canada, Novartis
Giovany Leon
Brilliant, engaging, insightful and thought-provoking.
Professor Muhammadou M.O. Kah, Chairman at Zenith Bank, The Gambia and VP For Academic Affairs & Provost, American University of Nigeria
Overall, I am very impressed by how engaging it has been, I did fear I wouldn't be as engaged with it being online. Also, the team have been very helpful and responsive with delivering the programme.
Mario Prelorenzo, Managing Director, jdj Creative

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Sales & Business Development Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1223 768071

Jasmin Abdel-Moneim

Version 1.3 (2 November 2018)


Please contact Sales & Business Development Manager Jasmin Abdel-Moneim to find out more about the programme.

Tel: +44 (0)1223 768071

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