Where the oxygen comes in

In an industry characterised by extreme pressure and few certainties, SAS has found that constant transformation is the only way forward. With Scandinavia being one of the world’s most expensive areas to operate in, the airline has to find quicker, more flexible and better solutions than competitors all the time. However, no company can survive on efficiency and cost-out programmes alone, and SAS is faced with the delicate task of harnessing energy and pride while constantly pushing for change.

A bigger piece of that pie, please

In the German insurance market, there is little, if any, room for new entrants. The reason is simple: the pie has already been sliced. Where many traditional insurance companies have seen this lack of new competition as a good excuse to stick to business as usual, Nuremberg-based ERGO Direkt sees it as an opportunity to dramatically change the way people handle their insurances.

If it looks really challenging, it’s perfect

When the financial crisis hit global markets in 2008, few expected to benefit from it. But for the investment-hungry fund managers at Nordic Capital, the new and disruptive environment proved to be an entryway into a new and exciting industry: financial services. The industry in question was, however, not quite as enthusiastic.

When a banker lends you an umbrella

Today, all financial institutions operate in a context of constant change. New financial institutions are popping up on every corner of the Internet. Fintech firms are offering new ways to provide money transfers and online credits. With the rapidly shifting environment, the 150 year old banking giant Danske Bank has been pushed to rethink its operating model and clear the halls of old truths.

So long, snail mail

The opportunities of the digital age go hand in hand with its threats. Numerous renowned corporations have missed their opportunities and seen the core of their business become irrelevant before their very eyes. The ones adapting are the ones surviving. But how do you remain adaptive, not only through the digital upheaval we are living in now, but also in the coming eras? To the customer communication management company PostNord Strålfors, this has certainly been a relevant question to consider. Read the case and watch the video to hear Annemarie Gardshol, CEO of PostNord Strålfors, explain how a company that is part of an 800-year heritage has change embedded in its DNA.

When heritage meets performance culture

Danish Crown is one of the backbones of the Danish farming economy. The cooperatively owned company is owned by 7,600 pig and cattle farmers spread across Denmark, and has an annual revenue of EUR 7.8 billion. In fact, Danish Crown is responsible for 4% of all foreign currency flowing into Denmark, so you could basically argue that you only need 25 companies like Danish Crown to keep the Danish economy running. However, not too long ago, Danish Crown was through what can be defined as a near-death experience. During a decade, the company was increasingly challenged on competitiveness and was consequently forced to terminate 7,000 Danish workplaces. Learn what Jais Valeur, CEO of Danish Crown, has to say about working in an unusual organisation where people think not in terms of quarters or years, but in generations.

The great sprint of a fitness empire

The fitness trend took off during the mid-90s, and a fitness membership card has since become a fixture in many wallets. The fitness industry seized its golden opportunity and flourished due to the continuously growing demand. SATS ELIXIA is one of the industry’s greatest success stories, having grown into Scandinavia’s largest chain of fitness centres. However, with time, harsh competition from low-price players and niche clubs squeezed SATS ELIXIA into an unfortunate, middle-market position, ultimately forcing the chain to redefine their entire value proposition. Read the case and watch the video to hear Olav Thorstad, CEO at Health & Fitness Nordic, tell the story of how SATS ELIXIA is in the midst of their greatest sprint yet.

Pumping it up for the future

When Grundfos embarked on their digital transformation journey, it was like looking at a blank piece of paper; everything was possible. The management interviewed 30 thought leaders around the world; everyone from Grundfos’ distributors to professors to consultants to writers to start-up companies, and asked them: “What do you think can disrupt our industry and our company?” The 70-year-old organisation also turned an eye to large international companies such as GE, Apple and Google to gather a trick or two from how they use digital technology. Hear Marianne K. Knudsen, Senior Director, Head of Digital Commercial Offerings in Grundfos, explain why the time has come for the world’s largest pump manufacturer to start thinking beyond the pump.

A technology company that happens to fly airplanes for a living

SAS flies approximately 90,000 people around the world – every day. All the while, the airline is busy gathering customer insights in order to create new products and services, and the passengers are met with a steady flow of new digital features. However, in a not so distant past, SAS was standing on the edge with a free fall in sight. Read the full case and watch the video below to hear Eivind Roald, EVP, Sales and Marketing, explain how on earth SAS managed to turn this around.

In the business of rebuilding lives

At a secret address in a small one-way street in Stockholm, between two majestic closed doors, one can find a group of truly extraordinary people. Not just your typical kind of extraordinary people, who crack codes or make covert plans, but the ones who change the lives of others, and also the ones who have managed to take a first step towards turning their lives around. Ann Isaksson, a former police officer, is the Operations Manager at Alla Kvinnors Hus, Sweden’s largest women’s shelter. The people who work here provide support and counselling to women who are victims of domestic violence, and their children. During Ann’s six years at Alla Kvinnors Hus, she has nearly doubled its revenue and its capacity to help. Watch the video and read the case, and take your hat off, like we do, to people who have gone into the business of rebuilding lives.

In China, they don’t eat cheese with sticks

In China, they don’t eat cheese with sticks. To Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla, this knowledge is essential in order to remain in the frontline of an industry where the demographics have changed drastically in recent years. Peder Tuborgh has been in Arla for almost three decades, the past 11 years as CEO. His time as CEO has been transformative and truly remarkable; the revenue has doubled and Arla has remodelled itself from a Nordic company to a true global player. A daredevil of dairy with a new bold strategy emphasising marketing and innovation. Watch the video and read the case about Peder Tuborgh and why it’s important to know how the Chinese eat cheese.

A new dawn after Skyfall

Watch the video and read the story about how Jacob Schram, Group President for Europe at Alimentation Couche-Tard, and his colleagues united several brands into one global brand. In 2013, Jacob Schram had a big idea. Statoil Fuel & Retail, which he was heading, had been acquired by the global convenience store conglomerate Alimentation Couche-Tard, and even though this event had caused some disappointment at first, Jacob had decided to stay on board. After an exciting journey, Jacob and his colleagues are now on the verge of launching a united global brand.

Old habits die hard

After the financial crisis, Maersk Tankers was facing difficult market conditions. Steps were taken to cut costs and improve the top line, and still the financial performance was less than satisfying. As a response, Maersk Tankers defined an ambitious five-year strategy. To turn the strategy into reality, they decided to apply the Value Realisation methodology.

Please harness the weather

In district heating, the most important KPI is the weather report. Even if the forecast is reliable, the random nature of temperature fluctuations makes companies such as Hafslund Varme exposed to costly risks. To pick up the fight against the unpredictable weather, Hafslund decided to bring in new competencies.

“I always want to do better tomorrow”

Following Henrik Heideby’s transition from top management positions to top board positions, we asked him to reflect on his experience and his expectations. Henrik has a reputation for being tough and a number cruncher, but he rather sees himself as passionate, deeply curious and somewhat impatient – even though he does sometimes wish he was better at keeping his mouth shut.

Learning outside the box

In 2013, LEGO Education presented a solid business having doubled its revenue in a mere three years. Having identified a winning concept, LEGO Education might be expected to make nothing but minor tweaks in strategy and focus. The leadership team, however, chose a different path.

Welcome to the Extreme Change Clinic

SAS: In 2014, SAS was in a tight spot. Again. This was not exactly a new situation for the more than 100-year-old airline company. Several restructuring programmes had already sailed through, but the development in the industry didn’t quite match the expectations. Revenues continued to drop, and SAS was still struggling to become profitable. The next 12 months were to be crucial for the future of the airline. The Extreme Change Clinic was established.

Launching a cultural revolution

SJ: 150 years ago, the train was a symbol of progress and modernity. Villages turned into towns, workshops turned into industries, and the railroad was a unique invention underpinning the development. Some five years ago, the Swedish government-owned railway company SJ struggled to live up to this image of the railway, and the company found itself in a difficult position. In 2013 the management of SJ initiated the programme “Vinnande SJ”, a journey to shape up the company and create a more modern culture and organisation equipped to keep up with the current speed of change.

Quest for oil

MAERSK OIL AND MAERSK DRILLING: In June 2013, Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling opened the door to the virtual world of oil exploration through Quest for Oil, a freely distributed gaming experience. The game emerged as a result of Maersk’s own quest to spread awareness about the oil industry and reach a younger, global talent pool.
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Wind for prosperity

VESTAS: Wind for Prosperity is Vestas’ new, innovative business model, which by cross-mapping global wind currents and health data, plans to bring energy to more than one million people in developing countries over the next three years. The project couples robust, factory-refurbished wind turbines to advanced diesel powered generators to create a hybrid system well-suited for operation on mini-grids in remote locations with limited infrastructure.