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 Wisdom to Win
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Kjell Nordstrom (1958- ) and Jonas RidderstraleKjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale (1966- )

Nordstrom (pictured right) and Ridderstrale (pictured right below) are Swedish professors whose book Funky Business (see below) shot them to prominence.



Key booksKjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale


Funky Business (2000)


The best companies are “funky” because they are:


1. Passionate

(about their customers, employees and products).

Success is based upon:

  • a love affair with customers.
  • quickly and flexibly adapting to their changing needs.


2. E-motional

Appealing to customers’ and employees’ values and emotions

This results in the “economies of the soul” (more productive relationships with customers and employees from satisfying their values and spiritual needs).


3. Knowledge creators Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale

Employee brainpower is the key to beating competitors because knowledge is power.

Karl Marx (pictured right) was right about one thing - employees own and control the principal means of production – their brains.


4. Highly innovative 

Constantly creating new products with unique appeal (“infinite innovation”) through:

  • imagination and new ideas.
  • technology (“the rhythm section of funky business”).
  • experimenting (and tolerating mistakes).
  • challenging current knowledge.
  • small, self-managing teams.


5. Global

The Internet:

  • gives the opportunity to sell to everyone everywhere.
  • makes customers extremely powerful by increasing product information and choice.

Individuals and companies have to face ferocious global competition, particularly because of over-production (creating the “surplus society”).


6. Socially responsible

Organizations and individuals must take responsibility for solving the world’s problems like caring for people.


Key quote on customers

The new customer is a demanding dictator.


Key quotes on business success

During the last two years how many of your customers have tattooed your brand on one of their biceps? (the key acid test for success).

Be unique.

The future cannot be predicted – it has to be created.


Key quote on the learning organization

 We have to turn the workplace into a gas station for our brains.


Key quotes on business ethics

The market – the dominant institution of our times – is not a substitute for responsibility, merely a mechanism for sorting out the efficient from the inefficient.


Key quote on career management

Individual competitiveness = what you know x [and] who you know.


Key quote on knowledge management

Knowledge is the new battlefield for countries, corporations and individuals.


Karaoke Capitalism (2005)


Customers have endless choice, so, with the help of talented and motivated employees, companies must:

  • customize their products to customers' individual requirements.
  • give them something new, not copy competitors .

Don’t sing somebody else’s tune (as in karaoke), create your own!

Liberty comes with responsibilities to help yourself and other people.


Key quote on innovation

Don’t imitate - innovate.


Key quote on education

Having no education can be an economic death sentence, while a unique talent gives you a global passport.


Key quote on corporate social responsibility

Liberty comes with duty.


Key quote on competitive advantage

To succeed as individuals and in business, we need to dare to be different.



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