Jeffrey L. Sampler straddles the intersection between strategy and technology. He is an expert in helping businesses make plans for the future — even when the future is too uncertain to plan for.
Jeff’s current work focuses on strategic shock absorbers — attitudes and approaches that allow business to stay grounded when they encounter unexpected change. The foundation for the research is 15 case studies on Indian companies.
Jeff’s broader interests include the strategic implications of new technology, and the management of information as a strategic resource. His newest book is Bringing Strategy Back: How Strategic Shock Absorbers Make Planning Relevant in a World of Constant Change. He has also written two books on the economic transformation of Dubai, Sand to Silicon and Sand to Silicon — Going Global.
Educated in the U.S., Jeff has very strong international credentials. His knowledge of Europe, the UK and India is especially deep. He has special expertise in outsourcing, especially in India.
A fine presenter with a great sense of humor, Jeff is articulate, enthusiastic and facilitative. He has a probing, even challenging style that makes links between trends across disciplines and sectors. He has described his blend of humor and substantive content as "business Seinfeld.” He is extremely good at tailoring his presentation to his audience’s situation and giving them concrete ideas that they can translate real competitive advantage.
Jeff is Professor of Management at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). He was Fellow of Strategy and Technology at Said Business School and Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford during 2004 and 2012. He has also been Research Scientist in Center for Information System Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2001.
He has advised and been a board member of both FTSE 100 corporations and start-ups. Notable assignments include being advisor to former president of Nokia for 5 years and advising two heads of state.
His work has appeared in such journals as Accounting Management, Information Technology, Fortune, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Management Information Systems, MIS Quarterly, Sloan Management Review and Strategic Management Journal. His paper with John Cross and Michael Earl on the "Transformation of IT at British Petroleum Exploration" won first prize in the Society of Information Managers' paper competition.
He has been featured in Newsweek, BBC Radio, CNBC, Economic Times, Financial Mail, and IT Web.
- Adjunct Professor of Management, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
- Former Fellow in Management of Strategy and Technology, Templeton College–Said Business School, University of Oxford, England (2004-2012)
- Author, Bringing Strategy Back, Sand to Silicon and IT Concepts for Business Leaders
- Former director, Executive Education Programme on Strategic Planning for Senior Management, Daimler Benz
- Executive Education programs for 3M, British Aerospace, Barclay’s Bank, ABN Amro and others
-Former Research Scientist, Center for Information Systems Research, MIT
Jeff tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
Developing Strategic Shock Absorbers
In today’s world most companies are facing almost unprecedented levels of change and turbulence in their operating environments — energy prices, climate issues, rise of India and China, aging populations, genome and health care — but to name a few challenges. How can companies absorb these massive shocks and not only survive, but thrive? Lessons drawn from case studies will illustrate principles of successful strategic planning for the 21st century.
Impact of digital technology on strategic advantage
Developing information as an asset with value
What is the Digital Density of Your Business?
Avoiding Financial Myopia
10 Commandments for Competing in Turbulent Times
Much current strategy thinking assumes you can predict the future and involves developing a change process to achieve the future you want. But you can’t always predict the future. Instead of gazing into a crystal ball, Jeff Sampler suggests developing a business model that is so fundamental and flexible that it can deal with any business situation. This presentation offers ten principles as a foundation for a robust, future-focused business that can successfully navigate the most turbulent times.
The idea of “core competencies” has become one of the cornerstones of most strategic thinking today. As it has been applied, the message to corporations is clear: focus on the things the market desires that you do best and get rid of the rest (via outsourcing or alliances). However, this view assumes that current skills or competencies will remain relevant into the future. Yet technological change can quickly destroy the value of existing competencies and cut you out of the market. In this presentation, Jeff Sampler explains how to add to core competencies a strategy based on core incompetencies—what you are bad at today, but need to develop for the future—as the essence of successful strategic thinking.
Sand to Silicon: Lessons from Dubai in How to Achieve Large-Scale Rapid Growth
Most corporations use mergers and acquisitions to achieve large-scale rapid growth, but the M&A strategy has two problems. First, one typically pays a premium for the company, because it is a finished good. Second, over 60% of M&A’s fail, often because of business and cultural integration challenges. On the other extreme, many corporations have traditionally tried skunkworks or more recently, internal venturing units. These have met with mixed results because they are very slow to develop and have high mortality rates. In this talk, Jeff offers a new model for strategic thinking, large-scale rapid growth, and leadership based on his research on the transformation of Dubai. The lessons of Dubai are: lead creatively, create assets where none existed (and carefully manage the asset portfolio once it’s been created), and harness the power of the strategic vortex model—building strategies one on top of the other.
New Technologies and Changing Sources of Risk and Value
Several fundamental technological developments or processes are on the horizon, in particular the genome project and BPO (business process outsourcing). This presentation discusses how these will alter sources of business risk and value creation, and it highlights their macroeconomic implications.
Managing Technology in Today’s Organizations
How should firms manage technology in today’s organizations? How do you achieve cost advantages (through outsourcing) without giving away the strategic capabilities for creating value in the future? Jeff uses the transformation of technology management at British Petroleum as a model for a framework that can be used in any business.
— MIT Sloan Management Review