Kaihan Krippendorff

Kaihan Krippendorff

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Business Strategy and Innovation Expert

Kaihan Krippendorff is the CEO of Outthinker Networks, a global think-tank of chief strategy officers and intrapreneur executives shaping the future of business. A sought-after keynote speaker, Kaihan is recognized by Global Gurus and Thinkers50 as one of the top 30 global thinkers in strategy and innovation. His work helps organizations generate breakthrough ideas that drive transformation and growth in our accelerated world of change.

A prolific writer, Kaihan has published five books including the bestsellers Outthink the Competition and Driving Innovation from Within. His forthcoming book, Proximity: How Coming Breakthroughs in Just-in-Time Transform Business, Society, and Daily Life, has already been named a “Must-Read” by Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell’s Next Big Idea Club.

Leveraging skills and experience from McKinsey and Company with rigorous research of emerging trends, Kaihan designs practical business tools that he delivers through engaging and hands-on experiences. He is an innovation catalyst to business leaders and CXOs of some of the world’s most admired companies.

To date, his work has generated over $2.5B in new annual revenue for clients that include Aetna-CVS, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Yahoo.

Amidst a dizzying schedule of keynotes, workshops, ongoing research, and writing, Kaihan still finds time to teach for Wharton Executive Education, Florida International University, and New York University; host the Outthinkers podcast; and play an active role on two corporate advisory boards.

He holds a doctorate in strategy and has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, Wharton, Columbia Business School, and London Business School. With a mother from Bangladesh, father from Germany, and wife from Latin America, Kaihan is a global citizen who brings a holistic, diverse, and worldly perspective to everything he does.

He is a passionate cook and lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, three kids, two cats, and a dog.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has said, “Kaihan shows that with a compelling idea anyone can change the world” and that message has made Kaihan one of the most sought- after business speakers in the world.

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Speaking topics

Leading Beyond Disruption: The Proximity Revolution

In a world of constant disruption, technological change, and megatrend turbulence, how do we transform the way we lead and work?  The answer is Proximity – a simple idea that you can use to turn disruptors like artificial intelligence, renewable energy, virtual reality, 3D printing, and new ways of working into possibilities…chaos into clarity.

Based on his new book, Proximity: How Coming Breakthroughs in Just-in-Time Transform Business, Society, and Daily Life, this keynote will arm leaders with a Proximity Roadmap for their industry and adjacent ones. He will ignite a new mental mindset and give you the practical tools you need to prepare yourself and your business to be bold and shape yourfuture.

  • Understand the impact that matters for your business of disruptors like generative AI, 3D printing, precision-agriculture, dark factories, and renewable energy – and how to harness them to drive growth and resiliency
  • Build your Proximity roadmap, three steps to winning the future
  • Prepare your organization and people with the mindsets needed to lead
  • Map out where you need to rethink growth plans, innovation and investments, operations, and customer expectations

*This session can be delivered as a keynote speech or a 3 hour hands-on workshop

Outthink the Competition: A proven framework for designing breakthrough growth strategies

We live in an accelerated age of technology, disruption, volatility, and uncertainty. It demands that we lead our teams and organizations in radically new ways. We need to leverage creative problem-solving to innovate and do more with less.

Globally ranked management thinker Kaihan Krippendorff has studied and analyzed the strategies of thousands of companies to uncover how they were able to beat competitors to lead across industries and markets. In this entertaining, interactive, and practical keynote, Kaihan will teach you the creative secrets of companies that outperform. He will guide you through his 4th Option® IDEAS Framework, a learnable and repeatable process for generating strategic breakthrough ideas, innovations, and business models to drive growth and keep you relevant in the future.

Detailed in his best-selling book, Outthink the Competition, Kaihan’s 4th Option® IDEAS Framework and tools have been used in hundreds of companies ranging from high-growth startups to industry-leading public and private global corporations.
Ninety-five percent of leadership teams that have enlisted Kaihan’s guidance through IDEAS report having at least one transformative idea to take action on and to date have generated in excess of $2.5B in new annual recurring revenue.

In this keynote, Kaihan will entertain and engage your audience members with stories and cases customized for your company. They’ll walk away with rigorously researched practical tools they can apply to find their 4th Option®.

The audience will leave with:

  • A proven framework for growth & innovation, the 4th Option IDEAS Process
  • The top five moves of the Outthinker Playbook
  • A simple tool to avoid killing off “crazy” (valuable) ideas and turn them into winning moves
  • A common language and energized mindset that enables and encourages innovation throughout the organization

A program for leaders & teams who want to:

  • In need of delivering faster growth
  • Seeking ways to overcome heavy competition and disruptors
  • Looking for a repeatable process to drive innovation and unleash creative thinking
  • Worried they will not keep up with the pace of change

Driving Innovation from Within: Turn employees into Intrapreneurs and accelerate transformation

In our accelerated world of technology and disruption, the benefits of turning employees into Intrapreneurs are well documented. Companies that treat their people as Intrapreneurs have innovation infused into their DNA. Transformation becomes a toned muscle and capability that can be exercised repeatedly as needed. Best-selling author and globally ranked innovation expert Kaihan Krippendorff’s research shows companies with active Intrapreneur networks are 3X more likely to be in the top quintile of financial performance and enjoy a 2.5X advantage in their ability to recruit and retain top talent.

The IN-OVATE framework provides a specific and practical approach to turn your employees into Intrapreneurs, and build capacity for enterprise-wide transformation and smart innovation.

In this inspiring, timely, and high-impact keynote, Kaihan shows how organizations can unlock the power of Intrapreneurship, and how you, the individual Intrapreneur, can navigate barriers, overcome resistance, and take the initiative to drive transformation across your organization.

The audience will leave with:

  • A framework to identify and overcome the seven blockers of innovation
  • The six characteristics, mindsets, and habits of successful Intrapreneurs
  • Appreciation and understanding of the human side of innovation and how to spread Intrapreneurship across the organization
  • Inspiring and memorable stories to fuel their Intrapreneurial journey

A program for leaders & teams who want to:

  • Motivate people to be more innovative
  • Move from a culture of permission-seeking to a culture of proactivity
  • Transform employees into Intrapreneurs Spark creativity and innovation
  • Gain traction on or accelerate transformation

The 8Ps of Innovation and Design: A proven framework for innovating your business model

When we say “innovation” we almost always mean “product innovation”. We talk about R&D and possible new solutions to fulfill unmet needs. This is a one-dimensional and incomplete approach to innovation. Dissect the highest performing and most innovative companies of the last decade and you will see that great innovators disrupt their markets by reaching beyond the product. Oftentimes their success rests on choices that have little to do with new product innovations.

In this practical, high-impact keynote, globally recognized innovation expert Kaihan Krippendorff will share entertaining and engaging examples from your industry and beyond that breakdown how companies that outperform their competition seek disruptive innovation across eight dimensions known as the “8Ps”. The “8Ps” is a proven framework that enables organizations to move beyond “business as usual” to explore and uncover new competitive advantages, innovations, and business models.

The audience will leave with:

  • A framework to systematically uncover areas for growth, innovation, and advantage
  • Knowledge of how to construct a business model that doesn’t conflict with your core business
  • A list of actionable ideas to grow your business or make it more competitive
  • A feeling of being energized and empowered to innovate, regardless of their title or role

A program for leaders & teams who are:

  • In need of delivering faster growth
  • Seeking ideas to innovate their business model
  • Worried about being commoditized and want to find new sources of differentiation
  • Looking for a repeatable process to drive
  • innovation and unleash creative thinking

Unleashing agile: activate the power of an entrepreneurial mindset to drive growth

In a world marked by accelerated change and innovation, mental agility has proven to be a critical driver of success in sports, warfare, business, career, and life. Yet few agree on what exactly “mental agility” is or know how to develop it. Companies that fail to move on quickly enough from their linear organization will not succeed. In this presentation, successful entrepreneur, author, consultant and CEO Kaihan Krippendorff shares insights from his work with top-level corporate entrepreneurs and the study of more than 200 successful innovators into what sets them apart from the rest of the competitive pack. Kaihan will share the key practices that distinguish those with high mental agility and arm the audience with tools and frameworks they can immediately apply to their own work. Audience members will learn to:

  • Connect the unconnected – pulling together seemingly unrelated pieces of information to rapidly form a mental image of the situation or opportunity.
  • Uncover unexpected causes – drilling down into the system to see the cause others overlook.
  • Shift your frame – shifting your frame on the problem to reveal solutions others dismiss.
  • Question the impossible – understanding why we fall into mental “traps” of false beliefs that prevent us from seeing what is possible and, more importantly, how to dig out of the trap that is keeping you from seizing the solution.

Attendees will leave with a boost of confidence, tools, and energy to increase the velocity and agility level of their organization on a daily basis.

Be the disruptor, not the disrupted

We are experiencing a historic acceleration in the pace of change in our world. Artificial intelligence, digitization, robotics, 3D printing, social shifts, and the rise of purpose-driven enterprises are reconfiguring how every conceivable industry operates.

These changes divide us into two camps: the “Disruptors” and the “Disrupted”.

Successful entrepreneur, author, consultant and CEO Kaihan Krippendorff has spent over a decade studying the patterns of disruption. What makes some companies thrive and what makes others fall behind? What gives some the power to shape the future and makes others struggle to keep up? Kaihan has applied his cutting-edge findings to create more than $2.5B in new value and help hundreds of businesses lean into change and thrive in tomorrow’s fast-paced, digital, purpose-driven world. In this talk, Kaihan breaks down the underlying patterns of disruption and with compelling stories of successes, failures, and yet-unknown innovations, teaches practical tools to help you take action and become a Disruptor. Learnings and outcomes include:

  • The emerging trends – from AI to digitization – that are driving us into an era of disruption and how these will likely shape the future
  • How to use The Outthinker Process® to generate powerful ideas that can drive bottom-line results across all levels of the business
  • The strategic patterns and best practices that the world’s most strategic and innovative companies use to thrive during the ongoing shift of global business structures and thinking
  • A systematic process you can use to overcome the “innovator’s dilemma” and create breakthrough growth ideas that will disrupt your market without disrupting your organization
  • How to empower and inspire employees so that they’re ready to take action to develop, test and scale innovative growth ideas

The purpose path: building a mission-oriented organization that harnesses the power of csr and a do-good strategy

Historically, we were taught corporations existed for one purpose: to maximize shareholder value. But companies are waking up to the realization that such a focus destroys shareholder value over the long term because it creates resistance to your growth.

Successful entrepreneur, author, consultant and CEO Kaihan Krippendorff draws on years of proprietary research to show that today’s most successful companies more often speak of the strategic power of appealing to all stakeholders. If you design a strategy that benefits shareholders by also benefiting employees, the community, the country, and the environment, you have designed the ultimate strategy. When everyone wants you to win, you remove all competition. This idea goes beyond social responsibility. It points us toward removing the idea that doing good and making profit are inconsistent. You do not have to choose.

By pulling together inspiring stories from organizations ranging from lesser-known jewels like Best Doctors, BrightFarms, and Holstee to leading socially directed corporations like IKEA, Mastercard, and Target, Kaihan will inspire and motivate the audience to rethink their role and how they interact with stakeholders, not just shareholders. The audience will learn:

  • The three primary goals of a “be good” socially minded strategy
  • Simple yet effective tools and frameworks to apply and create your own “Do Good” strategy that complements your current organizational strengths and strategy
  • The next evolution of corporate social responsibility and how to embrace the shift toward a future where CSR is the norm
  • How to empower and inspire employees so that they’re ready to take action to develop ideas, strategies, products, and programs that everyone benefits from

Winning the future of finance

The financial services industry – from banking to payments to insurance – is undergoing a rapid and historic transformation. The shifting regulatory landscape, changing consumer/investor behavior, an endless stream of agile newcomers armed with disruptive fintech tools, and platforms powered by Blockchain and AI are mounting an attack on incumbent institutions and business models.

Kaihan Krippendorff works with many of the world’s leading financial institutions, helping them make sense of this uncertain future – understanding key future trends and technologies, designing fresh strategies and agile teams ready to face disruption head on so their organization can be ready to transform, compete, and win the future of finance.

A successful entrepreneur, author, consultant and CEO that has created more than $2.5B in revenue for clients, Kaihan uses first-hand experience and actionable insights to present a compelling vision of the future world of financial services, arming the audience with a framework and tools that they can use to succeed in the tech-driven digital economy of the 21st century.

You will learn:

  • The key trends shaping the financial services industry – Blockchain, AI, regulatory environment, unbundling/bundling, millennial investors, fintech, financial inclusion and beyond
  • What financial services will look like in the near and distant future
  • Five key strategies today’s most successful firms are adopting to adapt to, and lead, tomorrow
  • How to transform into a more agile, inspiring, disruptive competitor, built for success in the digital economy
  • Tools and a process for developing concrete ideas and strategic approaches that could disrupt the industry

Disrupting retail

The retail and apparel industries today are undergoing a rapid, historic transformation. A successful entrepreneur, author, consultant and CEO that has created more than $2.5B in revenue for his clients, Kaihan Krippendorff works at the cutting edge of the disruption, helping many of the world’s leading retail and apparel brands navigate a future being shaped by radically shorter times to market, AI, robotics, augmented reality, hyper-personalization, data-driven decision making, and broad shifts in consumer behavior (environmentally friendly lifestyles, focus on health, nutrition, etc.).

Drawing from the latest industry developments from Amazon to QVC and stories of yet-under-appreciated new attackers, Kaihan uses in this keynote first-hand experience and actionable insights to present a compelling vision of the future world of retail and leaves the audience with tools and an approach to develop a strategy to succeed in the shifting retail landscape of the 21st century tech-driven and digital economy.

You will learn:

  • The key macro-trends that will shape the apparel and retail industries
  • An overview of what retail will look like in the near and distant future
  • Five key strategies today’s most successful retail and apparel players are adopting to prepare for tomorrow
  • How to evolve into a more agile and disruptive competitor
  • Tools and a process for developing concrete ideas for a strategy and approaches that could disrupt the industry

Video clips

Strategy, Growth, and Innovation - Speaker Reel

Speaker Reel

Speaker testimonials

Kaihan shows that with a bold idea, anyone can change the world.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Kaihan really understood the key messages we were trying to get across to our Senior Leadership team. He incorporated those key messages around strategy and innovation into his speech, which was energizing, practical and impactful.

Donnelley Financial Solutions

Kaihan was on-point and relevant. His message is current for any organization wanting to grow. He did a great job of creating a working environment during his talk in which he outlined specific steps and a process to think differently. I had immediate take-aways

Managing Directors Association of Northwestern Mutual

Kaihan is very good at understanding the underlying patterns of strategy, then he trains the group to start recognizing these patterns, with time the strategic level of the group starts rising, generating breakthrough ideas that unleash untapped value


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