Kaihan Krippendorff

Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff is a top business strategy speaker and author of multiple business books, most recently Outthink the Competition (John Wiley & Sons). He is the founder of Outthinker, a popular blogger, and a sought-after strategic advisor to a growing roster of leading businesses and corporations that recognize the need to move away from traditional linear models to embrace agile, digital strategies for the accelerating world. His clients include ABC TV, AIG, BNY Mellon, Citibank, Pershing, TIAA, Realogy, Microsoft, VM Ware, and Johnson & Johnson.

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

His keynote clients over the past year have included the Consumer Electronics Association, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, Harvard Business Review, Wharton Business School, National Restaurant Association, Produce Marketing Association, FORTUNE Growth Summit, Young Presidents’ Organization, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Institute for Management Studies, American Gear Manufacturers Association, Precision Machined Products Association, American Bar Association, and Metals Service Center Institute.

He conducts in-house, private talks for companies such as GE, VMware, McDonald’s, Microsoft, L’Oreal, Nestle Purina, Kraft, and United Technologies. He has co-headlined conferences with Jack Welch, Robin Sharma, Stephen M. R. Covey, Marshall Goldsmith and Tony Sheih among other leading speakers.

Kaihan is a consultant with Wharton Executive Education, faculty member of Florida International University, teacher of design strategy at Parsons School of Design, and a lecturer at business schools throughout the US and internationally.

Kaihan has been featured in key business media outlets, including BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Time, Fox Business, Fast Company, PBS, and Bloomberg Radio.

He earned a Master of Business Administration at Columbia Business School, a Bachelor of Science in finance from Wharton Business School, a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a Doctorate of Science in Economics.

With a mother from Bangladesh and a father from Germany, Kaihan brings a holistic, global perspective to his topics of business strategy, strategic thinking, and innovation. He speaks three languages and has lived or spent significant periods of time in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific. He lives in Greenwich, Conn., with his wife and three children.


Outthink the Competition

Based on his most recent book, Outthink the Competition, Kaihan delivers a set of proven business strategy tools he has used with more than 300 clients to create innovative growth ideas, ideas that increase revenue, profit, and the trajectory of your career. Blending together first-hand stories of inspiring business and social innovators, from Elon Musk to Noble Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus, Kaihan’s presentation will teach you a tested method that will help your company develop innovative growth ideas that will make you more competitive and unlock growth.
You will learn:

  • How to reactivate your ability to Outthink
  • Find a “Fourth Option”: the option beyond the obvious choices, the option others will not see or respond to
  • New strategic patterns that reveal new strategic options
  • The Outthinker playbook: five strategic narratives you want to master now
  • A simple approach to turn “crazy” ideas into winning moves
  • Build a culture of Outthinking- strategic and innovative thinking

Intrapreneurship: Driving Innovation from Within

Kaihan argues that intrapreneurs – employees who incubate new businesses within corporations – have had a far greater impact on the world. Nearly all of the most transformative innovations over the past three decades, from e-mail and the Internet to DNA sequencing and MRI scans, were introduced by employees who did not quit their jobs but instead took the challenge of innovating from within.

Drawing on in-depth research of hundreds of successful innovators soon to be released in his next book, Change the World without Quitting your Job, Kaihan outlines the seven key steps to drive innovation inside your organization.

You will learn:

  • How to navigate organizational barriers and deploy new and disruptive ideas
  • How shift your organiztational mindset and culture to challenge the outdated status-quo
  • How to assemble an agile team to drive growth
  • The New Lean- a process for agile experimentation
  • How to tap into the hidden talent of your employees and unlock the value of their ideas into your company

“Innovating Beyond Product” or “Innovating Across 8 Dimensions”

In this presentation, Kaihan will take you through engaging examples from a broad array of industries such as Urban Outfitters in apparel, IKEA in furniture, VMware in technology, SpaceX in space launch vehicles, MasterCard in payments, and Vistaprint in printing services, showing how companies that outperform their competition seek disruptive innovation across eight dimensions (8Ps):

  • Positioning: how can you own a position your competitors will resist copying?
  • Product: where can you underperform to outperform somewhere else?
  • Price: how can you change the basis of pricing?
  • Place: what new channels will surprise your market?
  • Promotion: how can you achieve a radically lower customer acquisition cost?
  • Processes: what small process can produce disruptive transformations?
  • Physical Experience: how can you innovate what customers see, smell, feel, hear, or taste?
  • People: can you rethink hiring, organizing, incentivizing, or culture to create a sustained advantage?

From this session, you will walk away with an understanding of:

  • How to uncover new avenues for growth and innovation
  • How to construct a disruptive business model
  • The 8P strategic innovation framework
  • How to build the confidence to apply new strategies everyday across all business units and roles

Strategic Acumen

Based on a course developed for the Wharton Business School, leveraging his proprietary research, Kaihan will ground you in the strategic concepts you must master to create a competitive advantage for your business or company.  This motivating presentation will help your company to develop leaders ready to navigate the unpredictable changes of the rapidly evolving business landscape.

Participants will achieve three objectives:

  • Understand the role of competitive advantage in growing your company’s value
  • Understand and be able to facilitate a team through a process that leads to more innovative, strategic solutions
  • Become fluent in the key strategic concepts proven most essential for creating a competitive advantage

Mental Agility

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, Kaihan will share insights from his study of more than 200 successful innovators, showing the key practices that distinguishes those with high mental agility from the rest of the pack.

You will learn how to:

  • Connect the unconnected: Pulling together seemingly unrelated pieces of information to rapidly form a mental image of the situation or opportunity. What an Air Force pilot and rocket entrepreneur can teach you about seeing what others cannot (yet) understand.
  • Uncover unexpected causes: Drilling down into the system to see the cause others overlook. What the Washington Monument and the search for clean energy reveal about the power of finding uncommon causes.
  • Shift your frame: Shifting your frame on the problem to reveal solutions others overlook. How chess players, sports strategists, and entrepreneurs apply patterns to outthink challenges.
  • Question the impossible: Why we fall into mental “traps” of false beliefs that prevent us from seeing what is possible and, more important, how to dig out of the trap that is keeping you from seizing the solution. Why the Oscars, record players, and personal computers should never have been.

The Strategic Power of Doing Good

Based on proprietary research for his forthcoming book, Kaihan shows that today’s most successful companies are the ones that 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 inspirational presentation shows how the 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. Pulling together 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 teach you:

  • The three primary goals of a “be good” strategy
  • The three levels of a socially minded strategy
  • The next evolution of corporate social responsibility
  • How to embrace a do good culture that creates growth and benefits the bottom-line


Kaihan’s groundbreaking work on strategy development changes the game for organizations facing an increasingly competitive environment.
~  Shannon Wallis, Global Director, Leadership Programs, Microsoft

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.
~  Juan Mijares, Regional Director of Strategy, Wal-Mart

Kaihan has the unique ability to frame questions in such a way that energizes a diverse group of leaders in strategic business planning. Through his guidance we were able to look at strategic issues for our board in unique ways that will have immediate application. He was quick to understand our issues and our mission and was an immense help in developing our strategy.
~  Mary E. Power, CAE Executive Director, Society for Human Resource Management

Kaihan provides practical methods to systematically analyze and intelligently manage the competition. This does not mean copying or even responding to the competition. It means precisely the opposite.
~ Marc Speichert, Chief Marketing Officer, L’Oreal USA

René Carayol

Leadership and Corporate Culture

Christian Rangen

Business Model Innovation

George Yip

Global Strategy and China Innovation