About The Authors

Christian Terwiesch is the Andrew M. Heller Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is Co-director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and also holds a faculty appointment In Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. From small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, Christian has helped companies become more innovative, often by implementing innovation tournament events and by helping to restructure their innovation portfolio.

Nicolaj Siggelkow is the David M. Knott Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Co-Director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management. Having spearheaded groundbreaking research on strategy, Nicolaj has been named a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, the world’s leading association of strategy researchers. He has run strategy workshops for Fortune 500 organizations and small firms alike, helping develop and analyze their strategies.

Both of us grew up in Germany but pursued (for Germans) uncommon education paths. Christian studied at INSEAD in France to receive his PhD in management while Nicolaj went to Stanford University as an undergraduate and then on to Harvard to receive a PhD in business economics. We both joined the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 as faculty members, Christian in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department and Nicolaj in the Management Department. By now, we both hold endowed chairs. Christian is the Andrew M. Heller Professor and also holds a faculty appointment in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Nicolaj is the David M. Knott Professor and a former department chair of Wharton’s Management Department.

Our research has appeared in many of the leading academic journals in our fields—Christian focusing on operations management and innovation management, and Nicolaj on strategy and organizational design—including Management Science, the Strategic Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, and the New England Journal of Medicine. We are also members of the editorial boards of key academic journals. Christian is the coauthor of Matching Supply with Demand, a widely used textbook in operations management, and of Innovation Tournaments, a guide for creating and selecting exceptional opportunities within organizations.

Both of us very much enjoy teaching in our MBA and executive MBA programs. Together, we have won more than fifty teaching awards in the Wharton classroom. One key perk of working at a top business school is the opportunity to present our work in front of many executive audiences. Nicolaj serves as academic director at Wharton Executive Education for two open-enrollment courses on strategy (Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage and Effective Execution of Organizational Strategy), while Christian is academic director for a program on innovation management (Mastering Innovation: From Idea to Value Creation). We have researched with and consulted for more than one hundred different organizations, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.

To achieve broader reach in our teaching efforts, both of us have created online courses as well. Christian was the first to launch a massive open online course (MOOC) in business on Coursera. By now, close to one million students have enrolled in his Introduction to Operations Management course, making this one of the largest online courses. Nicolaj is offering an online course titled Business Strategy from Wharton: Competitive Advantage on the EdX platform and the course Strategic Management: Competitive and Corporate Strategy which is part of Wharton’s online certificate on Leadership and Management.

Lastly, both of us are co directors of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at Wharton. The Mack Institute’s role is to bridge academic research and the world of practice by sponsoring research, conducting conferences, and connecting scholars, business leaders, and students. It was through our work with executive audiences in the classroom and through the Mack Institute that we became inspired to write this book. We observed that firms were connecting to customers in very different ways and were creating new connections between previously unconnected parties in the marketplace.

It has been an amazing journey to write this book, allowing us to clarify our thinking and helping others to make more sense of the business world they live in. However, to borrow a phrase from Winston Churchill, we see this book certainly not as the end but only as the end of the beginning of our research into connected strategies. It is an exciting phenomenon that only has just started.