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#4: Rob Wolcott: The Power of Proximity in your Strategy

#4: Rob Wolcott: The Power of Proximity in your Strategy

Rob Wolcott is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, and Adjunct Professor in Executive Education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern.

A managing partner with innovation strategy consultancy Clareo, he is a regular contributor to Forbes regarding the impact of technology change on business, leadership and society.

Co-author of the book Grow From Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, his work has appeared in prestigious global outlets including MIT Sloan Management Review (where two of his articles have ranked as among the most downloaded of all time), strategy+business, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times among many others.

Co-founder and Chairman of The World Innovation Network (TWIN), a network of senior executives dedicated to driving sustainable innovation, Rob brings together and embraces the value of learning and collaboration across industries.

In this episode Rob introduces us to at least two important strategic concepts that will change the way you think about strategy innovation and growth. He will lay out a framework that shows that there are four primary models your, and any, company can follow to manage your growth plans. And he will arm you with a concept called “Proximity.” In full disclosure, I’m working on a book on this topic with Rob, but even if I weren’t I would say that this simply idea of his could be the unifying lens that clarifies what innovation projects you should be pursuing and which you should avoid if you want to lead the future.


"Business is about satisfying desires, perhaps creating desires and demands, but providing supply for the demand and over time. What digital technologies enable is for us to more and more effectively, efficiently, economically drive the production of products and services closer to that moment where they're actually demanded."

-Rob Wolcott


Episode Timeline:

00:00 - Introducing Rob Wolcott + The topic of today’s episode

2:08 - If you really know Rob, you know that…

2:46 - Rob's work with TWIN Global

4:15 - What is your definition of strategy?

5:08 - What kind of objective should an organization have?

5:54 - The 4 Models of Corporate Entrepreneurship

12:53 - The concept of Proximity

15:07 - Examples of how Proximity works with various products

19:21 - What else do you want us to know about you?


Resources mentioned:

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The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.