The Challenger concept – background

At TXP we talk about Challengers – companies and organizations that want to challenge and change the world in different ways! To give a picture of the most important conditions in a Challenger we work with our own model WHERE-WHAT-HOW – the world’s simplest management. We have developed what we call the Challenger recipe to describe how that type of company works – must work – to achieve their high goals. When dealing with changes that lie at the forefront, it’s natural that academic research falls behind. It’s not that simple to research things that haven’t happened, but are about to happen while we speak. But there are researchers who are in the forefront with their theories. We base our work with the Challenger concept on the ideas of some of the most interesting thinkers, who have dived into the question of how to organize companies in an ever-changing world.

Here are some of those thinkers:

  • Jim Collins has in his pioneering studies, including “Good to Great” and “Great by Choice“, together with his research team described how the companies that work best differ from the average company.
  • Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, has written about “The 4th Industrial Revolution” and how new technologies in a variety of areas are about to change business – and the whole community – from hierarchical structures to a world of Challengers.
  • Brian Bacon, founder of Oxford Leadership, has an inspiring view on value-driven leadership and the importance of a functioning corporate culture in tomorrow’s business.
  • Even at McKinsey, they’ve been sharing a lot of useful thoughts about how society changes in a non-hierarchical direction. McKinsey has also chosen to have “be nonhierarchical and inclusive” as a formulation in the company’s values!
  • Dan H Pink, former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, has in “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” highlighted exciting research about what really motivates us.

But the fact is that most of the inspiration to develop the Challenger recipe has come from all the amazing and passionate people who work in Challengers and with whom we’ve had the privilege of working for more than 20 years. Theory in all glory – it’s when you see how the ideas work in practice that you know they serve their purpose!

Claes Knutson


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