Ford: Innovating to take on a global challenge

What struck me about the presentation by Mr. Andreas Ostendorf of Ford was that he described a company vastly different to the one that I had grown up with. In Canada, Fords pickup trucks and vehicles are everywhere. In my mind, Ford is a car manufacturing company, and has been for over 100 years. However times are changing at an alarming rate and it seems Ford is on the forefront of experimentation and testing of new, innovative business models all across the world. Check out biking initiative here. Ford doesn’t know if there is a business model inherent in this technology, but they are unafraid to develop pilot projects, collect the sample data, and analyze. The fact that a traditional, the traditional, car manufacturer is pushing the boundaries of experimentation with respect to business model creation is an inspiration in itself.

I thought Andreas made a very powerful analogy when he hypothesized that by integrating technology with infrastructure, we could strive to achieve urban mobility comparable to how a school of fish moves in a fluid, cohesive, schooled formation. Bio-mimicry concepts are an incredibly exiting development field. If you think about creating sustainable cities as a whole, why not learn from naturally, evolutionally optimized processes.

As Henry Ford once said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” It appears that Ford still believes in this message.


william_maize William Maize is a MBA Student at IESE and President of the Responsible Business Club. Passionate about the environment, he hopes to help improve our relationship with the planet.



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