Modularization and twice as effective with Martin Skold

Modularization and twice as effective with professor, advisor, author and board member Martin Skold

Learning from professor, advisor, author, and board member Martin Skold.

We are fortunate to learn from Martin Skold. Martin is a researcher and assistant Professor at Stockholm School of Economics and divides his time between academia and industry. He has a background in his own family’s business and many years of management research in major international operations. Martin is a frequent speaker and advisor, and he is the Director of the Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology to promote research and engage with industry. Martin is also the Chairman at Vedum Kök & Bad and at Kvänum Kök, and he is a board member at the listed company Concentric and the company Axelent.

Martin is passionate about leadership and how leaders with new insights can improve company’s organization, structures, and governance.

The episode is recorded as both an Audio and Video Podcast, and it focuses on Martin’s journey and approaches that he finds effective for top companies and top leaders.

Welcome to listen and learn about

  • Martin Sköld and how it all started
  • In the Family Business
  • Research and Academia
  • Defining Moment
  • Board work
  • Guiding the Board meeting
  • Researching Modularization & writing a book
  • Getting to know the board
  • Learning from Tik Tok
  • Martins Podcast “Mitt Ledarskap”
  • Martin as furniture..


Modularization & twice as effective with Martin Skold by Exploring Leaders by Digoshen

This is “Exploring Leaders” episode 24, with Professor and exprienced board member Martin Skold. Martin will share his story on how modularization can make businesses twice as effective.







No Title

No Description












The competition and complexity of doing business are increasing. Higher demand for fast and more individualized innovation, as well as higher demand for sustainability, is in focus for many business leaders and boards.

How can we provide the customer with the benefit of customization yet ensure an industrialized approach to keep the cost benefits?

Martin Skold has spent a long time researching and interviewing top leaders on an area many companies miss out on – how to be competitive and scale BOTH Volume AND Variety.

Martin has identified a trade-off between volume and variety by using modularization.

Modularization provides a substantial competitive advantage by combining low cost with high revenue. And the strategy can be applied across all types of industries and in both the private and public sectors.

Martin Skold shares that there are two types of efficiency for organizations. Internal efficiency focuses on sound production, management, and utilization of the company’s resources. External efficiency focuses on customer benefit and individual adaptation to the customer’s particular wishes and needs. And using modularization finds the middle ground to ensure that both systems can be used.


Modularization is the art of making more by using less – Martin Sköld



Both product and services companies can use this approach and find more competitiveness. To produce the modules that build up the basis of the product and the service is much more sustainable for the business and society. And he means that companies would benefit of rethinking what the base modules are, and how they can be better used in several combinations and therefor will satisfy customers better and be produced to a lower price.

Martin Sköld has also written a book where he summarizes his findings and adds examples, with the title Modularization in English and Twice as Effective (Dubbelt Effektiv) in Swedish.



Many companies operate in ecosystems to further find ways to stay competitive. Much of services and software is increasingly dependent on structures that is divided into modules with more transparent ways on how to interlock. In software, its often called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and allows applications, or modules, to talk to each other and to be more flexible.

The balance of building modules, which takes some extra effort in planning and building, can be revisited with a focus on the lifetime of usage and the value it can create for more stakeholders and society by making it more long-term.



Martin Skold is also a Director of IMIT, Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology, with the objective to conduct and support research & development in technical, industrial, and administrative renewal and engage with the industry.

Innovation is of increased importance as the pace of change increases, based on more digitalization, global competition, and challenges within sustainability and geopolitics.

As Director of IMIT, Martin hosts many exciting research areas, including different approaches to innovation and entrepreneurship.



In a recent research report, we find some insights from the corporate entrepreneurship track at Chalmers University of Technology, which looked into how the current approaches to financing of innovation impact, how company purpose guides and impact innovation, and how companies balance the exploration with the exploitation.

Conclusions on the financing of innovation identify that there is a significant variation to what extent the companies are using financial measures and that the non-financial measures often focus in on customer-centric and strategic fit.

Conclusions on the company purpose impact is that the core purpose appears to have a high effect on entrepreneurial ability, however, that in many cases, broad and unclear core purposes have a hard time reaching the operational levels of the organization to impact behaviors.

Conclusions on the explorations versus exploitation, showed a correlation between the longevity and maturity of a company, and its willingness to act ambidextrously. Young organizations were more open to exploring and exploiting.



The IMIT organization also produces a highly appreciated and spread magazine highlighting some of the research IMIT has been involved in, as from the latest edition;

Digital Product-Service Platforms – Enabling multiple business models and avoiding the service paradox

Change through co-creation – A key to drive the transition towards sustainability?

And from an earlier edition IMIT published a research article regarding “Innovation and corporate renewal also disrupt boards



Innovation and Modularization needs consideration by business leaders and boards, to tackle the speed of change and the sustainability issues for the business.

Learn More

About Martin Skold

Follow Martin Skold on Linkedin and reach out if you are looking to revisit your business or get some inspiration for your team.

Check out the book Modularizaion

Martin Skold website

the podcast Mitt Ledarskap





This blog post was originally shared at the blog of Digoshen,  and the blog of the Digoshen founder

At Digoshen, we work hard to increase #futureinsights and help remove #digitalblindspots and #sustainabilityblindspots. We believe that Companies, Boards, and Business Leadership Teams need to understand more about the future and the digital & sustainable world to fully leverage the potential when bringing their business into the digital & more sustainable age. If you are a board member, consider joining our international board network and master programs.

To understand where you and your company stand in digital business and leadership progress, take our survey at and get a free-of-charge personalized report with recommendations on moving forward. The survey is anonymous and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

You will find more insights via Digoshen Website, and you are welcome to follow us on LinkedIn Digoshen @ Linkedinand twitter: @digoshen  and founder @liseeng