Nilofer Merchant

Nilofer Merchant

Strategist and advisor to help companies win markets

Nilofer Merchant has gone from admin to CEO to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company along her 20 year career, gathering monikers such as "the Jane Bond of Innovation" along the way for her ability to guide Fortune 500 and startup companies through impossible odds.

She's worked for major companies like Apple (with Steve Jobs) and Autodesk (personally hired and fired by Carol Bartz) and startups in the early days of the Web (Golive/ later bought by Adobe). And Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance to develop new product strategies, enter new markets, defend against competitors, and optimize revenues. And, Merchant is one of the few people who can say they've fought a competitive battle against Microsoft and won, for Symantec's Anti-Virus $2.1B annual business. She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales, with expertise in Europe and US markets. Today she serves on boards for both public and private companies.

The 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, published by Harvard Business Review in 2012 follows her previous book, The New How (Oreilly, 2010), on Collaborative work. She lectures on innovation, board governance, and marketing at Stanford University. You can follow her current thinking at and follow her on Twitter @Nilofer.

The New How [Paperback] The New How [Paperback]
by Nilofer Merchant
April 2014
Print: $19.99
Ebook: $16.99

The New How The New How
by Nilofer Merchant
December 2009

Subversive Collaboration: Co-creating for kick-ass results
April 13, 2010

Webcast - MurderBoarding: It's not about the ideas you keep, but the ones you kill
October 22, 2009
Making the right choices leads us and our organizations to thrive. In this webcast, author and business strategist Nilofer Merchant (The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy) provides you with a framework for nailing the...

"If you've ever been inside a company where bad decisions and poorly-planned strategies are slowing or halting forward progress, this book is invaluable. "
--Todd R. Weiss,

"Even as an experienced management consultant and manager, I would highly recommend this book (I’ve also added it to my popular Crash Course Consulting Reading List). The book is practical and covers a body of knowledge that has been largely undocumented to date. Whether one explicitly uses the processes Nilofer describes, the book still provides a good framework for assessing how one is doing. This book is well-suited for corporate executives, strategic planners, general managers, and management consultants. It would also be good as a textbook to supplement strategy and/or consulting courses."
--Steve Shu, Steve Shu on Management, Consulting, Innovation, and Change

"It's a quick and fast read and the content is easy to digest and retain. I highly recommend it for anyone that works on IT projects, manages IT projects, or is in an MBA program."
--Mark Morowczynski,

"The New How provides a comprehensive step by step approach to the process of diagnosing, brainstorming and implementing organizational strategy. This highly readable and useful book should not only appeal to employers at all levels within an organization, but also to consultants and non-profit organizations."
--Manoj Rengarajan,

"...a great book for those that truly want to collaborate but also need a framework for collaboration along with some practical advice on how to actually get down to the business of collaboration...this is another book I believe you should carefully read cover-to-cover (I did)..."
--Michael Lamoureux, Sourcing Innovation

"Anyone who has seen a top down strategy implementation gone awry will know after reading the first chapter of The New How, that Nilofer Merchant gets it."

"Small and large business owners and employees will find applicable topics in The New How, and Merchant's clear and thorough writing should spark ideas and encourage active collaboration on all levels, eliminating that 'air sandwich.'"
--Kit O'Toole,

"What I like best about Nilofer is that she is grounded and real. She uses simple graphics to illustrate her ideas and focuses on her own experiences in the tough process of creating good strategies. She has good stories and examples to illustrate her approach and that makes the book very readable."
--Kevin Wheeler, Over the Seas

"Most business books describe what leaders should do. Many explain why. The New How is unique in setting out a clear end-to end process and framework for co-creating innovation and change in 21st century organizations. It's also well-written, fun to read and provides practical guidance on how to succeed. "
--David Butter, Senior Vice President, Eccpartnership

"Nilofer Merchant reveals how to develop and deliver winning strategies by leveraging the creative power of your entire organization. You will learn how to transform strategy from a word to a way of being. "
--Kathy Chill, Sr. Director, Business Development & Product Marketing, Citrix Online

"The New How puts into prose, and backs up with insight, the key thoughts to successful leadership – it's all about people. "
--Andy Novobilski, Ph.D., Dean, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Arkansas State University

"Rubicon as always stood apart from other consulting firms because they engender true engagement across an organization. Adobe's first of many engagements with Rubicon was to develop the Education segment go-to-market plan. Adobe's Education market growth over the past decade is testimony to the value of a collaborative implementation of strategy, Merchant's signature, and the foundation of The New How. "
--Katie Keating

"Merchant's book is a practical guide for the journey from strategy to implementation. The collaborative tools described here can help companies reach strategic success—and avoid pitfalls along the way."
--Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO - Author of Ten Faces of Innovation

"The New How is informative and provides exciting insights because the suggestions are practical and do-able. Merchant gets the new reality -- leadership fails not so much from flawed strategy as it does from failed processes of engagement from those responsible for implementing the strategy. In high-performing organizations everyone acts like a leader and they own the strategy and take actions to ensure its success. If you care about making a difference, read this book."
--Barry Posner

"The New How is filled with insight, good sense and wisdom that will be very helpful for a professional manager undertaking strategic planning. Congratulations! Nilofer has always made a difference with her presence. Now that presence has a new life in the written word that will transcend different boundaries."
--Andre L. Delbecq, D.B.A., J. Thomas and Katheen L. McCarthy University Professor, Department of Management, Leavey School of Business

"In a world in which the pace of change is ever quickening, collaboration, not control, is the route to a successful organization. This book tells you how to make your organization collaborative. And Nilofer Merchant's writing is a model of clarity."
--Barry Schwartz

"Whether you're in middle management trying to connect your team to the strategy coming out of the C-suite, or you're the exec tasked with coming up with a new vision, read Nilofer's book first!"
--Michael Plante, Senior Director, Category Management and Marketing Strategy Worldwide Consumer Marketing, Symantec Corporation

"Want to transform your organization into a collaborative enterprise? Nilofer Merchant provides insightful and practical strategies in The New How."
--Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco Systems Inc.

"The New How is a timely, thoughtful, and practical blueprint for corporate executives and group leaders to create highly effective and sustainably successful organizations. Innovatively and refreshingly, Nilofer Merchant points the way for achieving truly productive relationships among all levels in a company. We can all learn from this book; it's also a great read."
--Rafael Pastor, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Vistage International, Inc.

"How are you going to get rid of your air sandwich if you don't even know what it is? Provocative and practical at the same time."
--Seth Godin