Ginka Toegel

Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Ginka Toegel is Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership. She is an expert on the dynamics of top management teams, leadership development of women executives and issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She also has a keen interest in future leadership trends and the role that technology can play in enhancing the impact of executive education.

Toegel believes that businesses need a strong and cohesive team at the top of the organization, but says that, ironically, there is often a lack of unison in top teams. Challenges in collaboration lead to ineffective decision making at the helm of the organization. While team members interact extensively with the CEO, they do not interact sufficiently with each other, leading to a lack of trust, fragile bonds, suboptimal information sharing, and dysfunctional team dynamics that often magnify silos further down in the hierarchy. To address these challenges, she engages in deep work with top teams to strengthen the trust base and improve team cohesion.

Teams struggle with ‘undiscussables’ – situations where team members think but dare not speak, experience feelings that they are not able to describe, mindlessly say things they don’t mean, or act without realizing the impact of their actions.

She also pays close attention to new trends in leadership development and uses artificial intelligence tools to increase the impact of executive programs. The AMI customized leadership learning chatbot developed in cooperation with technology company X2AI provides ‘nudges’ that enable program participants to continue to focus on their leadership improvement goals despite the day-to-day pressures that they face once they return to their jobs. The chatbot is currently being used by participants in IMD’s Mobilizing People and Strategies for Leadership programs, which she directs. She is also a big proponent of experiential work in her teaching, believing that interventions are much more impactful if participants experience something for themselves and then reflect on the experience.

Toegel has delivered leadership development programs for a wide range of companies, whose appreciation is reflected in the number of clients who choose to work with her repeatedly over many years. She has directed or taught programs for ABB, Abu Dhabi School of Governance, Actis, BAE, BASF, Bayer, Bunge, Commerzbank, Continental, DNV, DSM, FIFA, Gasco, Generali, Heineken, Kone, Marel, Metinvest, MUFG, Nestle, Neste Oil, Novartis, PNB, Rexel, SAMA, Sanofi, Saudi Telecom, Sumitomo, Swisscom, UEFA, WWF, and X5 Retail Group, among others.

She has published articles in leading academic journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, and is currently working on a book on women leaders, dealing with practical answers to questions that arise in some of her teaching programs, including the long-running Strategies for Leadership program, which is aimed at senior female executives. She has also served as Chair of the Management Consulting Division of the Academy of Management.

Before joining IMD in 2008, Toegel taught at the London School of Economics, London Business School, and Duke Corporate Education, and started her career as a psychotherapist.

Selected publications
Article
It’s time to tackle your team’s undiscussables: Subjects that are consciously or unwittingly deemed out of bounds come in four varieties and make it almost impossible for teams to function.
Undiscussables exist because they help people avoid short-term conflicts, threats, and embarrassment. But they also short-circuit the inquiries and challenges essential to both improving performanc...
Published 10 September 2019
Article
3 situations where cross-cultural communication breaks down
The strength of cross-cultural teams is their diversity of experience, perspective, and insight. But to capture those riches, colleqgues must commit to open communication; they must dare to share. ...
Published 8 June 2016
Article
How to preempt team conflict
Team conflict can add value or destroy it. Good conflict fosters respectful debate and yields mutually agreed-upon solutions that are often far superior to those first offered. Bad conflict occurs ...
Published 1 June 2016
Article
Emotion helping by managers: An emergent understanding of discrepant role expectations and outcomes
Why do managers help employees with their negative emotions, and how do employees respond? We analyzed interview and network data from the head office of a recruiting agency. We found that managers...
Published 1 January 2013
Article
How to become a better leader
Good leaders make their work look easy. But the reality is that most have had to work hard on themselves — by managing or compensating for potentially career-limiting traits. To grow as an executiv...
Published 16 April 2012
Article
Emotion helpers: The role of high positive affectivity and high self-monitoring managers
Who provides help to employees suffering anxiety and emotional pain in organizations? From an interactionist perspective, the authors anticipated that increasing levels of managerial responsibility...
Published 1 August 2007
Academic publications
Article
Multisource feedback, coaching, and leadership development: Gender homophily in coaching dyads
This study examines some factors that influence the effectiveness of multisource feedback that has been facilitated by an executive coach. Participants were 89 senior managers from a globally opera...
Published 1 January 2005
Article
360-degree assessment: Time for reinvention
One of the most popular management development tools in use today is the 360-degree assessment instrument. In recent years, however, its popularity has led to uses beyond its original application f...
Published 1 January 2003
Article
Action learning and multi-rater feedback as leadership development interventions: Popular but poorly deployed
Action learning and multi-rater feedback are today among the most widely used interventions for leadership development. Despite their popularity, the authors believe that both have been poorly depl...
Published 1 January 2002
Article
Emotion helping by managers: An emergent understanding of discrepant role expectations and outcomes
Why do managers help employees with their negative emotions, and how do employees respond? We analyzed interview and network data from the head office of a recruiting agency. We found that managers...
Published 1 January 2013
Article
How to become a better leader
Good leaders make their work look easy. But the reality is that most have had to work hard on themselves — by managing or compensating for potentially career-limiting traits. To grow as an executiv...
Published 16 April 2012
Insight for Executives
Article
「受け止める」意識の醸成を 女性活躍推進と多様性
Allocation of numbers is the first step to increase diversity. In addition to numbers, "inclusion" that respects differences is important. Inclusion is important to respect differences in addition ...
Published 7 April 2021
3 leadership mindsets we are seeing emerge today
Video
3 leadership mindsets we are seeing emerge today
Leadership is going in the direction of allowing others to shine, asking questions instead of knowing all the answers, and a commitment to emotional intelligence.
Published 3 July 2020
Article
It’s time to tackle your team’s undiscussables: Subjects that are consciously or unwittingly deemed out of bounds come in four varieties and make it almost impossible for teams to function.
Undiscussables exist because they help people avoid short-term conflicts, threats, and embarrassment. But they also short-circuit the inquiries and challenges essential to both improving performanc...
Published 10 September 2019
Article
Why workstyle reform just might work in Japan
Ikigai– in Japanese it means, loosely, “what makes life worth living.” If reforms by the Shinzō Abe government succeed, it may one day represent a new ethos towards work-life balance. Is this poss...
Published 22 March 2019
Report
Neste and IMD: Partnering for renewal
When Matti Lievonen became the CEO of Neste in 2009, the Finnish oil refining company was facing strong headwinds – a sharp fall in oil prices, market overcapacity, falling margins and new carbon e...
Published 28 February 2018
Article
3 situations where cross-cultural communication breaks down
The strength of cross-cultural teams is their diversity of experience, perspective, and insight. But to capture those riches, colleqgues must commit to open communication; they must dare to share. ...
Published 8 June 2016
Article
How to preempt team conflict
Team conflict can add value or destroy it. Good conflict fosters respectful debate and yields mutually agreed-upon solutions that are often far superior to those first offered. Bad conflict occurs ...
Published 1 June 2016
Article
Pensar como hombre te harà buena lider?
Published 31 October 2013
Article
Women in power: RESCU takes an inspiring look at the growing trend for women to come out on top in politics and the workforce
No matter what your politics, few women would have been unmoved by Julia Gillard’s appointment as Australia’s first female prime minister this year. Here, we look at the state of women’s leadership...
Published 6 May 2011
Article
40% for Norway's golden skirt board members: Do companies need quotas for women?
The lack of women on boards is consequence of a deeper problem, the huge underrepresentation of women at top executive levels. The proportion of women employees falls off dramatically at the higher...
Published 8 March 2011
Article
Do corporate boards need quotas for women?
YES, the Norwegian solution is a smart one.¦The global financial crisis threw a lot of light onto the testosterone-fueled excesses of monocultural boards as captured by the now-famous suggestion th...
Published 19 February 2011
Article
Disappointing statistics, positive outlook: The state of women's leadership around the world
As we move toward the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day (March 8), it is clear that the world of business is being transformed by women, but the gender makeup of business leadership ha...
Published 18 February 2011
Article
Business benefits from authentic women
The article presents the author's views on the significance of having women in business. The author refers to an academic research which suggests the economic value of having gender-diverse managem...
Published 20 September 2010
Article
Management: Où sont les femmes?
Alors que les femmes ont sensiblement progressé au niveau de l'encadrement moyen, les statistiques restent terriblement démoralisantes au niveau des échelons supérieurs. Pourtant, de nombreuses étu...
Published 24 August 2010
Article
Où en sont les femmes?
Le nombre de femmes leaders, tant en politique qu'en entreprise, augmente tout doucement. Mais leur proportion reste faible. Pourtant, de nombreuses études démontrent la valeur ajoutée des équipes ...
Published 17 August 2010