Ginka Toegel

Ginka Toegel
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.
Ginka Toegel

Ginka Toegel is an expert on the team 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.

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 Toegel 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

It’s time to tackle your team’s undiscussables (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2019)

Three situations where cross-cultural communication breaks down (Harvard Business Review, 2016)

How to preempt team conflict (Harvard Business Review, 2016)

Emotion helping by managers: An emergent understanding of discrepant role expectations and outcomes (Academy of Management Journal, 2013)

How to become a better leader (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2012)

Emotion helpers: The role of high positive affectivity and high self-monitoring managers (Personnel Psychology, 2007)


London School of Economics Major Review Teaching Prize (2006)

MCD Award for outstanding practice-based paper (2005)

AOM Management & Education Division Best Symposium Award (2002)

London Business School Innovation in Teaching Award (2001)

Mobilizing People
Transformative experience for seasoned leaders looking to inspire people by gaining a better understanding of themselves and the dynamics of human behavior.
Strategies for Leadership
Brings together senior women leaders from around the world and designed to enable your authentic, most effective leadership style.
All IMD programs
Ginka Toegel's Publications
‘Women talk too much’ simply isn’t true, data show
3 leadership mindsets we are seeing emerge today
What teams don’t, can’t, daren’t or won’t discuss
It’s Time to Tackle Your Team’s Undiscussables
MITSloan MAnagement Review
How to Preempt Team Conflict
Harvard Business Review
3 Situations Where Cross-Cultural Communication Breaks Down
Harvard Business Review
A book to read when a woman becomes a manager-How to balance "career" and "personality" (In Japanese)
Emotion Helping by Managers: An Emergent Understanding of Discrepant Role Expectations and Outcomes
Academy of Management Journal
How to Become a Better Leader
MITSloan Management Review