Katharina Lange

Affiliate Professor of Leadership

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Katharina Lange is an Affiliate Professor of Leadership. She specializes in teaching executives globally about leading self, leading teams, and leading organizations, and in building resilience at the individual, team, and organizational level as well as leading customer-centric organizations. She has a strong track record of designing and directing innovative executive education programs for virtual, face-to-face, and blended learning.

She currently directs IMD custom programs for Mondelez, BAE Systems and E&Y, and is Co-director of IMD’s signature program Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP). She also co-directs the new Leading Customer-Centric Strategies (LCCS) program, which takes a fresh approach to customer centricity, integrating strategic, digital, and leadership angles.

Leaders connect when they speak from the heart. Their language is accessible, relatable; it is simple, not simplistic. This requires great courage.

Lange’s teaching on self-leadership focuses on creating better awareness of a leader’s bright and dark sides. In her sessions, executives discover the key values that motivate and inspire them. Just as importantly, they discuss how to integrate their weaknesses with courage and humility into their (professional) lives and learn to speak from the heart.

Her work on leading teams focuses on psychodynamics, analyzing subconscious and conscious drivers, and building resilience, particularly in relation to boards.

Lange’s PhD in pharmacology adds the empirical lens of a natural scientist to her profile and she appreciates insights provided by data and assessments. She has certifications in all major assessment instruments and makes particular use of IMD’s newly developed 5s2 model. This model assesses leaders’ ability to transform their present business model for higher performance, and at the same time transform the organization for a successful future. These “dual transformations” require ambidextrous leadership in five behavioral dimensions: leading strategy, execution, stakeholders, people, and self.

Lange has held leadership positions herself, and what she teaches in class has been tested in reality. This   ensures the real impact of her sessions. Before joining IMD in 2019, she led the Office of Executive Development at Singapore Management University (SMU). This role gave her valuable insights into leading cross-cultural teams. Previously, she was Program Director and Head of Life Science Industries and head of Open Enrollment Programs at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. Before embarking on her academic career, she worked for 10 years in senior roles with Arthur Andersen and Deloitte Consulting.

She also serves on the Board of UNICON, the global consortium for university-based executive education. She currently co-chairs its research committee, having previously headed its membership and benchmarking committee.

Selected publications
Case Study
Business on the move (B) (Video case)
Case B, a video case, reveals the identity of the company and its two protagonists. Via an interview technique, students learn about the starting situation and the reasoning behind the transformati...
Published 8 June 2022
Article
Why talent management is crucial in transforming business models
Renewables trailblazer Orsted and tobacco giant Philip Morris have transformed their business models – fueled partly by HR best practice. Companies seeking to reap the benefits of building a sustai...
Published 2 June 2021
Article
Fuse soft skills and digital for customer centricity on steroids
Technology alone cannot unlock all the answers for understanding customers. Companies must blend soft skills such as empathy, humility and audacity with digital innovation to achieve true customer ...
Published 13 May 2021
Case Study
Zuellig Pharma (A): A case for transformation
Case (A) describes the situation facing John Davison after joining the company in December 2014 as the new CEO. A failing ERP implementation had led to serious operational issues in Singapore (its ...
Published 1 December 2020
Article
Agility and resilience: the essential qualities of leadership in the digital age
Transforming an organisation is never an easy task, especially when competitive pressure becomes merciless. There always seems to be a faster, better, bolder, brighter business model emerging in th...
Published 26 November 2019
Article
Leadership capabilities: Transforming your organisation for the digital age
How can established companies transform their existing selves so that they not only survive but also thrive in the digital age? Established businesses have a lot of advantages that start-ups don’t—...
Published 25 November 2019
Insight for Executives
Article
Agility and resilience: the essential qualities of leadership in the digital age
Transforming an organisation is never an easy task, especially when competitive pressure becomes merciless. There always seems to be a faster, better, bolder, brighter business model emerging in th...
Published 26 November 2019
Article
Leadership capabilities: Transforming your organisation for the digital age
How can established companies transform their existing selves so that they not only survive but also thrive in the digital age? Established businesses have a lot of advantages that start-ups don’t—...
Published 25 November 2019
Programs
liVe virtual New
Leading Customer Centric Strategies

Boost growth. Become a customer-focused powerhouse

How do you become a customer-focused powerhouse that is hyper-relevant and valuable to your clients? The answer lies in leveraging and integrating three key business dimensions: your strategic marketing, digital transformation and leadership.

Location: liVe virtual Length: 9 weeks including 3 weeks immersive learning Fee: CHF 7,900 Next start: 6 February 2023
On campus
Orchestrating Winning Performance

Reset for sustainable and inclusive growth

IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.

Location: Lausanne Length: 5 days Fee: CHF 10,900 Next start: 26 June 2023