Professor Knut Haanaes

Strategy and International Management
PhD Copenhagen Business School


Knut Haanaes is a Professor of Strategy at IMD, and incoming deputy Dean of the MBA program where he will oversee the International Consulting Projects. He teaches in a number of programs at IMD, including Mastering Digital Technologies, Building on Talent and Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives. He also runs some large company programs.

His research interests are related to strategy, digital and sustainability. In the area of strategy he focuses on strategy styles, the exploration versus exploitation trade-off and business models. In sustainability he examines topics such as the role of Boards and sustainability, how to drive effective collaboration and how to demonstrate proof of sustainability value. In the area of digital he has developed a new approach for how to teach executives to learn programming and coding.

Professor Haanaes has published articles in top publications such as Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review and has conducted reports for BCG. MIT and the World Economic Forum. He is co-author of the bestselling book "Your Strategy Needs a Strategy" published in 2015 by Harvard Business Review Press. He is also a recent TED speaker ("Two reasons companies fail – and how to avoid them").

Before joining IMD, Professor Haanaes was a Senior Partner at The Boston Consulting Group. At BCG he served as the Global Leader of the strategy practice and at different times, he led the BCG offices in Geneva and Oslo. He established the Sustainability activity in BCG, working closely with the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Global Compact and the WWF. From 2012-2014, he was a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on New Economic Growth Models.

Professor Haanaes has also been Executive Director of The Research Council of Norway and held research positions at BI Norwegian Business School and Stanford University (Visiting Scholar). He has a MSc in Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH), the IB program at Stockholm School of Economics and a PhD in Strategy from Copenhagen Business School (CBS).


Reeves, M., K. Haanaes and J. Sinha (2015) Your Strategy Needs a Strategy, Harvard Business School Press

Reeves, M., K. Haanaes and J. Sinha (2015) Navigating the Dozens of Different Strategy Options, Harvard Business Review, June

Haanaes, K, et al., (2013). “How Serious is Climate Change to Business?", MIT Sloan Management Review, Fall

Haanaes, K. et al., (2013) "Making Sustainability Profitable", Harvard Business Review, March