Knut Haanaes

STRATEGY
Knut Haanaes
CONTACT
The very best organizations are those that are excellent at both improving their current business and exploring new opportunities.
Knut Haanaes
Vita

Knut Haanaes' research and teaching focuses on strategy, sustainability, strategic renewal and business models. He is co-author of the best-selling book Your Strategy Needs a Strategy and a successful TED speaker, and was until recently the Dean of the Global Leadership Institute at the World Economic Forum. He is a former Senior Partner and Global Leader of the Strategy Practice at the Boston Consulting Group.


Your Strategy Needs a Strategy was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2015 and won praise from the likes of World Economic Forum founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, Pfizer Chairman and CEO Ian C. Read and Benetton CEO Marco Airoldi. The book has since been translated into seven other languages and its findings have underpinned much of Haanaes' teaching since he joined IMD in 2015. Meanwhile, his TED talk "Two reasons companies fail – and how to avoid them" has attracted more than 2 million views.


Haanaes says the different pillars of his work enable him to help companies think about their path for the future and take account of new trends like demands for greater sustainability. He believes that the secret to creating lasting, impactful companies is to find a balance between doing what you're good at (exploitation) and looking for new challenges to take on (exploration).


Sustainability is also an important cornerstone of his work. At BCG he led a collaboration with MIT on the topic, developing one of the largest databases globally of how executives address sustainability, and founded the BCG global sustainability initiative. And at IMD he plays a coordinating role in the Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL) alliance of eight leading European business schools set up in 2021 to address the climate crisis. The schools plan to collaborate on research to identify and shape best practices, and work across industries to accelerate the business community’s response to climate change. He is also heavily involved in IMD's strategic partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which aims to equip business leaders with the skills to accelerate the pace of sustainable business transformation and create the most sustainability-centered MBA program in the world.


Through his work with clients, Haanaes has accumulated extensive experience in a number of industries on issues of strategy. At IMD, he has helped run custom programs for Neste, CMS, Technip FMC, Coca-Cola Bottling, Mondelez, Maybank, Rio Tinto and Iberdrola. He is also Director of the Leading Sustainable Business Transformation (LSBT) program, head of the sustainability stream in the MBA program and teaches in many of the school's key open programs, including the Advanced Management Program (AMP), Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE) and Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP).

 

Haanaes has published articles in top publications such as Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review and research reports for BCG, The World Economic Forum and MIT.


Haanaes is a member of the CEO’s Sustainability Advisory Board at Carlsberg and a board member at private bank Alpian. He has also served as Chairman of BI Norwegian Business School, a member of the Global Agenda Council on New Economic Growth Models at the World Economic Forum, Executive Director of the Research Council of Norway, and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.


Selected publications

Business schools must do more on climate change (Harvard Business Review, 2022)

How the university of the future must adapt to train future leaders (Forbes, 2020).

Your Strategy Needs a Strategy (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015)

Making sustainability profitable (Harvard Business Review, 2013)

How serious is climate change to business? (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2013).

Sustainability as adaptability (Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, 2012)

Sustainability nears a tipping point (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2012).

New sustainability study: The 'embracers' seize advantage (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2011)


Recognition

President’s Award, BCG

Expansion Management Review Best Article

BI Norwegian Business School best lecturer prize


Education

MSc (Economics)

Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH)


PhD (Strategy)

Copenhagen Business School

KNUT HAANAES'S PROGRAMS
Orchestrating Winning Performance
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.
Master of Business Administration
Develops young and experienced international professionals into future corporate leaders through an intense one year program focused on leadership and general management.
All IMD programs
Knut Haanaes's Publications
2022
Why all businesses should embrace sustainability
Article
2021
Four steps to stay ahead with sustainability
Video
2020
The new business models and tech that will make this an even better ‘roaring 20s’
Article