Louise Muhdi

Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Strategy

Louise Muhdi  is an Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Strategy. She helps organizations rapidly adapt to an uncertain and fast-changing business environment, drive innovation and growth, and sustain value creation for the long term. She enables executives to develop the capabilities, skills, tools, and mindsets needed to successfully lead and manage change and business transformation.

Using her extensive management experience working across different sectors, her multidisciplinary training in technology and innovation management, and her insights as a biologist, she brings pedagogical innovation and a disruptive perspective to her research to create impactful learning journeys and educational content for clients.

To truly thrive in business today, organizations should be able to cope with daily uncertainty and move at the speed of change. Business transformation is something that people do, not something that is done to them.

Consequently, her approach is very hands-on and action oriented, guiding executives as they scope out the challenges they face and working out possible solutions in a human-centric, collaborative, disciplined and creative way. She specializes in designing novel tools and technology-enhanced programs that deliver measurable and immediate impact at the individual, team, and organizational level. Her focus is therefore on strategic innovation management, strategy execution, entrepreneurship, and implementation of organizational change.

Aware of the time constraints facing many executives, Muhdi is now developing and delivering the IMD BOOSTR innovation program, which involves short-burst, virtual collaborative problem-solving modules which can be delivered as a stand-alone program or added on to other programs or learning journeys to address the specific needs and challenges of organizations. Broadly, it involves identifying a specific problem and then designing a high-intensity and immersive intervention in which geographically dispersed and diverse teams work out a potential solution in a short space of time.

IMD BOOSTR creates a safe space for teams to collaborate effectively and work on real-world strategic projects, build on existing abilities, and practice essential skills for the future. It helps dissolve workplace silos as participants learn to challenge the status quo, tackle disruptive challenges, cope with uncertainty, embrace diversity, think smarter, act faster and build the agility and resilience needed for long-term success.

Based on her work with organizations navigating change during the COVID-19 pandemic, she also developed a framework to help executives and their teams respond more effectively to the situation of constant, unpredictable upheaval that has become the norm in many areas of the business world, and which for many years has been referred to as a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) scenario. Muhdi’s LACE framework is built on key pillars of action (learn, adapt, collaborate, experiment) and offers an action checklist for executives facing a VUCA business environment.

Her global portfolio of clients includes Oman LNG, Statkraft, Norlys, Indonesian bank Mandiri, Borealis, Borouge, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Romande Energie, Shell and a number of startups, and she also teaches on IMD’s MBA and EMBA programs.

A natural innovator and an influential figure on the Swiss startup scene, she is a jury member at Venture Kick, which provides support for science-based technology startups from Swiss universities. She was also part of a team that was selected as a winner in the economic impact category of Switzerland’s April 2020 Versus Virus hackathon.

Prior to joining IMD in 2019, Muhdi was Head of Innovation Strategy and Portfolio for Global Science and Technology at Givaudan International, where she led the development of the global innovation strategy and the implementation of multiple strategic initiatives to drive short, mid, and long-term growth. She previously spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry, where she developed emerging markets in Morocco and Tunisia and has held a strategic and scientific advisory role in the family office of a leading Swiss business personality.

Selected publications
Article
How to jump-start innovation and organizational change
In the spring of 2020, an Asia-based fintech was blindsided by surging demand for electronic payments. As millions of customers took their transactions online at the outset of the pandemic, many fo...
Published 12 January 2022
Article
The LACE framework: How to effectively respond to a rapidly changing business environment
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the trends driving a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment. This framework and checklist will help you future-proof yo...
Published 29 November 2021
Article
Learning to learn: Five steps to create a curious organization
As the world faces a rapid transformation in jobs, ways of working and skills, organizations must learn to embed a culture of curiosity to power ongoing learning that lies at the heart of future su...
Published 27 January 2021
Article
Trying to hack COVID: My experience hyperlooping teams into the future of remote innovation
Marathons the world over are on pause, but fear not those of you who like to engage in a herculean effort to move forwards. Because in their place, COVID-19 has brought virtual hackathons to the ma...
Published 3 September 2020
Book
Understanding crowdsourcing - the process and the contributors
Business professionals can utilize the insights provided in this book improve their understanding of the intermediary-mediated and virtual Crowdsourcing process. In-depth understanding of the diffe...
Published 1 January 2012
Article
The Crowdsourcing process: An intermediary mediated idea generation approach in the early phase of innovation
Intermediary mediated crowdsourcing (CS) has become a widely adopted open innovation approach for idea generation in various companies of different industries. Despite many success stories and a la...
Published 12 October 2011
Article
Motivational factors affecting participation and collaboration of members in two different Swiss Innovation communities
Different types of virtual innovation-related communities have emerged in recent years. These are increasingly being utilized by companies from different industries as a tool to efficiently source ...
Published 1 June 2011
Academic publications
Article
The Crowdsourcing process: An intermediary mediated idea generation approach in the early phase of innovation
Intermediary mediated crowdsourcing (CS) has become a widely adopted open innovation approach for idea generation in various companies of different industries. Despite many success stories and a la...
Published 12 October 2011
Article
Motivational factors affecting participation and collaboration of members in two different Swiss Innovation communities
Different types of virtual innovation-related communities have emerged in recent years. These are increasingly being utilized by companies from different industries as a tool to efficiently source ...
Published 1 June 2011
Insight for Executives
Article
How to jump-start innovation and organizational change
In the spring of 2020, an Asia-based fintech was blindsided by surging demand for electronic payments. As millions of customers took their transactions online at the outset of the pandemic, many fo...
Published 12 January 2022
Build a diverse, inclusive team to tackle uncertainty and empower innovation
Video
Build a diverse, inclusive team to tackle uncertainty and empower innovation
‘The status quo is our enemy – if we think we know it all and are already doing things the best way possible, we have no incentive to evolve,’ says IMD innovation expert.
Published 11 March 2021
Learning to learn: Five steps to create a curious organization
Article
Learning to learn: Five steps to create a curious organization
As the world faces a rapid transformation in jobs, ways of working and skills, organizations must learn to embed a culture of curiosity to power ongoing learning that lies at the heart of future su...
Published 27 January 2021
How to manage cyber risks without destroying business continuity and innovation
Video
How to manage cyber risks without destroying business continuity and innovation
We can’t eliminate the security threats posed by remote working, cloud services and platforms. Like COVID-19, companies just have to learn to live with the risks, according to Professor of Innovati...
Published 22 October 2020
Trying to hack COVID: my experience hyperlooping teams into the future of remote innovation
Article
Trying to hack COVID: my experience hyperlooping teams into the future of remote innovation
Are you making the most of virtual collaboration to inspire and boost innovation? A 48-hour, virtual hackathon might just shake it out of you, as it did me.
Published 3 September 2020
Innovative thinking in turbulent times
Video
Innovative thinking in turbulent times
Video vignette mini-series
Published 11 May 2020
Programs
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
On campus
Executive MBA

Growth starts with you

Develop the skills to excel as a senior global leader. The transformative core of the IMD Executive MBA is what makes it truly unique among EMBA programs. You will go far beyond your current situation, discovering new dimensions of yourself as a reflective leader, delivering much greater impact at the personal and professional levels.

Location: Lausanne Length: 15 months Fee: CHF 115,000
On campus
Master of Business Administration

Let purpose power your future

Develop reflective and responsible leadership skills as you gain the knowledge you need to maximize your career impact, succeed in a rapidly evolving world and make sustainable impact in your organization and society.

Location: Lausanne Length: One year Fee: CHF 97,500 Next start: 12 January 2023