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.
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