Misiek Piskorski

Professor of Digital Strategy, Analytics and Innovation and Dean of IMD Asia and Oceania

Mikołaj Jan Piskorski, also known as Misiek Piskorski, is Professor of Digital Strategy, Analytics and Innovation and Dean of IMD Asia and Oceania. He is an expert on digital strategy, platform strategy, and the process of digital business transformation. He works with companies in various industries across the globe to support them through digital transformation.

Piskorski aims to demystify digital transformation by taking this complex and complicated topic and distilling it down to its core principles, and to the five or six key decisions that companies need to take. The multilayered framework that he developed to help companies devise a digital transformation strategy consists of a series of easy to understand steps. This exercise is made more accessible by the use of cases to show how other companies have tackled the process. Companies come out at the end with a detailed strategy they can implement in full or in part.

My approach is like teaching people how to drive. A driving instructor explains what you need to do to drive a car and helps you while you are learning, but at the end of the process you can drive by yourself. Similarly, I show executives how to develop a digital transformation strategy, hold their hands while they try it out, and they are then able to implement it themselves.

One element of digital transformation is the use of social platforms, which Piskorski documented in his book A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media, winner of the Axiom Business Book Awards gold medal in 2015. Backed by original research, case studies, and proprietary data from social media sites, the book provides insights on how companies can leverage social platforms to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

Piskorski uses his framework for digital transformation to help companies from a broad range of industries including financial services, automotive, manufacturing, and healthcare as they seek to tap into the opportunities offered by digitalization. He carries out a lot of work with senior teams, but specializes in transformations that span the entire organization. This approach typically embraces strategic advisory services to the CEO, strategic transformation projects, and business development with the top management team, executive education with middle managers, and online education with the rest of the organization.

At IMD, he leads custom programs for Johnson & Johnson, Telecom Malaysia, the Asian Development Bank, Bayer, SHV, and DNB. In addition, he is the Director of the Digital Strategy (DS) open program and Co-Director of the Leading Digital Business Transformation (LDBT) program. As Dean of Southeast Asia and Oceania, he also runs IMD’s activities in the region.

Piskorski’s research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, the American Journal of Sociology, Harvard Business Review, Management Science, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Social Forces. He is also an associate editor at the Journal of Organizational Design, and has served on the editorial boards of several academic journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, and Organization Science.

Before joining IMD in 2014 he was Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and started his academic career as a faculty member at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Selected publications
Article
How legacy businesses can compete in the sharing economy: By harnessing sensor data from the internet of things, providers of traditional products and services can participate in the sharing economy — boosting revenue in the process.
The term platform is commonly associated with vibrant ecosystems that connect various sets of users — drivers with riders (Uber), property owners with renters (Airbnb), searchers with advertisers (...
Published 8 June 2020
Article
Competing by restricting choice: The case of matching platforms
We show that a two-sided matching platform can successfully compete by limiting the number of choices it offers to its customers, while charging higher prices than platforms with unrestricted choic...
Published 1 August 2018
Article
Testing Coleman’s social-norm enforcement mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia
Since Durkheim, sociologists have believed that actors in dense network structures experience fewer norm violations. Coleman proposed one explanatory mechanism, arguing that dense networks provide ...
Published 1 January 2017
A social strategy: How we profit from social media
Book
A social strategy: How we profit from social media
Almost no one had heard of social media a decade ago, but today websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than 1 billion users and account for almost 25 percent of Internet use. Pr...
Published 6 June 2014
Article
Social strategies that work
More than a billion people use social platforms such as Facebook, eHarmony, Renren, and LinkedIn. What’s the attraction? They satisfy two basic human needs: to meet new people and to strengthen exi...
Published 1 November 2011
Article
When more power makes actors worse off: Turning a profit in the american economy
We propose a theory which predicts that an increase in an actor’s relative power reduces the actor’s rewards in high mutual dependence dyads.¦Our argument is based on the premise that higher relati...
Published 1 December 2006
Article
Power imbalance, mutual dependence, and constraint absorption: A closer look at resource dependence theory
Despite ubiquitous references to Pfeffer and Salancik’s¦classic volume, The External Control of Organizations,¦resource dependence theory is more of an appealing¦metaphor than a foundation for test...
Published 1 January 2005
Academic publications
Article
Influencer celebrification: How social media influencers acquire celebrity capital
The digital age has given rise to new pathways for everyday individuals to accrue media attention, which can be translated into promotional endeavors. Such sociocultural currency is referred to as ...
Published 22 November 2021
Article
Competing by restricting choice: The case of matching platforms
We show that a two-sided matching platform can successfully compete by limiting the number of choices it offers to its customers, while charging higher prices than platforms with unrestricted choic...
Published 1 August 2018
Article
Power imbalance, mutual dependence, and constraint absorption: A closer look at resource dependence theory
Despite ubiquitous references to Pfeffer and Salancik’s¦classic volume, The External Control of Organizations,¦resource dependence theory is more of an appealing¦metaphor than a foundation for test...
Published 1 January 2005
Article
Testing Coleman’s social-norm enforcement mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia
Since Durkheim, sociologists have believed that actors in dense network structures experience fewer norm violations. Coleman proposed one explanatory mechanism, arguing that dense networks provide ...
Published 1 January 2017
Insight for Executives
Sarena Lin, CTTO at Bayer, speaks with Misiek Piskorski about digital transformation and leadership
Article
Sarena Lin, CTTO at Bayer, speaks with Misiek Piskorski about digital transformation and leadership
IMD's Misiek Piskorski speaks with Sarena Lin, Chief Transformation & Talent Officer at Bayer, about digital transformation and leadership.
Published 6 December 2022
Diversity training is a conversation, not an education
Article
Diversity training is a conversation, not an education
Implicit bias training does not bring the desired results. Organizations should focus on helping employees to discuss diversity with each other and implement the outcomes of these conversations.
Published 2 August 2022
Developing ambidextrous leaders: A solution to strategic talent deficit
Article
Developing ambidextrous leaders: A solution to strategic talent deficit
To be successful, all talent management activities need to flow directly from strategy and be tightly integrated with each other. In summary: 1) Senior executives need a dual transformation strate...
Published 16 December 2021
How ambidextrous leaders deliver performance and progress fast
Article
How ambidextrous leaders deliver performance and progress fast
Making your current business more efficient while also developing new revenue streams seems to many an impossible task, but with new ways of thinking it can be done.
Published 16 September 2021
Report
DTAC and IMD: Deep cultural change journeys for senior intact teams
By 2019 dtac, the third largest cellphone operator in Thailand, was beginning to see results from the strategic turnaround it had started the year before. But much remained to be done regarding th...
Published 1 March 2021
Article
How legacy businesses can compete in the sharing economy: By harnessing sensor data from the internet of things, providers of traditional products and services can participate in the sharing economy — boosting revenue in the process.
The term platform is commonly associated with vibrant ecosystems that connect various sets of users — drivers with riders (Uber), property owners with renters (Airbnb), searchers with advertisers (...
Published 8 June 2020
Article
How our cellphone location data can save us from a COVID-19 recession
It’s clear that COVID-19 has become a significant threat to our health globally, prompting many governments to undertake draconian measures to contain the epidemic. Most governments are relying on ...
Published 21 March 2020
Building a fairer society requires a new kind of leadership
Article
Building a fairer society requires a new kind of leadership
Gender inequality in work has been associated with the legacy of traditional gender specific roles, different approaches to education, negotiation and career choices, and prejudices and biases that...
Published 14 June 2019
Report
SCB and IMD: Accelerating digital transformation at Thailand's oldest bank
In 2016 Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) embarked on a major digital business transformation journey in response to intensifying competition and deregulation. Seeing its traditional strengths...
Published 1 March 2019
9 Reasons why China loves the internet
Article
9 Reasons why China loves the internet
The size of the Chinese Internet is staggering. There are almost 650 million Internet users in China now, more than in any country in the world - next highest is the U.S, with almost 280 million. T...
Published 13 March 2015
Article
Competing by restricting choice: The case of search platforms
Seminal papers recommend that platforms in two-sided markets increase the number of complements available. We show that a two-sided platform can successfully compete by limiting the choice of poten...
Published 26 March 2013
Article
Networks as covers: Evidence from an on-line social network
This paper proposes that networks give actors a cover by giving them the excuse of sociability to engage in normatively prohibited market behaviors.¦I apply this hypothesis to actors in long-term e...
Published 26 March 2013
Article
Testing Coleman’s social-norm enforcement mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia
Since Durkheim, sociologists have believed that dense network structures lead to fewer norm violations. Coleman (1990) proposed one mechanism generating this relationship and argued that dense netw...
Published 26 March 2013
Article
Social strategies that work
More than a billion people use social platforms such as Facebook, eHarmony, Renren, and LinkedIn. What’s the attraction? They satisfy two basic human needs: to meet new people and to strengthen exi...
Published 1 November 2011
Article
Mapping the social internet
Blogs. Status updates. Family photo albums, political tweets, viral videos. In the age of the social web, many people broadcast themselves to the world, but not everyone does it in the same way. Us...
Published 1 August 2010
Article
When should a platform give people fewer choices and charge more for them
Existing economic wisdom offers unequivocal advice to managers seeking to establish new platform businesses: Invest to acquire users as quickly as possible and make sure that they have unrestricted...
Published 27 July 2010
Article
Source of structural inequality in managerial labor markets
This article proposes two mechanisms that allow actors to obtain unearned advantages in labor markets. The first mechanism is consistent with collusive closure arguments. However, it questions the ...
Published 1 January 2004
A Social Strategy
Book
A Social Strategy
Almost no one had heard of social media a decade ago, but today websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than 1 billion users and account for almost 25 percent of Internet use. Pr...
Published 1 January 0001