- IMD Business School
 - IMD Business School
Paul Strebel

Professor Emeritus of Governance, Strategy, and Change

Paul Strebel is Professor Emeritus of Governance, Strategy, and Change. He works with boards of directors and top management teams as an educator and advisor on strategic vision and the resolution of boardroom conflicts. In addition to personal experience as a board director, he has facilitated interactive workshops and seminars on best-in-class boards and strategic breakthroughs for multinationals in Europe, the US, South Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

He has twice received the Research on Leadership Award from the Association of Executive Search Consultants and has won several case study awards from the European Foundation for Management Development. He has been published in MIT Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, and Long Range Planning among others, and has contributed on governance issues to the business press.

Strebel’s books include Breakpoints: How Managers Exploit Radical Business Change, The Change Pact: Building Commitment to Ongoing Change, Trajectory Management: Leading a Business over Time, and Smart Big Moves: The Story Behind Strategic Breakthroughs. He is also co-editor of IMD’s guidebook Mastering Executive Education: How to Combine Content with Context and Emotion.

He is the originator of several managerial frameworks, including:

Outpacing business strategies: Companies shouldn’t opt exclusively for low delivered cost or high perceived value, but rather deploy them in sequence to drive the industry’s evolution and beat the competition. (Developed together with Xavier Gilbert.)

Employee compacts: To make organizational change effective, management must understand why employees resist change, take account of the forces of change and resistance, and offer employees correspondingly tailored compacts.

Contingent governance: Board directors are more effective when they are aware of the four basic roles of the board that reflect support and control and how the board should shift focus between the roles to deal with internal and external challenges.

Redefined stakeholder capitalism: Executives can reconcile shareholders with other stakeholders by focusing rigorously on creating long-term shareholder value based on win-win initiatives with value-creating stakeholders, while avoiding the value-destroying traps and ESG risks associated with others.

Strebel was IMD’s first Director of Research, held the Sandoz Family Foundation Chair in Strategic Change Management, sponsored the introduction of IMD’s Executive MBA program, directed several of IMD’s open and company-specific executive development programs, and developed the IMD online program Strategic Thinking.

Prior to joining IMEDE, one of the two founding institutes of IMD, he was Chairman of the Finance and Economics Group at the State University of New York in Binghamton, Director of the MBA Program at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and on the financial staff of WR Grace & Co.

He was educated at the University of Cape Town, where he was awarded a Master of Science degree for a thesis in nuclear chemistry, graduated from Columbia University in New York with an MBA specializing in finance, and received his doctorate with a dissertation in chemical physics from Princeton University.


Academic publications
Insight for Executives
No market to pick up the pieces when a political decision goes wrong

Decision Making Leadership Geopolitics
15 July 2016
Competitive profits and the annual report: Measuring the sustainable business

Value extraction can be identified and a sense of its magnitude obtained using information in the financial and sustainability reports, looking at the ways in which it is done: manipulating markets...

Finance Sustainability Competitiveness
12 May 2016
Rule of law is central to the social compact

15 July 2015