Thomas Malnight

Professor of Strategy and General Management and Faculty Director of the Business Transformation Initiative (BTI)

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Thomas W. Malnight is Professor of Strategy and General Management and Faculty Director of the Business Transformation Initiative (BTI). His fields of interest are strategy, leading and accelerating transformational organizational change, and the role of purpose in redefining businesses and their impact on society.

Malnight works extensively with top leadership teams in challenging how they view their emerging volatile and uncertain competitive landscape, how they shape future strategies and organizations for moving forward, and how they engage and align priorities and actions across their organizations and leadership teams. This work has led to the creation of the BTI at IMD, focused on partnering with senior business leaders as partners and provocateurs in addressing and co-creating responses to major challenges.

His research focus has been on trends reshaping the future of business strategies and organizations. He is the co-author of Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy (2019), The 3Rs of Preparing Your Organization for the Future, Must Win Battles: How to Win Them, Again and Again and Accelerating International Growth. Malnight co-authored the Global Trends Reports 2011, 2012, and 2013 and has written for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Journal, McKinsey Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of International Business Studies, and the Academy of Management Journal. He has also authored more than 30 case studies on various aspects of global strategy and organization.

Prior to joining IMD, he was on the faculty of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1999. He has attended graduate studies at Harvard Business School, Boston, MA where he obtained a Doctorate of Business Administration and wrote a dissertation on Managing the Globalization Process: An Exploratory Study. He obtained an MBA from The Wharton School in 1979 and a BA from Northwestern University in 1977. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked for 10 years at Mitsubishi International Corporation, including two years working in Japan.

Malnight also consults extensively with companies from around the world on the topic of emerging future strategies and organizations.

Insight for Executives
Article
The strategic advantage of incumbency
For most of the 20th century, size, longevity, and a large market share were seen as assets in business. Then they began to be viewed as vulnerabilities, putting many companies in a defensive stanc...
Published 1 January 2022
Article
Put purpose at the core of your strategy
Eight years ago, Malnight, Buche, and Dhanaraj launched a study of high growth in companies, looking at three strategies known to drive it: creating new markets, serving broader stakeholder needs, ...
Published 1 September 2019
Article
When machine intelligence meets main street
AlphaGo may have been about games. But the broader implications are clear: We can expect imminent advances in commercial applications of many kinds. Demis Hassabis, who heads Google’s machine-learn...
Published 7 September 2016
Article
The best companies aren't afraid to replace their most profitable products
The fundamental advantage of large companies is in their ability to integrate and reconfigure offerings and services based on their prior capabilities. Startups may move fast, but they lack experie...
Published 14 July 2016
Report
Recasting business around relationships...not transactions
Majors trends are fundamentally reshaping the future environment in which business will operate - from the growth of connectivity, falling geographic and industry boundaries, new technology revolut...
Published 8 April 2011
Report
Preparing for a connected future: Beyond thinking outside the box, is it time to throw away the boxes
Published 1 January 2011
Report
LCF interview with Harish Manwani President - Unilever Asia, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe
LCF: I would like to start by asking you a general question. What do you think the challenges and opportunities are for Asia as a whole?¦Harish Manwani: The biggest opportunity for Asia is truly a ...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
LCF interview with Adi Godrej Chairman, Godrej group
LCF: Let’s start off talking about India as a whole. If you look at the five-to ten-year period¦going forward, what do you see as the major opportunities and challenges facing India, particularly i...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
LCF interview with Leo Yip Chairman, EDB - Singapore economic development board
LCF: How do you see the opportunities and challenges for Singapore in the next five to ten years?¦Leo Yip: The major backdrop against which we see our opportunities over the next five to ten years ...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
Leadership challenges in South Africa, a land of contradictions: Trip summary insights report
South Africa. The land of apartheid and Nelson Mandela. In many ways a first world player among third world neighbors. A land of mineral wealth, and a land of poverty. A land of hope and opportunit...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
LCF interview with Mike Brown CEO - Nedbank group ltd
Uncertainty and fluidity around many policy and regulatory issues puts South Africa in the bottom ten countries in the world as a mining investment destination, which is appalling for us as a count...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
LCF interview with Peter Staude: CEO - Tongaat Hulett
As a CEO, you allocate 90% of your thinking and interface time to short∞]term and 10% to long∞]term corporate activities, making sure you deal with both time frames successfully. It is 90% focus th...
Published 1 January 2011
Report
Sustainable leadership in the connected future - rethinking emotional intelligence
Since psychology and New York Times Science writer Daniel Goleman introduced the term Emotional Intelligence (EI) in his book: "Emotional intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ" (1995), the t...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
When cheap becomes chic, the new global challengers take the lead
What are the implications for your business when cheap becomes chic in the developed world – and the companies ready to meet emerging customer and consumer demands are the new global challengers?¦“...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
The influence landscape: The evolving power of shapers and influencers
Type the word “influence” into Google and it returns 142 million results. What is going on? The last two decades have seen major changes in the world which have reshaped the influence landscape – w...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
10 key trends to watch
Taking a holistic view of the global trends impacting how we live and work is critical. So too is making sense of which are the trends which are going to be most important to watch in the short-to ...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
Who's looking after you? The challenge of blurring industry boundaries
How do you think about the issues of health and wellness for yourself, for your children and family, for your aging parents, for society as a whole? Who is helping you to address the challenges you...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
Bringing global trends alive in your organization today: Tools and approaches: Part 1
Does the current obsession with short-term, quarterly results limit our ability to bring long-term thinking into today's reality? If so, what does it take to bring Global Trends into our business p...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
Retail banking: Adapting to the new realities of personal finance
If you are a banker, are you focused on the consumer of the future or the new regulations and rules on capital that will impact your operations? Following on from our Sepcial Report Who\'s Looking ...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
Corporate clout distributed: The influence of the world's largest 100 economic entities
Of the world's 100 largest economic entities in 2009, 44 are corporations. If you look at the top 150 economic entities, the proportion of corporations rises to 59%.¦The largest in 2009, Wal-Mart S...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
Who’s looking after your money? The democratization of personal finance
In a world where free market capitalism is under fire, bank liquidity difficulties continue, and the public has lost trust in the traditional financial services industry, the world of personal fina...
Published 1 January 2010
Report
The power of Chinese medicine
China. To the uninitiated Western mind, it is a place of suppression and central control and home to a huge and aging population, cheap goods and unchecked pollution. The reality is a stark contras...
Published 1 January 2010
Article
Making the most of corporate social responsibility
For companies that see CSR as an opportunity to strengthen the business, the big challenge is execution. Smart partnering can provide a practical way forward.¦Too often, executives have viewed corp...
Published 1 December 2009
From data to insights to action
The Global Trends Fieldbook