Michael Watkins

Program Director

“Successful leaders are systematic in planning their transition and reach break even 50% faster than those who aren’t.”

Michael Watkins

Program Director

“Successful leaders are systematic in planning their transition and reach break even 50% faster than those who aren’t.”

Meet your Program Director

Michael Watkins is a professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD. He has spent the last two decades working with leaders as they transition to new roles, build their teams, and transform their organizations.

His international bestseller The First 90 Days®: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Smarter and Faster, remains a classic reference for leaders in transition, with over 1.5 million copies sold to date.

Michael Watkins is a Thinkers50-ranked global management influencer and best-selling author of 11 books on leadership and negotiation. He has written hundreds of articles for leading business journals. A globally recognized leadership transitions expert, Professor Watkins is a sought-after keynote speaker and guest on popular business podcasts.

Michael Watkins’ publications
10 reasons why organizational change fails
By Professor Michael Watkins and Janet Spencer

Most major organizational change ends in failure. How can you beat the odds and be successful? Discover the 10 factors that increase the likelihood of failure.

Moving up to business leadership
By Professors Michael Watkins and Philip Rosenzweig

In moving up from functional to business leadership, a leader has to undergo seven seismic shifts, including moving from tactical to strategic thinking. Learn more about these shifts.

How transition programs accelerate executive onboarding and integration
By Professor Michael Watkins

Many companies think they are doing a good job of onboarding newly hired executives when they aren’t. Read about the real reasons why newly hired executives fail or underperform.

Transition traps – Beware of the pitfalls of new leadership positions
By Professor Michael Watkins

Every year, thousands of managers enter new leadership positions. Their actions during the first few months on the job can determine their success or failure. Discover seven common traps.