News Stories · Diversity and Equity and Inclusion - Leadership - Organizational Behavior

IMD Professor Alyson Meister named to 2021 Thinkers50 Radar list

‘In an increasingly divided world, leaders of today need to get better at building bridges across perceived difference,’ says Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior Alyson Meister
January 2021

As the struggle for finding purpose and meaning in our personal and professional lives grows with each day of the pandemic, Alyson Meister has been named to the prestigious 2021 Thinkers50 Radar list for her influential body of work. Thinkers50 identifies, ranks and shares the very best in today’s management ideas; its definitive global Radar list is published annually.

Meister was recognized for her “important research on how people can navigate, manage, and overcome bias throughout their careers.” For leaders, Meister says this requires examining how their identity and core values shape not only their own beliefs and behavior, but how they perceive, label and interact with others.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are especially important topics for Meister, who leads IMD’s new Future Leaders program, and supports organizations to cultivate inclusive, adaptive and resilient leaders. Her most recent research surrounds how feeling marginalized, stereotyped or mislabeled impacts stress, well-being and job performance.

“Remember, people don’t leave their jobs – they leave their leaders,” says Meister. “And people today increasingly want leaders with a sense of purpose, who reflect and represent our diverse world, and who genuinely want to enable their people to succeed.”

As pandemic-related challenges grow, Meister is adapting to explore health, illness, stress and resilience – which she says will become even more important in the workplace.

“I am excited to focus more in this area, to help enable leaders to face these new challenges, to find the best in themselves and to bring out the best across all of their diverse workforce,” says Meister. “The goal is ultimately to develop organizations where everyone feels comfortable to bring their full selves to work, where people feel respected and engaged, and where they can truly thrive.”

In her teaching, Meister integrates her professional experience with evidence-based research and she has a passion for supporting leaders to find purpose and meaning in their personal and professional lives.

Meister’s research has been published in several leading international journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies and Human Relations and Leadership Quarterly.  Her practitioner articles regularly appear in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, which has featured “What’s Your Leadership Origin Story” and “How Women Manage the Gendered Norms of Leadership”.

The Canadian-born “global nomad” has lived and worked on five continents – North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. She earned an HBA from the Ivey School of Business (Western University) in Canada, PhD from Melbourne University (MBS), and joined IMD as a professor in 2019.

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