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News Stories · Leadership

Faculty Q & A: Michael Yaziji

I remain proud of breaking apart two aspects of capitalism because it leaves us with the good half of the rotting apple, says IMD Professor of Strategy and Leadership Michael Yaziji in our autumn interview series.
October 2020

1. What are you working on at the moment?

I’m most excited about innovating in program journeys. I’m integrating participants’ home teams in real depth like I never have before; using repeated micro-360s to focus attention and track improvement and impact. It is also interesting to use technologies like individualized Google Slide files for each participant.

2. What quality do you admire most in a leader?

The ability to listen and stay open-minded, while still having the courage to make decisions: self-awareness, self-management, and self-improvement. The ability to attend to – and integrate –  human, organizational and strategic demands.

3. If you had the power to make one decision to change the world, what would it be?

I would want whirled peas. More seriously, the climate is the existential issue of our time; if I could, I’d snap my fingers and make it all go away.

4. What triggered your interest in your specialization?

I’m a bit of a mutt in terms of specialization. I loved philosophy for its intellectual challenge. Ethics, probably because I grew up in a household with too many “shoulds”. Strategy, because it is the “big picture” area of business. NGOs because they bring in the social/political/ethical dimensions. And leadership because of psychology.

5. What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?

Developing inter-subjectivism as a form of moral ontology. Conceptually breaking apart two aspects of capitalism (and seeing this as a way out of many of its downsides): ownership and free markets.