IMD recently held its first-ever Transformation Summit, an exclusive gathering of over 30 Chief Human Resource Officers from leading companies focusing on how organizations effectuate impactful wide-ranging change and the role that HR plays in such transformations.

The event was led by Albrecht Enders, IMD Professor of Strategy, and Dean of Programs and Innovation, and Lars Häggstrom, IMD Executive-in-Residence and former Chief Human Resources Officer at Stora Enso, a pulp and paper manufacturer based in Finland with its own history of large-scale transformation.

IMD President Jean-François Manzoni, who was an active participant and contributor throughout the event, opened by welcoming the participants and describing what IMD does in the area of organizational transformation.

 “The transformational journeys that IMD leads are designed to achieve a high level of individual and organizational impact,” Manzoni said.

The following two days provided concrete and relevant examples of organizations which faced disruption and learned how to strive in the digital era.

Throughout the summit, participants were able to hear first-hand accounts of major organizational change presented by IMD faculty and company executives who were involved in the real life cases of company transformation being discussed. Professor Albrecht Enders and Lars Häggstrom discussed the case of Stora Enso which they led, for example, and Professor Thomas Malnight talked about the transformation journey of Mars Petcare, which he designed.

Professor Anand Narasimhan presented the story of transformation at Group M in India while Professor Goutam Challagalla looked at the role of digital in making an organization more customer-centric. Professor Bettina Büchel discussed how organizations can define their transformation journeys and then make the crucial step toward implementation.

Other appearances were made by executives from Neste who described their company’s dramatic turnaround as well as additional executives from Stora Enso, and Pau Garcia, young entrepreneur and digital expert.

During the event Professor Albrecht Enders shed light on why transformation is crucial for many of today’s companies. “Established companies often fail to react adequately to discontinuous innovations,” he said. “What this summit is all about is discovering the underlying architecture of business transformations.”

At the end of the sessions, Lars Häggstrom voiced IMD’s intention of making the Chief Human Resources Officer community a permanent one through future events and continued communication.

Wrapping up the summit President Jean-François Manzoni provided some words of inspiration about the role Chief Human Resource Officers can make in improving the lives of the people that make up their organizations and also the communities in which they operate. “Let’s contribute every day to a better world,” he said.

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