Snowshoes as a way to get to know each other

Professor Knut Haanaes joined IMD in 2017 and is currently the Deputy Dean of the MBA program and a professor of Strategy at IMD. His research interests are related to strategy, digital and sustainability. Before joining IMD, Professor Haanaes was a senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group. At BCG he served as the global leader of the strategy practice and led the BCG offices in Geneva and Oslo. From 2012-2014, he was a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on New Economic Growth Models. He is also co-author of the bestselling book “Your Strategy Needs a Strategy” published in 2015 by Harvard Business Review Press, which has been translated into seven languages.

While he has not yet started teaching in the MBA program, here he shares with us his introduction to the class of 2018.

I am from Norway, so I have had my dose of snow. And I love skiing, both downhill and cross country. But neither is as suited to chatting, laughing and socializing as is snowshoeing. As I don’t yet teach the MBAs, my only touch points with the MBA class so far have been limited to the occasional chats around campus and the weekend mountain retreat at the end of the first week. But I already feel that I know the class a bit, largely from the fondue and snowshoeing we shared in Chamonix, exploring little-used paths, connecting to nature and enjoying the sunshine.

So here is my takeaway: there is no better icebreaker than snowshoeing! And I encourage a lot of “snowshoeing” together through 2018!

As from April, I’ll get to spend more time with the MBAs and look forward to getting to know them even better through two courses which belong together: “Strategy 2” (following on from the course taught by Professor Misiek Piskorski) and “Business and Society”. In these two courses we will engage on some of the most interesting business topics of our day. We will also have some very interesting guests coming to class, like Marco Lambertini (General Director of WWF) and José Lopes (the recent COO of Nestlé) as well as others.

Later in the program I will be designing the new Digital Lab which takes place in September and will also work with the MBAs on the ICP approach and projects. And hopefully, there will be more snowshoeing-type activities to enjoy!

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Knut

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