Jean-François Manzoni


IMD Business School

Jean-François Manzoni is the President of IMD, where he also serves as the Nestlé Professor.

His research, teaching, and consulting activities are focused on leadership, the development of high-performance organizations and corporate governance.

At the organisational level, Professor Manzoni studies the content of change (including the use of levers such as strategy, structure and systems), the management of the change process and the role of leaders therein. His work in this area has appeared in several books, articles and over 30 cases, four of which received Case of the Year Awards from the European Foundation for Management Development or the European Case Clearing House. He also acted as content expert in the development of a ground-breaking computer-based change management simulation, the Change Pro Simulation®.

At the individual level, Professor Manzoni studies how leaders can create a high-performance work environment and what they can do to modify their leadership style in that direction. This stream of research has led to several articles and a book entitled The Set-Up to Fail Syndrome: How good managers cause great people to fail (with Jean-Louis Barsoux). This book, which is built on Manzoni’s and Barsoux’s initial Harvard Business Review article introducing the term “set-up-to-fail syndrome”, received two Book of the Year awards and is being discussed in undergraduate, MBA and executive development programs all over the world.

On the corporate governance side, Professor Manzoni focuses on interpersonal dynamics within the Boardroom and between management and the Board. Ongoing research examining the impact of interpersonal dynamics on increasingly diverse Boards of Directors received the Research Award on Leadership & Corporate Governance from the Association of Executive Search Consultants. A Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Directors, Professor Manzoni is currently serving on the Board of Keppel Corp., an international diversified group listed on the Singapore stock exchange, and previously served on the Boards of Singapore’s Civil Service College and of AACSB International, the world’s largest business education alliance.

A citizen of Canada and France, Professor Manzoni received his Doctorate from Harvard Business School. He had earlier graduated from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montréal and worked with Ernst and Young in Montreal before receiving an MBA from McGill University.

Prior to re-joining IMD in 2016, Professor Manzoni had served on the IMD faculty between 2004 and 2010. He also previously served on the faculty of INSEAD, in Singapore and in Fontainebleau. While at INSEAD he founded and directed for four years the PwC Research Initiative on High Performance Organizations. He later directed the Global Leadership Centre supporting the school’s leadership-related coaching, teaching and research activities throughout the world

The recipient of several awards for excellence in teaching, Professor Manzoni is a frequent keynote speaker. He also performed consulting, top management team support and leadership development work for several international organisations, which has led him to work in more than thirty countries over the years.

He currently serves or served on several International Advisory Panels, including Digital Switzerland, Singapore’s Public Service Division and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).