Albrecht Enders

Albrecht Enders
The job of the leader is twofold: provide direction where to go, and engage the people so that they want to come along.
Albrecht Enders

Albrecht Enders' work focuses on strategic decision making. Through his teaching, consulting and writing, he helps companies make important strategic choices, and provides guidance on how to ensure that decision making is effective, and pitfalls are avoided.

He says leaders often fall into the trap of separating decision making from engaging with their stakeholders, only communicating, and seeking to bring stakeholders on board once they have made key strategic choices. Instead, they need to involve key stakeholders throughout the decision-making process, as this can often lead to better choices and create a sense of fair process for the people they lead.

Enders is the co-author with Arnaud Chevallier of Solvable: A Simple Solution to Complex Problems, which proposes a simple three-step process for the strategic thinking needed for complex problem solving: frame, explore, decide. They argue that it is important to avoid jumping to solutions and to work through each step of this process instead.

Framing consists of clearly specifying what the problem is and what it is not. Exploring involves an analysis of the full breadth of potential solutions, including innovative responses beyond those that are immediately obvious. And deciding then entails choosing the best available solution after weighing up all of the trade-offs involved.

In addition, Enders has been actively involved in Pathbuilder programs in which a diverse group of employees act as a sort of “shadow cabinet” and present top teams with new ideas for organizational transformation. This approach has been deployed at companies like Stora Enso and has led to impactful solutions, such as Stora Enso's Eco School concept.

Enders has worked with a range of clients from different industries, including ABB, Agathon, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, EHL, Siemens, Douglas Holding, Honda, ICBC, Novartis, MTR HongKong, Roland Berger, Safran, Skanska, Telenor, Thyssen Krupp, TUI, Vodafone and VTT.

He is also Co-Director of IMD's Transition to Business Leadership (TBL) open program, served as IMD Dean of Programs and Innovation until 2020 and previously directed the Advanced Strategic Management program, precursor to the current Advanced Management Program (AMP).


His research has appeared in leading academic journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review and Research Policy and practitioner-oriented outlets including Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review and the Financial Times.

He has also authored numerous case studies on companies such as Nestlé, Tesco, Nordea, XING and SonyBMG, and his research and case writing have been recognized by awards from the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management, the Society for Information Management, European Foundation for Management Development and European Case Clearing House.

He is a board member of Swiss precision tool company Agathon and a founding member of the executive committee of the Enterprise for Society (E4S) sustainability initiative launched by IMD,

the University of Lausanne, HEC Lausanne and EPFL.

Before joining IMD in 2009, Enders spent three years as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he worked on projects relating to strategy development, reorganization and efficiency improvement in the financial services, energy and industrial goods sectors. 


Selected publications

Solvable: A Simple Solution to Complex Problems (Pearson, 2022)

Silver bullet or ricochet? CEOs’ use of metaphorical communication and infomediaries’ evaluations (Academy of Management Journal, 2018)

How the world’s oldest company reinvented itself (Harvard Business Review, 2018)

Stop jumping to solutions! (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2016)

CEO narcissism, audience engagement, and organizational adoption of technological discontinuities (Administrative Science Quarterly, 2013)

The family innovator's dilemma: How family influence affects the adoption of discontinuous technologies by incumbent firms (Academy of Management Review, 2013)

Strategies for E-business: Creating Value Through Electronic and Mobile Commerce (Pearson, 2005)



EFMD Excellence in Practice Gold Award (2014)

Academy of Management Business Policy and Strategy Division Glueck Best Paper Award (2011 and 2013)

Academy of Management Business Policy and Strategy Division Distinguished Paper Award (2012)

Society for Information Management International Paper Competition First Prize (2005 and 2008)



BA (Economics)

Dartmouth College, USA


Master's degree

Leipzig Graduate School of Management

PhD (Strategic Management)

Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Habilitation (Strategic Management)

University of Nuremberg

Transition to Business Leadership
For experienced managers moving into business leadership positions, also the 2nd step to IMD's Program for Executive Development (PED).
Orchestrating Winning Performance
IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.
All IMD programs
Albrecht Enders's Publications
There is no one-size-fits-all way to solving problems. Here’s how to tailor your approach
How reskilling can soften the economic blow of COVID-19
How the world's oldest company reinvented itself.
Harvard Business Review
Silver bullet or ricochet? CEO's use of metaphorical communication and infomediaries' evaluations.
Academy of Management Journal
Stop Jumping to Solutions!
MIT Sloan Management Review
CEO Narcissism, Audience Engagement, and Organizational Adoption of Technological Discontinuities.
Administrative Science Quarterly
The Family Innovator's Dilemma: How Family Influence Affects the Adoption of Discontinuous Technologies by Incumbent Firms.
Academy of Management Review