Anand Narasimhan

Anand Narasimhan
A top leader is frequently made aware of the special abilities and characteristics that have made them successful. The sooner a leader transcends such hype and starts to recognize the many others on whose shoulders they stand, the more impactful their legacy.”
Anand Narasimhan

Anand Narasimhan, Shell Professor of Global Leadership, focuses on the dynamics of boards and top teams, and their impact on transformation in organizations. Anand has worked with board directors and senior executives on how to enhance their leadership presence in order to create a positive impact on their followers and stakeholders.

Anand’s teaching, consulting and research highlight the importance of the specific contexts that top leaders operate in, and especially the tendency of successful individuals to accentuate their own abilities and discount the importance of supporting factors such as team members and institutional structures and process. His research shows how leaders need to understand their own powers of containment, and acquire literacy in reading conscious and unconscious cues to create aligning mechanisms that generate large-scale transformation.

Anand is currently working on a book on the unconscious dynamics of teams as an underappreciated factor in corporate governance failures. He is also co-author of Quest: Leading Transformation Journeys, a book summarizing IMD faculty's research on corporate transformations, which won the 2015 Axiom Business Books International Business Gold Medal.

Anand’s research has been published in top organizational, sociological and psychological journals such as Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Science, Annual Review of Sociology, and Personnel Psychology. He has served on the editorial boards of Organization Studies and Human Relations.

Anand has led programs on board and top leadership effectiveness for clients from a wide range of industries such as Iberdrola, Borealis, Borouge, Qatar Petroleum, Shell and Holcim.

At IMD, Anand is Director of the Team Dynamics for Boards program. He serves on IMD’s Executive Committee as Dean of Research and was additionally Dean of Faculty until 2021. He is also a board member of the Case Center and the International School of Lausanne, and is currently qualifying to be a teacher of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

Before joining IMD in 2007, Anand served for a decade as organizational behavior faculty member at London Business School, and prior to his academic career he worked for Unilever.

Selected publications

What everyone gets wrong about change management (Harvard Business Review, 2017)

Quest: Leading Transformation Journeys (IMD, 2014)

Knowledge-based innovation (Academy of Management Review, 2008)

Emotion helpers (Personnel Psychology, 2007)

The production of culture perspective (Annual Review of Sociology, 2004)

Tournament rituals in the evolution of fields (Academy of Management Journal, 2004)

When market information constitutes fields (Organization Science, 2000)


Axiom Business Books, Gold Medal – International Business (2015)

Best Article, Small Group Research (2014)

EFMD, Best Public Sector Case Study (2012)

Reviewer of the Year, Human Relations (2005)


After graduating from the Birla Institute of Science and Technology (Pilani, India), Anand earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations at XLRI (Jamshedpur, India) and a PhD at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, USA). Anand is a graduate of the Financial Times Non Executive Director program and the Tavistock Institute’s Dynamics at Board Level program. 

Leading the Family Business
Helps family businesses to better understand and manage their own challenges by sharing experiences and benchmarking success with other family firms.
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
Anand Narasimhan's Publications
Top teams in the time of crisis: containment and compassion
In the Field with Scandic Hotels
Scandic: Empowering learning for a digital native workforce
Case study