Cyril Bouquet

Cyril Bouquet
I believe everybody can be creative. We have what it takes in our heads and our hearts to achieve extraordinary outcomes, but people need the right stimulus to be able to achieve their true potential. That is the motivation for my work.
Cyril Bouquet

Cyril Bouquet specializes in helping organizations and executives to tackle complex challenges through innovation and creativity. An award-winning researcher and teacher, he supports organizations on significant transition journeys as they seek to create change and deliver progress for society.

Challenges he has recently taken on include helping Nestlé to achieve its carbon neutrality objectives, working with O-I Glass to define the company’s ambition and advance its sustainability agenda, rethinking the banking experience with UBS and UBP and re-imagining the future of women's football with UEFA and the International Olympic Committee.

At IMD Bouquet has also pioneered a “mega dive” approach, which involves working with large groups of people across an organization to ensure they become one united force capable of embracing the future together. Most recently, he has deployed this method in his work with 700 top executives at Maersk, helping the company to adapt quickly to changing environments and shifting customer demands as it evolves from being a shipping company to becoming a provider of integrated logistics solutions.

Similarly, when the French authorities announced plans to merge train operator SNCF with rail network owner RFF, Bouquet designed and delivered a pivotal meeting for the top 650 leaders aimed at helping transform the combined businesses into a new entity in which they could all take pride. The approach has been successfully implemented on a number of other IMD custom programs for individual businesses, including EDF and Stora Enso.

Bouquet also has a keen interest in technology and has supported tech companies such as Cisco, SAP and Liberty Media. He has created a start-up and collaboration platform called Augmented Tribe which helps executive teams learn on the go and connect with experts whilst solving practical problems. And he is part of the IMD faculty team that launched the TransformTECH program in collaboration with École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to help senior leaders learn how new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics and the internet of things are transforming the world of business. He is also Director of IMD's Innovation in Action program.

Articles based on his research have been published in prestigious academic journals such as Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Management, the Journal of Management Studies and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Bouquet also serves on the editorial board of the California Management Review.

He is author of a 2021 book on innovation and creativity (ALIEN Thinking: How to Bring Your Breakthrough Ideas to Life). His 2005 book Building Global Mindsets: An Attention-Based Perspective was based on his PhD thesis, which won the Academy of International Business Richard Farmer Award for best doctoral dissertation in the field.

Bouquet joined IMD in 2008 after serving for five years as Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

Selected publications

Why outside perspectives are critical for innovation breakthroughs (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2022)

Stop sabotaging your ability to innovate (Harvard Business Review, 2021)

Big ideas are not enough (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2021)

ALIEN Thinking: The Unconventional Path to Breakthrough Ideas (PublicAffairs and Penguin Random House, 2021)

Bring your breakthrough ideas to life (Harvard Business Review, 2018)

Boundary spanning activities of corporate HQ executives: Insights from a longitudinal study (Journal of Management Studies, 2017)

International attention and multinational enterprise performance (Journal of International Business Studies, 2009)

Managing power in the multinational corporation: How low-power actors gain influence (Journal of Management, 2008)

Weight versus voice: How foreign subsidiaries gain attention from corporate headquarters (Academy of Management Journal, 2008)

Building Global Mindsets: An Attention-Based Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)


AACSB Innovations That Inspire award for IMD MBA Innovation Week (2021)

Recognized in LearnSpace Business Education Innovations Report (2021)

Academy of International Business Richard Farmer Award for best PhD dissertation (2004)

Academy of Management Barry M. Richman Best Dissertation Award Finalist (2004) 


Master's degree

Audencia Business School, France


University of Ottawa

PhD (International Management)

Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Understand how to leverage AI, IoT and robotics for your business. Discover which technology will enable you to create new business opportunities. This program is jointly designed by IMD and Swiss federal institute of technology, EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne).
All IMD programs
Cyril Bouquet's Publications
ALIEN Thinking
How to change your thinking and allow radical ideas to become reality
How COVID-19 caused the future of work to arrive early