Bill Fischer

Bill Fischer is a Professor of Innovation Management at IMD. He co-founded and co-directs the IMD program on Driving Strategic Innovation, in cooperation with the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and also authors a regular column for entitled “The Ideas Business,” (

An engineer by training, American by citizenship, New Yorker by birth & attitude,  Bill has lived much of his life in Asia and Europe. He held a full-professorship and endowed chair on the faculty of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1976-1998), and in a 2006 study published in R&D Management, he was identified by name as among the 44 most prolific authors (from among 9,335 authors published in these journals) in the leading journals in the field of Management of Technology between 1954-2003. In addition, for much of this period, he also taught on a regular basis in executive education programs at UNC, Carnegie-Mellon University, Duke University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Bill first moved to China [the U.S. & Chinese government jointly sponsored National Institute for Industrial Science & Technology Development at Dalian] in 1980, and later became the President of the China Europe International Business School [CEIBS], in Shanghai (1997-1999). He was awarded the Silver Magnolia award, Shanghai’s highest award for foreigners contributing to the city’s development, in 1999.

Bill has been hired at IMD three times, beginning in 1990; in his most recent appearance, he has been on the faculty since 2000. He teaches a wide-variety of partnership programs and open-program appearances all of which focus on more effective innovation. He has also directed IMD's EMBA China Discovery Expeditions from 2000 through 2014.  Bill was part of the IMD team that developed the Managerial Deep Dive process for improved innovation conversations.

His most recent books include: Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier has Changed the Way that Big Companies Transform [with Umberto Lago & Fang Liu], The Idea Hunter (2011) and Virtuoso Teams (2005) [ both coauthored with Andy Boynton]. All of these books address issues of innovation and talent development and expression in a variety of organizational settings.

In 2011, Bill was named by The Independent [U.K.] as one of the most influential tweeters on business issues; and by as one of the “Top 50 Innovation Tweeters of 2012”, as well as one of's 40 top innovation bloggers in 2012. In 2013 & 2014, he was included among the  “The Top 50 Business School Professors on Twitter,” and Innovation Excellence’s “Top 50 Innovation Twitter Sharers of 2013”. Also, in 2013, Reinventing Giants, which addresses business model and corporate culture reinvention in a mature, commodity business, was short-listed for Thinkers50 “book of the year” award, won a silver medal in the 7th Annual Axiom Business Books awards, and the Brazilian business magazine Epoca Negoicios it among their "Books of the Year" for 2013. In 2015, he was included among Innovation Excellence's top 40 Innovation Bloggers.

Bill tweets regularly on innovation and China-related issues at @bill_fischer

His education includes a BS Civil Engineering and MS Industrial Management from Clarkson College of Technology, and a DBA from The George Washington University.