Bill Fischer

Professor of Technology Management, IMD
Visiting Professor of Operations Management, MIT Sloan School of Management


Bill Fischer William Fischer specializes in issues relating to corporate strategy, particularly in technology-related organizations, and in the management of operations and technology at IMD (the International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He has published numerous articles in academic journals and has won awards for teaching and case writing. In 1999, Fischer received the Silver Magnolia Award, Shanghai’s highest award for foreigners. He currently writes a regular column on Chinese business issues for His most recent book, co-authored with Andy Boynton, is Virtuoso Teams.

An engineer by training, Fischer has worked with a number of leading corporations in both North America and Europe, and has worked in China continuously since 1980. For more than 15 years, he worked with the World Health Organization in strengthening research and development institutes in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Between 1976 and 1996, he was on the faculty at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, where he was the Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Professor of Business Administration. In 1998 and 1999, he served as the president of the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), a 50–50 joint venture between the European Union and China, located in Shanghai.

Fischer holds a DBA from George Washington University.

Faculty Media

  • The End of Expertise

    What if what you know didn’t matter anymore? What if knowledge became a commodity? What if everyone could be an expert?

  • Professor Bill Fischer on the Importance of Innovation

    "You will have a higher probability of success when you allow people to be small and independent."

  • Are You An Analog or Digital Leader?

    Changing mindsets begins with you! The only mind you can be sure of changing is your own, and the only way that you can demonstrate this mindset change is through your behaviors.

  • Smart People, Leading Smarter People

    "At a time when new ideas are the only hope for our economic salvation, the real “energy” crisis is to be found in the inability of tired, old institutions producing the innovation and creativity...

  • Podcast # 1 Integrating Social Media in the Executive Education Classroom

    In my first episode of FIR on Higher Education, guest Bill Fischer, a professor at IMD business school in Switzerland, discusses how to successfully use social media to spur idea generation. He...

  • Becoming More Innovative in 2014

    Organizations don't innovate—people do. Organizations that are admired for being especially innovative don't hire genetically different people than are available to the rest of us. They just make...

  • The Folly of Trying to Spend Your Way to Innovativeness

    When it comes to innovation, minds matter more than money. Only three of the most innovative companies in the world in 2011 were among the 10 biggest spenders on R&D (Samsung, Microsoft and Toyota)...

  • Capturing New Ideas

    "Just like any organization, we all face huge change in the world around us and increasingly that change challenges the basis of what we know and, to some extent, how we know it. So I think we are...

  • 13 Of The Greatest Idea Hunters Ever

    Stop thinking so hard and start hunting for good ideas. That's the message of The Idea Hunters, a 2011 book by Andy Boynton of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and Bill Fischer of...

  • The Birth Of A Really Bad Idea

    2011 is the 100th anniversary of a really bad idea. In 1911, the British Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scotts determination to learn less, rather than more, about life, clothing and diet in...


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