Bill Fischer

Senior Lecturer, Operations Management, MIT Sloan School of Management


Bill Fischer William Fischer specializes in issues relating to corporate strategy, particularly in technology-related organizations.

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 books are Virtuoso Teams (co-authored with Andy Boynton) and Reinventing Giants (with Umberto Lago and Fang Liu).

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. From 2000 to 2020, he taught at IMD (the International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Fischer holds a DBA from George Washington University.

Faculty Media

  • Taking Teams Seriously

    While we’re all immersed in team experiences, we really don’t think analytically about how they work, or how they could work better.

  • [Podcast] Spreading Ideas Through Organizations

    Bill Fischer discusses who are the critical people in an orgranization that help get ideas accepted and implemented in this Out of the Comfort Zone podcast.

  • Innovation Resolutions For 2019: Choices You Can Make To Be More Innovative

    Bill Fischer asks six astute observers of the role of leadership behaviors in the innovation scene to suggest one simple resolution each that could well change the way that we interact with...

  • The Haier Road to Growth

    Customers always come first for this Chinese appliance maker — even as it continually reinvents itself and expands around the world.

  • Standing At The Dumb-End Of Our Smarter Future

    "My good friend, and Driving Strategic Innovation colleague, Duncan Simester, of MIT's Sloan School of Management, has recently pointed out that “Many executives in big companies attained their...

  • The Leadership Advantage Of Bezos, Musk, Ma And Zhang: An Explorer's Mindset

    Be ambitious! Be daring! Take chances! Fail often! These are the new secrets of leadership success in a digital age, but, then again, this is also exactly what Christopher Columbus did, Vasco da...

  • Learning the Art of Driving Innovation

    As digital technologies disrupt businesses everywhere, IT chiefs are increasingly drawn to academic programs that promise to hone their abilities to lead business-changing innovation.

  • 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.


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