Ina Toegel is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change. Named one of the top business school professors globally by Poets&Quants, which included her on its ‘Best 40 under 40’ list in 2021, her work focuses on how to build and sustain high-performance teams. She started her career as an economist at the World Bank – an atypical background which means she adopts an interdisciplinary approach in her work. Meanwhile, her strong interest in the creative industries inspires her to incorporate interactive tools from the fields of film, sports, music, and the arts in her teaching.
Toegel says teams play a crucial role as vehicles for change in organizations seeking to make major transformations. Her approach when engaging with companies is to work with project teams or individual units in an agile way – looking at the individual make-up of the team, dynamics within the team, and how these relationships are embedded in the organizational context. Much of her work involves leading organizational change and aligning organizational culture with strategic priorities.
We have tended to see technology as the enemy of softer topics like emotions, but technology can now help with managing emotions in an organization. The bridge that is opening between the tech world and the emotive world presents some interesting opportunities.
She is also keen on leveraging technology to enable executives to develop new ways of working, communicating, and collaborating. She uses virtual reality to explore how teams improve over time, and is investigating how AI can be used to recognize emotions – as well as its implications for an organization’s business, how it structures its operations, and how it works with customers.
She has led and taught on customized leadership programs for a wide range of organizations, including Hilti, Pirelli, Tetra Pak, Beiersdorf, Société Générale, DNB, DENSO, Vontobel, Buehler, Legrand, UEFA, MANE, Siam Commercial Bank, Bank of Communications, Bayer, Electrolux, ASSA ABLOY, T-Systems, Carlsberg, JTI, Hydro, and Tenaris.
Poets&Quants said her inclusion on its ‘Best 40 under 40’ list was a recognition of her structured and inspirational approach to working with team dynamics and organizational culture transformation. She received nearly 100 nominations for the honor, making her one of the most nominated professors in its history. Participants, alumni, and faculty colleagues who nominated her praised her energetic style and ability to get people thinking, with one describing her as “our Socrates”.
She is also a member of the Academy of Management and of the Strategic Management Society, and she presents at the Organizational Development and Change division during the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting.
Prior to joining IMD in 2015, Toegel taught corporate strategy at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. In her previous role at the World Bank, she was involved in projects on structuring public-private partnerships in the transport, energy, and waste sectors in southeast Europe.