Manfred Kets de Vries

Expertise: Executive Leadership Development, Organisational Design/Transformation, Change Management
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Manfred Kets de Vries

Executive Leadership Development, Organisational Design/Transformation, Change Management

Manfred Kets de Vries brings a different view to the much-studied subjects of leadership and the dynamics of individual and organizational change. Bringing to bear his knowledge and experience of economics, management, and psychoanalysis. Kets de Vries scrutinizes the interface between international management, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and dynamic psychiatry. His specific areas of interest are leadership, career dynamics, executive stress, entrepreneurship, family business, succession planning, cross-cultural management, team building, coaching, and the dynamics of corporate transformation and change.

The Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD, Kets de Vries has been the Founding-Director of INSEAD’s Global Leadership Center, one of the largest leadership development centers in the world. In addition, he is Program Director of INSEAD’s top management program, “The Challenge of Leadership: Creating Reflective Leaders,” and Scientific Director of the Executive Master’s Program “Consulting and Coaching for Change (and has received INSEAD’s distinguished teacher award five times). He has also held professorships at McGill University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, the European School for Management and Technology, Berlin, and the Harvard Business School, and he has lectured at management institutions around the world.

The Financial Times, Le Capital, and The Economist have rated Manfred Kets de Vries one of World’s Leading Leadership Thinkers,also among the World’s Top Fifty Leading Management Thinkers and the most Influential Contributors to Human Resource Management.

Kets de Vries is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 40 books, including The Neurotic Organization, Leaders, Fools and Impostors, Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane, The Leadership Mystique, The Happiness Equation, Are Leaders Made or Are They Born? The Case of Alexander the Great, The New Russian Business Elite, Leadership by Terror, The Global Executive Leadership Inventory, The Leader on the Couch, Coach and Couch, and The Family Business on the Couch. Sex, Money, Happiness, and Death: The Quest for Authenticity, Reflections on Leadership and Character, Reflections on Leadership and Career, Reflections on Organizations, The Coaching Kaleidoscope, and The Hedgehog Effect: The Secrets of High Performance Teams. Three new books are in preparation. His books and articles have been translated into 31 languages.

In addition, Kets de Vries has published over 350 academic papers as chapters in books and as articles. He has also written approximately a hundred case studies, including seven that received the Best Case of the Year award. He is a regular writer for a number of magazines. His work has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Business Week, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The International Herald Tribune. His books and articles have been translated into thirty-one languages. He is a member of seventeen editorial boards and has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management. He is a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO) that has honored him as a lifetime member.

Kets de Vries is also the first non-American recipient of ILA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to leadership research and development, being considered one of the world’s founding professionals in the development of leadership as a field and discipline. The American Psychological Association has honored him with the “Harry and Miriam Levinson Award” (Organizational Consultation division) for his contributions to the field of consultation. Furthermore, he has been given the ‘Freud Memorial Award’ for his contributions at the interface of management and psychoanalysis. He has also received the ‘Vision of Excellence Award’ from the Harvard Institute of Coaching. In addition, he is the recipient of two honorary doctorates.

Kets de Vries is a consultant on organizational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading U.S, Canadian, European, African, and Asian companies. As a global consultant in executive leadership development his clients have included ABB, ABN-AMRO, Aegon, Air Liquide, Alcan, Alcatel, Accenture, Bain Consulting, Bang & Olufsen, Bonnier, BP, Cairn, Deutsche Bank, Ericsson, GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Heineken, Hudson, HypoVereinsbank, Investec, KPMG, Lego, Liberty Life, Lufthansa, Lundbeck, McKinsey, ATIC, National Australian Bank, Novartis, Nokia, NovoNordisk, Origin, Shell, SHV, SpencerStuart, SABMiller, Standard Bank of South Africa, Unilever and Volvo Car Corporation. As an educator and consultant he has worked in more than forty countries. In his role as a consultant, he is also the chairman of the Kets de Vries Institute (KDVI), a boutique leadership development consulting firm.

The Dutch government has made him an Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau. He was the first fly fisherman in Outer Mongolia and is a member of New York’s Explorers Club. In his spare time he can be found in the rainforests or savannas of Central Africa, the Siberian taiga, the Pamir and Altai Mountains, Arnhemland, or within the Arctic Circle.


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