Bill Fischer

Leading expert on teams, devoted to addressing issues of innovation, talent development, and expression in a variety of organizations. Inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame in 2019.


Inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame in 2019.


Shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2013 Book Award, for Reinventing Giants.


Member of the founding faculty of the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development, Dalian, China, 1980.


Fischer has been studying – and active in – innovation throughout his career, from practicing engineer to multi-startup participant. His research looks at the profoundly social nature of innovative activity, and explores the pursuit of talent fulfilment in complex modern organizations. In particular, his extensive, pionering research into the organizational innovation of Chinese company Haier, shows how new ideas in China are not only radically changing the Chinese economy, but have the power to change corporate innovation as well.


An engineer by training, Fischer is professor of innovation managment at IMD. He co-founded and co-directs the IMD program Driving Strategic Innovation, in cooperation with the Sloan School of Management. He has been on the full-time faculties of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Clarkson University, and was the Executive President and Dean of the China Europe International Business School, in Shanghai.


Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier has Changed the Way Big Companies Transform (with Umberto Lago and Fang Liu, Wiley & Sons, 2013); The Idea Hunter: How to find the Best Ideas and Make them Happen (with Andy Boynton, Wiley & Sons, 2011); Virtuoso Teams: Lessons from Teams that Changed their Worlds (with Andy Boynton, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2005). 


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“A humane and people-focused global idea hunter.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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