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Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change

Biography

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries is the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organisational Change and the Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chaired Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD. He brings a different view to the much-studied subjects of leadership and the dynamics of individual and organisational change. Bringing to bear his knowledge and experience of economics (EconDrs, University of Amsterdam), management (ITP, MBA, and DBA, Harvard Business School), and psychoanalysis (Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association), he scrutinises 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. Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries directs The Challenge of Leadership Executive Education programme.

A clinical professor of leadership and organisational change, he held the Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chair of Leadership Development at INSEAD from September 1992 to March 2013. He is the founder of the INSEAD Global Leadership Centre, the programme director of INSEAD's top management seminar The Challenge of Leadership, and the scientific director of the INSEAD Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change. He has received the INSEAD Distinguished Teacher Award five times. He has held professorships at McGill University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, and the Harvard Business School, and has lectured at management institutions around the world.

Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist rated Manfred Kets de Vries as one of the world's top fifty leading management thinkers, as well as one of the most influential contributors to human resource management. In 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Leadership Association (the Leadership Legacy Project), being viewed as one of the world’s six founding professionals in the development of leadership as a field and discipline.

He is the author, co-author or editor of forty-nine books and has published over 400 papers as articles or chapters in books. His books and articles were translated into thirty-one languages. He is a member of seventeen editorial boards. He has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management. In 2011, he was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa title by the IEDC-Bled School in recognition of his contributions to leadership development and research. In 2001, he received the Harry and Miriam Levinson Award (Organizational Consultation division) from the American Psychological Association for his contributions to the field of consultation. He is a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO), and in 2009 he became its Lifetime Distinguished Member. Kets de Vries is also the first non-American recipient of the International Leadership Award from the International Leadership Association (ILA) for “his contributions to the classroom and the boardroom”. In 2010, he received the Freud Memorial Award from the Dutch Psychoanalytic Institute in acknowledgement of his exceptional work on the interface between psychoanalysis and organisations.

Kets de Vries is a consultant on organisational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading US, Canadian, European, African, and Asian companies. As an educator and consultant, he has worked in more than forty countries.

He was awarded an Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau by the Dutch government. 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 and Southern Africa, the Siberian taiga, the Ussuri Krai, Kamchatka, the Pamir and Altai Mountains, Arnhemland, or within the Arctic Circle.

Latest posts

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Leadership & Organisations

Why The World is Attracted to Neo-Authoritarian Leaders

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Leaders like Donald Trump do not rise in a vacuum. But what draws people to authoritarian rulers?
1 comment

Career

Ten Steps Towards a More Fulfilling Life

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

The journey towards a more fulfilling existence starts within you.

Leadership & Organisations

Why Leaders Won’t Stop Waging Wars

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

War brings out the worst in people and destroys the very foundations of humanity.

Leadership & Organisations

Finding Meaning in Life

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Create a compelling self-narrative based on the five pillars that influence the way we experience meaning.
1 comment

Career

Burnout Won’t Prevent Itself

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

While people make sure to charge their phones, they don’t always take the time to recharge themselves.

Leadership & Organisations

Taming Your Inner Critic

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Eight concrete ways to lead a more contented life.