As might be expected of professors at the Business School of the World, as INSEAD is known, Ian C. Woodward, Sameer Hasija, and V. Paddy Padmanabhan, along with best-selling business book author Ram Charan, have developed a leadership product in response to a unique current leadership demand.

Since 2016, the authors of The Phoenix Encounter Method have led more than 1,500 business leaders through a series of programs designed to prepare them for enterprise leadership in the turbulent– firestorm years ahead. In those four years, the professors themselves have learned many things, and lesson number one, they say, is that most of the people who will be guiding organizations through the shifting shoals of tomorrow are woefully unprepared to do so. That is a problem. The Phoenix Encounter Method is their solution.

The four senior professors delved into their deep research and extensive work with global executives to provide actionable advice in navigating this crisis. Their academic know-how covers fields from leadership development and communication, technology, business models and operations, marketing to economics and strategy to management. They have hands-on practical experience in the classroom, the senior executive suite, the boardroom, and government across diverse industries and economies.

Over the last 4 years, these professors have been working on a groundbreaking new method of strategic thinking called the “Phoenix Encounter”. This is the subject of a forthcoming major book to be published later in 2020 – The Phoenix Encounter Method – Lead Like Your Business is on Fire! This method and book were designed to give a process to leaders in times of firestorm disruption – whether from technology revolutions, or completely re-configured business models such as digital platforms. The Phoenix Encounter Method: Lead Like Your Business is on Fire!

The Authors

Ian C. Woodward is a Professor of Management Practice at INSEAD, where he specializes in strategic thinking, leadership, and communication, as well as personal leadership transformation. He is the Director of both its flagship Advanced Management Program and its online Leadership Communication with Impact course. Dr. Woodward had extensive experience in financial services, energy utilities, and the government sector including working for the US government. He was lead author of the 2019 academic monograph Exploring Leadership Drivers and Blockers (Palgrave Macmillan).

Sameer Hasija is a Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD. He is the Shell Fellow in Business and the Environment and Chair of INSEAD’s Technology and Operations Management area. Dr. Hasija’s latest research studies the economics of business models in the wake of new technologies such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

V. Paddy Padmanabhan is the Unilever Chaired Professor of Marketing at the INSEAD, where he is also the Academic Director of the Emerging Markets Institute. Dr. Padmanabhan has been recognized for writing some of the most influential academic research papers in management, and he frequently consults for multinationals, leading regional businesses and startups across the world.

Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor and the author of more than twenty-five major business books including bestsellers such as “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” and “CONFRONTING REALITY: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right”. He has spent the past 35 years working with world-leading companies such as GE, MeadWestvaco, Bank of America, DuPont, Novartis, EMC, 3M, Verizon, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group, GMR, Max Group, Yildiz Holdings, and Grupo RBS.


INSEAD is one of the largest lead business schools in the world with more than 12,500 annual degree students (e.g. MBA) and executive education participants (e.g. business leaders and managers). It has campuses in France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and San Francisco. It has teaching and research alliances including Wharton, Kellogg and John Hopkins (US); Tsinghua (China); and Fundacao Dom Cabral (Brazil). The three professors direct and teach in INSEAD’s most senior global leadership program – the Advanced Management Program (AMP)