Ilian Mihov

Reflecting on a momentous year for the school: record engagement in all areas, historic donor generosity, changes in leadership and curriculum, high-flying faculty and a renewed focus on gender equality.

What a tremendous honour and privilege it is to be reappointed as Dean of INSEAD for a second term. I am humbled by the opportunity to continue to lead INSEAD, and immensely grateful for the support shown by the INSEAD community. This is an important moment in our school’s history: we are exceeding expectations in almost every measurable way, and I am committed to keeping us on that trajectory as we begin this next chapter together.

Leadership changes

One of the ways we are positioning INSEAD for success is by restructuring parts of our leadership team. This was spurred, in part, by significant increases in alumni and donor engagement, along with greater activity on our website, social media channels and publications. To better leverage these opportunities, Peter Zemsky as Deputy Dean of INSEAD, will oversee the leadership teams for Advancement and Communications, while continuing to lead our school’s digital transformation as Dean of Innovation.

Record engagement and giving

Across the board, engagement with alumni, donors and supporters has skyrocketed. We’re seeing record-breaking participation rates in our Executive Education programmes, a dramatic increase in enrolment in our Online Programmes and exceptionally high completion rates in online education – nearly the highest in the world. Similarly, our Executive Degree programmes are performing incredibly well. Traffic on INSEAD Knowledge, our thought leadership portal, was also the highest we have ever seen.

Taken together, this is bolstering the financial position of the school. In 2016/17, we broke another record by exceeding €100M in revenues in both our Master Degree Programmes and Executive Education programmes. Alumni giving also grew 41% and philanthropic contributions reached all-time highs. Today, the INSEAD endowment is at its highest level ever.

Curricular innovations and academic excellence

We recognise that, in a rapidly transforming global marketplace, INSEAD must continually iterate and innovate its educational offerings. Our goal is to harness new technologies and new learning techniques to provide a superior educational experience. To that end, in September 2017, we unveiled a new curriculum for the MBA Programme. Students now have access to a personalised leadership development course; a range of topical courses on business and society; new electives on digital initiatives and ethics; and a capstone class that simulates a business crisis.

The impact of these curricular changes is amplified by our world-class faculty, who continue to excel as both teachers and researchers. In the past year, three faculty members were named to the Thinkers50 Ranking; three professors were among The Case Centre’s top-ten bestselling authors for case writing; 24 scholars won awards for their papers; and dozens more received other prestigious recognitions. For example, two INSEAD professors won category awards in The Case Centre Awards 2017: in Human Resource Management/ Organisational Behaviour, and Marketing. Professors Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim published their highly anticipated Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing, while also appearing on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Influential Thinkers 2017.

In the past year, we’ve recruited 11 outstanding faculty from six countries and now have six new postdoctoral researchers. These accomplished scholars represent an extraordinary range of disciplines, backgrounds and expertise areas, and they are poised to add to the richness and diversity of our school.

Advocating for women leaders and gender balance

In today’s business world, women are severely underutilised and undervalued – which also means that business outcomes and social outcomes are falling short of their potential. Indeed, research indicates that engaging female talent leads to better business performance, and increasing the number of women in the workplace drives economic development.

In the past year, INSEAD has renewed its focus on gender balance. Our long-term initiative, the Gender Initiative, is dedicated to integrating research, business and pedagogy to engage the full potential of men and women. And our year-long celebration, iW50, is marking the 50th anniversary of female students at INSEAD with a series of events that take a hard look at gender issues and recognise the past, present and future of women at our school.

There is no silver bullet for achieving gender balance. However, at INSEAD, we have found some success in using data to support discussions about gender issues, engaging men and women in gender diversity efforts, and having an open mind to innovation. Based on research by two of our professors – Lucia Del Carpio and Maria Guadalupe – we know that female role models play an important part in the advancement of women, so we are working to create more of those role models. I am pleased to report that we enrolled the highest-ever percentage of female students (36%) in our MBA Programme this year, and that gender diversity on our leadership team has also increased. But there is still much work we must do.

My thanks to you

As this Annual Report reflects, these achievements belong to you – our faculty, students, alumni, donors, supporters and staff. They are the result of your hard work, incredible talent, deep collaboration and commitment to our mission. Thank you for all that you do.

As you read this Annual Report, be proud. You made this success story happen.

With sincere thanks for your continued support.