Thinkers50 in 50 Seconds | András Tilcsik

Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove in conversation with András Tilcsik

“There are much bigger and better footsteps to follow!”

What book are you currently reading?

The Childhood of Jesus by JM Coetzee, and The Doctors’ Plague by Sherwin Nuland

 How do you describe what you do?  

I study how organizations work, and how work happens in organizations. These days I’m mostly focusing on how we can prevent organizational meltdowns and how we can better manage diversity in the workplace. And sometimes those two questions overlap.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My colleagues at the Rotman School of Management—it’s a wonderful community of faculty and staff, and I’m very lucky to be a part of it.

What does success look like?

To me, it looks like my mom. She has nearly single-handedly kept alive a small library—a lovely little community and cultural center—in my hometown in Hungary, and she works day after day to keep it going. It’s visible impact maintained by her passion 

What is your competitive advantage?

My coauthors. They help me take off my blinders and always teach me new things.

How do you keep your thinking fresh?

I’m surrounded by people with a lot of healthy skepticism. My faculty colleagues ask tough questions about my research. My MBA students tell me if my ideas aren’t practical enough. And my undergrads students tell me if my ideas are too practical to be interesting…

How much time do you spend travelling?

Not too much. I like being at home.

What is the secret of a great presentation?

I wish I knew. But conversations are more important than presentations anyway.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

I’d tell them to reconsider. There are much bigger and better footsteps to follow!

What is your next goal?

Finish my book, MELTDOWN (Penguin Press, 2018), which looks at why things fall apart in business and in life—and what we can do about it. And then try to get people to read the book and start a conversation about these issues.

Describe yourself in three words.

One lucky guy.

For more information check out and on twitter

@AndrasTilcsik and @RethinkRisk.

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