Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen is committed to creating insight with impact. He challenges organizations and individuals to question the way we think and act to build a better, more creative world. As Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center and a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, he pursues his vocation of learning how leaders in business, government and society discover provocative new strategies, develop the human and organizational capacity to realize those strategies, and ultimately deliver positive, powerful results.

While Hal’s expertise spans across all areas of innovative leadership, asking the right questions cuts deeply across all of his work. To grasp how leaders, find and ask the right questions – ones that disrupt how we view and interact with the world – Hal has deeply researched and interviewed more than 200 renowned innovative leaders, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and P&G’s A.G. Lafley.

His question-centric research project to surface insights into how leaders can build better questions to unlock game-changing solutions helped define Gregersen’s Catalytic Questioning methodology. Hal is the founder of the 4-24 Project, an initiative dedicated to rekindling the provocative power of asking the right questions in adults, so they can pass this crucial creativity skill onto the next generation.

An accomplished author, Hal has co-authored ten books. His most recent book, “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011), uncovers the code for the successful innovator in business – and beyond. Co-authored with Jeff Dyer and Clayton Christensen, the book comes from an eight-year international research project where they explored where disruptive innovations come from by interviewing founder entrepreneurs and CEOs at 100+ of the most innovative companies in the world and assessing how 8,000+ leaders leverage five key innovation skills to create valuable new products, services, processes, and businesses.

The book, named Book of the Year for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Chartered Management Institute, in association with The British Library, served as a gateway to a number of initiatives to commercialize the Innovator’s DNA framework, including the creation of Forbes “World’s Most Innovative Companies” and “World Most Innovative Growth Companies” lists and “The Innovation’s Accelerator” online learning experience (in partnership with the Apollo Group and its subsidiary, University of Phoenix). His forthcoming book, “Question Everything” (Harper Collins), which builds on his catalytic questioning methodology, will be published in 2018.

Ranked as one of the world’s most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50, Hal regularly delivers inspirational keynote speeches, motivational executive seminars and transformational coaching experiences. He also works with a diverse set of companies to help them master the challenges of innovation and change, from Chanel to IBM to the World Economic Forum. Packed with examples of high-profile innovators (as well as low-profile ones), Gregersen’s presentations illustrate not only how successful innovators got their great ideas, but how they transformed them into economic powerhouses.

Hal has published more than 50 articles, book chapters, and cases on leading innovation and change (with over 10,000 citations by other scholars). His research has been highlighted in global media such as BBC, CNN, The Economist, Fast Company, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

He is also a Senior Fellow at Innosight, a leading global innovation consulting firm, and a former advisory board member at Pharmascience, a privately held pharmaceutical company based in Montreal, Canada. Before joining MIT, he taught at INSEAD, London Business School, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Brigham Young University and in Finland as a Fulbright Fellow.

Hal and his wife have spent more than a decade living and working outside the United States – in England, Finland, France and the UAE. Currently, they reside in Boston where he pursues his lifelong avocation, photography, and she her lifelong loves, sculpture and painting, as part of a global community of social entrepreneurs dedicated to creating positive change through the arts.