Navigating transitions. Mapping uncertainty. Sensing external trends. Picking up signals. Anticipating the future. Brainstorming better. These are some of the key areas leadership and innovation expert Hal Gregersen explores when helping managers and teams solve problems and innovate. And in a post-pandemic future, such themes will be front and center as organizations in every sector navigate change by helping people adjust to new roles, acquire new capabilities, and manage emotional energy productively.
“We’re experiencing a massive cross-cultural adjustment as we try to define and enter into the next normal,” says Gregersen, who is very familiar with transitions, having traveled the globe and even studied high-performing teams at Everest Base Camp. “Going back to the office or shifting to a new workplace model will be like a repatriation process, which for most is tougher to navigate than moving to a foreign country.”
Co-founder of The Innovator’s DNA research firm, an Innosight Fellow, and a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management who previously served as executive director of MIT’s Leadership Center, Gregersen has dedicated his extensive career to helping companies stay ahead in an accelerating world. While working closely with leaders at top organizations – including Chanel, Danone, Disney·Pixar, Ernst & Young, Fidelity, Genentech, Patagonia, Salesforce and Zappos – he’s discovered that the most successful companies are those with a relentless focus on discovery by asking and answering value-creating questions. During his interactive workshops, like “Leading Successful Transitions in a Digitally-Driven World,” he teaches his powerful “Question Burst” framework, which goes deep to help executives and teams identify and solve challenges by asking a series of catalytic questions. Gregersen consistently receives high marks for helping organizations build more resilient, agile and innovative cultures that are better able to pivot and drive growth in the face of uncertainty.
The Question Burst framework Gregersen meticulously curated is based on his Nautilus award-winning book, “Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life” (Harper Business, 2018). The book continues to garner high praise from top business leaders around the world, including Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff who said it “reveals the power of cultivating a beginner’s mind, deep listening and continuous reflection in search of the right questions. Read it and you will find a path to meaningful answers.”
Citing his innovative work with companies such as Adobe, Patagonia, Salesforce and Amazon, which have systems in place to see what’s coming around the corner, Gregersen shows leaders and teams how to use a discovery-fueled process to see through uncertainty and spark the next step in exponential growth. In his thought-provoking advisory meetings, keynotes and workshops, he teaches audiences how to transform themselves into innovative powerhouses by implementing a culture of inquiry within their own organizations.
“Questioning is a superpower that helps us navigate every stage of a transition, especially when facing uncertainty,” says Gregersen. “The Question Burst framework is a method for moving things forward. What’s the challenge? What’s the goal? Organizations can identify and solve problems and innovate with creative muscle they never knew they had, if they know what questions to ask.”