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Hal Gregersen

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Hal Gregersen is the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank Chaired Professor of Innovation and Leadership at INSEAD where he pursues his vocation of executive teaching, coaching, and research by exploring how leaders in business, government, and society discover provocative new ideas, develop the human and organizational capacity to realize those ideas, and ultimately deliver positive, powerful results. He is also a Senior Fellow at Innosight (a leading global innovation consulting firm) and an advisory board member at Pharmascience. Before joining INSEAD, he taught at the London Business School, Tuck School–Dartmouth College, Helsinki School of Economics, BYU, and the Turku School of Economics as a Fulbright Fellow.

Gregersen's most recent book, The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (Harvard Business Review Press), flows from a path-breaking international research project conducted with Jeff Dyer (Wharton/BYU) and Clayton Christensen (Harvard Business School). The eight-year study explored the fundamental question of where disruptive innovations come by interviewing the founder entrepreneurs and CEOs of the most innovative companies in the world (an annual list co-produced with Credit Suisse & Forbes). They conducted over 6000 Innovator’s DNA survey assessments of leaders around the world to show how creativity skills generate valuable new products, services, processes, and businesses. They also collaborated with IDEO and Lightspeed Apollo to produce a ground-breaking online learning experience, Innovator’s Accelerator, to teach anyone how to cultivate innovation within themselves and their organizations.

To grasp how leaders find and ask the right questions – ones that disrupt how we view and interact with the world – Gregersen is now studying over 100 renowned innovative leaders, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. This question-centric research project, conducted in collaboration with Clayton Christensen, is already surfacing insights into how leaders can build better questions to unlock game-changing solutions. Gregersen is also 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 in order to improve organizations, communities and global society.

Gregersen has co-authored ten books, including It Starts With One: Changing Individuals Changes Organizations and Global Explorers: The Next Generation of Leaders. He has published over 70 articles, book chapters, and cases on innovation and change in business journals such as Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. His research has been highlighted globally in media such as Business Week, Chief Executive, CBC, CNBC, CNN, The Economist, Fast Company, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired. He is also a regular blogger for Business Week and Harvard Business Review. Gregersen has received several awards for researching and teaching excellence, including: 2013 Thinkers50 Innovation Award Nominee, 2012 Chartered Management – British Library Book of the Year Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (The Innovator’s DNA), 2009 McKinsey Award runner-up for the best article in Harvard Business Review, and Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management.

Putting his research on leading innovation and change to practice, Gregersen regularly delivers high impact keynote speeches and executive workshops around the world with companies like Accenture, Adidas, AT&T, Christie’s, Cisneros, Coca-Cola, Daimler, Danone, Essilor, Genentech, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, LG, Lilly, McAfee, Marriott, MasterCard, Nokia, Philips, Sanofi Aventis, SAP, Time Warner Cable, Twinings, Vivendi, WalMart, World Economic Forum, & Yahoo! He also works with governments, not-for-profit and NGO organizations to generate greater innovation capabilities in the rising generation of leaders.

Hal and his wife have spent over a decade living & 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 & painting, as part of a global community of social entrepreneurs dedicated to creating positive change through the arts.

Research Areas

Theory and Practice of Questioning; Innovation and Creativity; Social Entrepreneurship and Change; Transforming Leaders Through the Arts.


Innovation and Creativity; Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Disruptive Innovation; Transformational Change; Inquiry-based Leadership.

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