Hal Gregersen

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Hal Gregersen

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Hal Gregersen is a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT's Sloan School of Management, a former executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a fellow at Innosight, and a cofounder of the Innovator’s DNA consulting group.

He has dedicated his extensive career, including prior teaching posts at INSEAD, London Business School, and Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, to create cultures of fearless inquiry and to help leaders transform their organizations into innovative powerhouses. Ranked as one of the world’s 20 most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50, and winner of the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award for leadership, Gregersen regularly delivers inspirational keynote speeches, interactive and dynamic customized workshops, and transformational advisory experiences. 

In his Nautilus award-winning book, “Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life” (based on 200+ interviews with catalytic questioners like Elon Musk and Orit Gadiesh), he argues that while people are programmed to look for answers, the real catalyst for innovative, disruptive change is catalytic inquiry. Twenty years ago Gregersen created a repeatable three-step methodology, the Question Burst, by which companies can begin to build better problem solvers and enhance creative impact at all levels, from senior executives to entry-level employees. His Question Burst method, combined with four more habits of inquiry, have helped redesign company cultures around constructive questioning at Chanel, Daimler, Disney·Pixar, Ernst & Young, Fidelity, Genentech, Patagonia, Salesforce, World Economic Forum, and Zappos, among others.

Gregersen coauthored, with Clayton Christensen and Jeff Dyer, “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators” (translated into 14 languages worldwide), a guide to cultivating the discovery skills that CEOs and entrepreneurs rely on to build and guide sustainably creative companies. Having personally interviewed 100+ ground-breaking leaders at the world’s most innovative companies, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Gregersen draws on rigorous research and analysis (based on a database of +25,000 leaders) to successfully advise the world’s largest corporations on innovation, transformation and key leadership challenges.

Gregersen has lived and worked outside the United States for over a decade – in England, Finland, France, and the UAE. He and his wife now reside north of Boston where he pursues his lifelong avocation, photography, and she her lifelong love, sculpture.

More information about Gregersen and his work can be found at www.halgregersen.com and www.sternspeakers.com.

Honors

Thinkers50 recognizes Gregersen

Publications

"How The Volvo Ocean Race Team Tackles Extreme Challenges."

Gregersen, Hal. Forbes, July 17, 2018.

"The Power of Leaders Who Focus on Solving Problems."

Ancona, Deborah, and Hal Gregersen. Harvard Business Review, April 16, 2018.

"How to Cultivate Leadership that is Honed to Solve Problems."

Ancona, Deborah, and Hal Gregersen. strategy + business, April 2018.

"What Kind of Leadership Works Best at Your Company?"

Ancona, Deborah, and Hal Gregersen. Harvard Business Review, March 19, 2018.

"Better Brainstorming."

Gregersen, Hal. Harvard Business Review, March 2018.

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Recent Insights

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Researchers studying good jobs, digital transformation, misinformation, and innovation were nominated for the 2023 Thinkers50 awards.

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Ideas Made to Matter

How leaders can get the most out of asking questions

MIT Sloan’s Hal Gregersen explains question bursts, question audits, and why it’s important for leaders to not just ask questions but listen to the answers.

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Media Highlights

Press Source: Thinkers50

The Thinkers50 ranking

MIT Sloan in the Thinkers50 Rankings: Sinan Aral, Hal Gregersen, Andrew McAfee, Geoff Parker, and Erica Dhawan (MBA ’12)

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Executive Education

Executive Education Course

Questions Are the Answer

What if you could unlock a better answer to your most vexing problem just by changing the question? This highly interactive course helps executives cultivate deeply inquisitive leadership practices that can lead to breakthrough results and improved problem-solving techniques. Bring a real challenge to workshop and leave with research-based insights and methods for transforming yourself, your teams, and your organization into being more curious, fearless, and innovative.

  • Sep 14-15, 2023
  • Jun 4-5, 2024
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Executive Education Course

Inquiry-Driven Leadership

Inquiry-Driven Leadership focuses on a question-based approach to challenges, enabling you to become both a creative problem-finder and solver by gaining the tools to ask better questions.

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