Hal Gregersen

Senior Lecturer
Executive Director, MIT Leadership Center


Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen is Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center and a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management 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 a Senior Fellow at Innosight 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. 

Gregersen's most recent book, The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, flows from a path-breaking international research project (with Jeff Dyer & Clayton Christensen). They explored where disruptive innovations come from by interviewing founder entrepreneurs and CEOs at 100+ of the most innovative companies in the world and by assessing how 8,000+ leaders leverage five key innovation skills to create valuable new products, services, processes, and businesses.

To grasp how leaders find and ask the right questions – ones that disrupt the world – Gregersen is now studying 100+ renowned business and government leaders. This question-centric project, conducted in collaboration with Clayton Christensen, is surfacing insights into how leaders 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.

Gregersen has co-authored ten books and published over 50 articles, book chapters, and cases on leading innovation and change. His research has been highlighted in global media such as BBCCNNThe EconomistFast CompanyFinancial TimesForbesFortuneInc.The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has received several awards for his cutting edge work, including: 2013 Thinkers50 Innovation Award Nominee, 2012 Chartered Management – British Library Book of the Year Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the 2009 McKinsey Award runner-up for the best article in Harvard Business Review.

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

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 in Boston where he pursues his lifelong avocation, photography, and she her lifelong love, painting.

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

Faculty Media

  • Deborah Ancona & Hal Gregersen: What does it mean to be a leader?

    We need a new way of thinking about leadership and a new approach to leading, say MIT Sloan's Deborah Ancona and Hal Gregersen. They suggest what is called, "challenge-driven leadership." We...

  • How to Cultivate Leadership That Is Honed to Solve Problems

    In this article, Deborah Ancona and Hal Gregersen discuss how to chieve breakthroughs by bringing together experts who love challenges.

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] At the CHRO Summit, Hal Gregersen Made People Uncomfortable, and That's a Good Thing

    He asked attendees, "What are the uncomfortable questions in your work and life that you are not asking yourself or others?"

  • [Innovation@Work] Success Isn't Comfortable: Lessons in Leadership from the Human Capital Institute

    We generally think of people who enjoy uncomfortable situations as thrill seekers--or masochists. Most people don't take pleasure in being nervous, humbled, or overly challenged. However, in the...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Books by MIT Sloan Executive Education Faculty

    MIT Sloan's world-renowned faculty are experts in a vast number of subjects. Catch up on their latest research and breakthrough concepts in these books, authored or edited by the faculty themselves.

  • [Innovation@Work Webinar] Exploring the Innovator's DNA

    In our Innovation@Work webinar, Hal Gregersen, co-author of "The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators," shares findings from his eight-year, international research...

  • Better Brainstorming

    Brainstorming for questions, not answers.

  • What Kind of Leadership Works Best at Your Company?

    MIT Sloan's Deborah Ancona and Hal Gregersen have answers.

  • How Does Amazon Stay At Day One?

    If you wonder how Amazon keeps up its torrid pace of launching new products and services, here’s the heart of it:

  • The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2017

    Most innovation rankings are popularity contests based on past performance or editorial whims. We set out to create something very different.


Contact Information

Office: E62-380
Phone: (617) 324-4951
Email: hbg@MIT.EDU
Support Staff
Name: Erika Paoletti
Phone: (617) 253-2650

Exploring the Innovator's DNA
Find out how disruptive innovators arrive at their value-generating ideas.

How to Cultivate Leadership That Is Honed to Solve Problems

MIT Sloan's Deborah Ancona and Hal Gregersen explain how to achieve breakthroughs by bringing together experts who love challenges.

Bursting the CEO Bubble

"As a CEO, power and privilege leave you insulated—perhaps more than anyone else in the company. Ironically, to do what your exalted position demands, you must in some way escape your exalted position," writes Hal Gregersen in his Harvard Business Review article.

IDEAS OUT LOUD with Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of the MIT Leadership Center, gives a presentation on how to build a better business in just four minutes per day as a part of the IDEAS OUT LOUD series.