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, Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life, delivers insights about the conditions that give rise to catalytic questions and how anyone can create them.

His previous 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

  • [Innovation@Work Webinar] Navigating The Human Side of Transitions In Times of Change

    In this webinar, Hal Gregersen and Roger Lehman explored the power of learning curve leadership and the role of catalytic inquiry in moving ourselves and others forward.

  • Creating Space for Inquiry

    In this podcast, discusses the importance of using questions to find answers.

  • Questions are the Answer - Are You Asking the Right Ones?

    In this podcast, Hal Gregersen discusses how to rekindle your curiosity and leverage the power of questions.

  • You Should Be Setting Fewer Goals–And Doing This Instead

    Goal setting is traditionally considered the first step to achieving your dreams. But there’s actually another (possibly more effective) method according to Hal Gregersen.

  • What Innovators Do Differently

    In this podcast, Hal Gregersen discusses the key skills of disruptive innovators.

  • Hal Gregersen Says Questions Are the Answer

    New MIT Sloan Executive Education program helps executives identify "unknown unknowns" through catalytic questioning.

  • Getting to Yes, And…

    In this podcast, Hal Gregersen discusses the importance of questions to foster an innovative and collaborative environment.

  • The Secret to Asking Better Questions

    Most bosses think they have all the answers. But the best bosses know what to ask to encourage fresh thinking. Hal Gregersen reveals six ways to build that skill in this Wall Street Journal article.

  • Cross-Silo Leadership

    Hal Gregersen shares best practices enabling effective interface work in this Harvard Business Review article.

  • How Departing Leaders Can Pass Along Their Wisdom to Employees

    Hal Gregersen uses Ed Catmull's "farewell talk" from Pixar as an example of how to be generous during your exit.


Contact Information

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

Navigating The Human Side of Transitions In Times of Change

In this webinar, Hal Gregersen and Roger Lehman explored the power of learning curve leadership and the role of catalytic inquiry in moving ourselves and others forward.

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.