Hal Gregersen: Biography highlights

Ranked among the Top 50 world’s most influential management and business thinkers on the 2021 Thinkers50 list, Hal Gregersen is a Catalytic questioner and global innovator, exploring how asking the right questions builds leadership and innovation, and drives purposeful change.

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Thinkers50 Speakers

Full biography of Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen presents with great charm and charisma – his inspirational talks are none the less grounded in concrete examples from the world’s top innovators.

Gregersen received a degree in business administration from the University of Utah and completed a Masters in organizational change in 1983 – adding a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of California five years later. He has taught extensively at leading institutions around the world including the London Business School, the Helsinki School of Economics and the Turku School of Economics as a Fulbright Fellow.

He lives in France where he is Professor in Leadership at INSEAD outside Paris and also resides in Abu Dhabi. He is married and enjoys photography and the arts.

In 2009 Gregersen was the McKinsey Award runner-up for the best article in the Harvard Business Review and received the Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management. He has also received several awards for teaching excellence in MBA programmes.

Gregersen’s seminal work is undoubtedly ‘The Innovators DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators’ which is the result of extensive studies conducted alongside Jeff Dyer and Clayton Christensen. In fact it builds on work started by Christensen into the phenomenon of Disruptive Innovation and asks where do these ground breaking ideas come from.

From Amazon to PayPal they concluded that great breakthrough ideas come from the habit of constant questioning and observation together with networking widely amongst those who can offer different perspectives. The study is used as a practical teaching method in workshops and in consultation with leading companies worldwide. He has worked with, among others, Adidas, Coca-Cola, The World Economic Forum and Yahoo. Gregerson is now looking at how these insights can be used in social projects. He has also worked with governments and NGOs and wants to bring on a new generation of innovative leaders.

He has several other books to his name and over 50 articles in journals like the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of International Business Studies. He is a Senior Fellow and consultant on innovation and transformational change at Innosight.

Along with Dyer and Christensen he has developed the Worlds Most Innovative Companies list with Forbes, now in its 2nd year.

Hal Gregersen’s Current/Past Roles & Positions

  • Co-author of The Innovators DNA which identifies the winning habits and thought patterns of our leading innovators
  • Professor of Leadership at INSEAD as well as author, consultant and speaker
  • Wants to use innovative behavior to tackle social issues and to inspire a new generation


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Watch Hal in action

1/4 videos
Hal Gregersen: The Innovator's DNA in Retail and Business Banking
Hal Gregersen: The Innovator's DNA in Retail and Business Banking
What are you dead wrong about today?: Hal Gregersen at TEDxBYU
What are you dead wrong about today?: Hal Gregersen at TEDxBYU
The innovator's DNA
The innovator's DNA
How To Ask The Right Question: Hal Gregersen at TEDxYouth@IFTA
How To Ask The Right Question: Hal Gregersen at TEDxYouth@IFTA

Hal's speaking topics

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