Gary Hamel Profile

The Thinkers50, a global ranking of management thinkers published every two years, once again placed Gary Hamel amongst its venerated list of top thought leaders. A leading expert on futurism, innovation and change management, Dr. Hamel was also nominated as the “World’s most influential business thinker” by the Wall Street Journal. Fortune magazine called him “The world’s leading expert on business strategy.” In Executive Excellence magazine’s annual ranking of the most sought-after management speakers, Gary Hamel has placed first three years running.

With presentations that are as practical as they are profound, Dr. Hamel has spoken at many of the world’s leading business conferences, including the World Economic Forum, TED, the World Business Forum, Techonomy, and Fortune Brainstorm.

Visiting Professor of Strategic and International Management at the London Business School, Dr. Hamel is the author of several landmark business publications, including Leading the Revolution and Competing for the Future, both bestsellers, and The Future of Management which is an best business book of the year. His most recent bestseller is What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation.

In addition, he has been published extensively in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, The Financial Times and many others. Having written over fifteen articles for the Harvard Business Review has made him the most reprinted author in that publication’s history.

Gary Hamel has pioneered concepts such as strategic intent, core competence, industry revolution and management innovation and his insights in these areas have led to him being invited as a consultant and management educator by such companies as: General Electric, Time Warner, Nokia, Nestle, Shell, Best Buy, Procter & Gamble, 3M, IBM, and Microsoft.

A regular contributor to major television and other media networks, Hamel is frequently asked to speak at high-level management conferences. He has advised governments at the highest level on innovation policy, entrepreneurship and industrial competitiveness.

Hamel’s current initiative is the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX), an online community that allows progressive business leaders to share best practice. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and the Strategic Management Society.

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    Gary Hamel is one of the world’s most influential and iconoclastic business thinkers. He has worked with leading companies across the globe and is a dynamic and sought-after management speaker. Hamel has been on the faculty of the London Business School for more than 30 years and is the director of the Management Innovation eXchange(link is external).

    Hamel has written 17 articles for the Harvard Business Review and is the most reprinted author in the Review’s history. His landmark books have been translated into more than 25 languages. His most recent bestsellers are The Future of Management and What Matters Now. In these volumes, Hamel presents an impassioned plea for reinventing management and lays out a practical blueprint for building organizations that are “fit for the future.”

    Fortune magazine describes Hamel as “the world’s leading expert on business strategy,” and the Financial Times calls him a “management innovator without peer.” Hamel has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker and is a fellow of the Strategic Management Society and of the World Economic Forum.

    Hamel’s groundbreaking concepts such as “strategic intent,” “core competence,” “industry revolution,” and “management innovation,” have changed the language and practice of management in organizations around the globe.

    Hamel’s work inside of organizations has been equally pioneering.  Highlights include:

    • Building one of the world’s first “idea markets” inside a global energy leader.
    • Using crowdsourcing to help a European high tech company build a game-changing strategy.
    • Orchestrating a comprehensive effort to turn a venerable durable goods manufacturer into one of the world’s most innovative companies.
    • Helping a leading Korean company re-engineer its management practices around the principles of openness, community and meritocracy.
    • Designing and deploying an online platform that allowed the employees of a top fashion house to share and develop ideas for strengthening their company’s core values.
    • Developing innovation tools and platforms that have helped companies around the world de-commoditize mature industries and accelerate growth.
    • Running an online “hackathon” in which more than 1,700 senior executives collaborated to reinvent the HR function.

    In his work, Hamel has led transformational efforts in some of the world’s most notable companies and has helped to create billions of dollars in shareholder value.

    Hamel is one of the world’s most sought-after management speakers on the topics of strategy, leadership, innovation and change.

Gary Hamel Speaking Videos

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Gary Hamel's Speech Descriptions

Gary Hamel employs twenty years of groundbreaking research and experience working with some of the world’s greatest companies to show you how every employee has the potential to innovate, potential which can only be unleashed if you build management systems that allow that to happen.

Hamel explains how, far too often, change in companies is driven by crisis and not by opportunity. He will show your company how to recognize the warning signs of “strategy decay” and how to structure management systems so that they are resilient enough to adapt to new opportunities.

After listening to Gary Hamel, you will be able to identify changes in your industry before they happen and, if you follow his advice, your company will have the ongoing management innovation capability not only to cope but also fully to exploit them.

Every human being has within them a creative spark, yet our organizations harness only a fraction of that latent imagination. While 79% of leaders rank innovation as a top priority, 94% say their organizations aren’t as innovative as they need to be. What gives? If innovation is so important, why do most companies struggle with it? Because few of them have taken a systematic approach to making innovation instinctive for every individual and intrinsic to the organization itself. For innovation to become a genuine core competence, organizations must …

Build creative capital. While most people have creative instincts, it takes practice to learn to think like a gamechanger. You wouldn’t expect someone to hit a golf ball 200 yards down the fairway without a bit of training. So it is with innovation. The quickest way to increase the innovation output of any company is to teach everyone how to upend conventional thinking, intercept emerging trends and invent novel solutions to deep customer needs.

Re-tool the management model. Over the past decade, many companies re-engineered their operating model for speed and efficiency. Few, though, have retooled their management model for innovation. This is now an imperative. Every management system—planning, resource allocation, performance management, compensation and training—must facilitate rather than frustrate innovation. Companies that fail to take a systematic approach to this challenge will soon find themselves preempted by their competitors and abandoned by their customers.

Over the past three decades, Gary Hamel has taught hundreds of thousands of individuals how to imagine and build the future. He has also helped many of the world’s most admired companies design and build innovation-friendly management practices. The result: boldly creative teams and billions of dollars added to the top line.

The winds of creative destruction are howling. Change is exponential and unrelenting. In this environment, the most important question for any organization is, “Are we changing as fast as the world around us?” Sadly, for many organizations the answer is no. Today, there are many who expect the old guard to lose. After all, in a hyper-kinetic world, resources count for less than resource-fulness, and companies that fall behind tend to stay behind.

All too often, deep change is the product of crisis—it’s belated, convulsive and typically insufficient. The challenge, then, is to build an organization that can change as fast as change itself, that possesses an “evolutionary advantage.” Such an organization would . . .

Rush out to meet the future.
Change before it had to.
Consistently redefine customer expectations.
Capture more than its share of new opportunities.
Avoid unexpected earnings shocks.
Consistently out-perform competitors.
Building an evolutionary advantage requires more than new practices—it also requires new principles. Most organizations were built on the principles of standardization, formalization, specialization, alignment and discipline. These are fine principles, but now we must embrace new principles: experimentation, openness, meritocracy, freedom and audacity. These cannot be mere buzzwords, but must be embedded deeply in structures, systems and behaviors.

Building an evolutionary advantage may seem like a Herculean task. It’s not. In his pioneering work, Gary Hamel has demonstrated that with courage and tenacity, any company can learn to outrun change.

If you want to win in a world of nimble, hungry upstarts, bureaucracy has to die. Young companies are bold, flexible and quick. Big companies, not so much. Research suggests that an excess of bureaucracy—too many layers and too many rules—costs OECD economies $9 trillion each year in lost economic output. Nevertheless, most struggle to imagine an alternative. Bureaucracy seems essential for achieving the control, coordination and consistency that allow large organizations to function. For decades that was true. Now it is not.

A growing number of vanguard companies are proving it is possible to buy the benefits of bureaucracy duty-free. On average, these post-bureaucratic trailblazers enjoy a 30-50% productivity advantage over their peers, and are far more fleet-footed. Svenska Handelsbanken, the world’s most consistently profitable bank, has three management layers. Nucor, the highly innovative steel-maker has no central R&D and a head office of fewer than 100 individuals. Haier, a global leader in the appliance industry, has turned itself into a “platform” of 4,000 highly autonomous “micro-enterprises.” Turns out you can be big and fast, efficient and supple, disciplined and courageous.

For more than a decade, Gary Hamel has been helping progressive-minded organizations “uninstall” bureaucracy. Doing so requires three things…

Motivation: Organizations get serious about busting bureaucracy when they start to measure its hidden costs. Every organization needs to calculate its BMI—“Bureaucracy Mass Index.”
Models: It’s hard to begin a journey when you can’t imagine the destination. Luckily, the post-bureaucratic pioneers help point us in the right direction.
Migration: You don’t build a post-bureaucratic organization with a grand, top-down change program. Instead, you must build migration paths by launching many small, yet radical, experiments designed to test and refine new, “post-bureaucratic” practices. The payoff: an organization that is flat, open and free.

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Books by Gary Hamel:

Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them

Our organizations aren’t working. Whether you’re a CEO, a manager, or an employee, and whether you’re in a private, public or nonprofit organization, you face a common enemy – bureaucracy.

It’s not just a 20th century problem. Despite all the hype around flat organizations and agile processes, the costs of bureaucracy are growing, not shrinking. The authors’ research paints a stark picture: excess bureaucracy costs the U.S. economy more than $3 trillion in lost output – almost $9 trillion if you include all of the OECD. Bureaucracy is not only expensive, it’s debilitating, restricting organizations’ ability to change and innovate nimbly, and reinforcing their treatment of human beings as mere “resources” – as cogs in a bureaucratic machine.

In this provocative and indispensable new book, world-renowned business thinker Gary Hamel and expert coauthor Michele Zanini sharply define the cluster of disabilities they call “bureausclerosis,” and provide a powerful tool – a Bureaucracy Mass Index – for measuring its negative impact on your organization.

They go on to show, compellingly, that the only way to truly root out deep-seated bureaucracy and re-humanize your company is to create entrepreneurship at scale. In an entrepreneurial company, every team member thinks and acts like an owner, with the freedom and authority to make important decisions, develop new ideas, and take risks. Moreover, team members instinctively think lean and are in constant problem-solving mode, asking themselves: How can I enhance customer experience? How can we operate more effectively? The result is an organization in which everyone feels they’re an essential member.
With rich and instructive real-life stories, as well as practical advice and tools you can deploy in your own company, Humanocracy is your guide for defeating bureaucracy and building organizations that are as resilient, creative, and inspiring as the people who work within them.

The Future of Management
What fuels long-term business success? Not operational excellence, technology breakthroughs, or new business models, but management innovation-new ways of mobilizing talent, allocating resources, and formulating strategies. Through history, management innovation has enabled companies to cross new performance thresholds and build enduring advantages.

In The Future of Management, Gary Hamel argues that organizations need management innovation now more than ever. Why? The management paradigm of the last century-centered on control and efficiency-no longer suffices in a world where adaptability and creativity drive business success. To thrive in the future, companies must reinvent management.

Hamel explains how to turn your company into a serial management innovator, revealing:

  • The make-or-break challenges that will determine competitive success in an age of relentless, head-snapping change.
  • The toxic effects of traditional management beliefs.
  • The unconventional management practices generating breakthrough results in “modern management pioneers.”
  • The radical principles that will need to become part of every company′s “management DNA.”
  • The steps your company can take now to build your “management advantage.”

    Practical and profound, The Future of Management features examples from Google, W.L. Gore, Whole Foods, IBM, Samsung, Best Buy, and other blue-ribbon management innovators.
    Order Here

    Leading the Revolution
    Gary Hamel, world-renowned business thinker and coauthor of Competing for the Future, the book that set the management agenda for the 1990s, now delivers an agenda for the twenty-first century with the national bestseller, Leading the Revolution. Fully revised with a new introduction, this book provides an action plan for any company or individual intent on becoming and staying an industry revolutionary.

    Hamel argues that the fundamental challenge companies face is reinventing themselves and their industries, not just in times of crisis — but continually. Based on an extensive study of “gray-haired revolutionaries,” including Charles Schwab, Cisco, Virgin, UPS, Semex, and GE Capital, Leading the Revolution shows how companies can continue to grow and thrive, even in ever-changing turbulent world markets.

    Leading the Revolution is not a book for cozy corner-office types. It is for everyone who has the guts to act on the knowledge that our heritage is no longer our destiny. This groundbreaking book from the premier business thinker of our time is a call to arms for the dreamers and doers who will lead us into the age of revolution.
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