thinkers50 ranked thinker

Hal Gregersen

Catalytic questioner and global innovator, exploring how asking the right questions builds leadership and innovation and drives purposeful change.

01. ranked thinker

Ranked in 2021.

Previous positions:
#16 (2019), #24 (2017) and #46 (2015).


Winner of the Thinkers50 2017 Leadership Award.


Thinkers50 2019 Leadership Award.

Thinkers50 2015 Leadership Award.


Inspired by Peter Drucker’s insights into the power of questions, Gregersen’s work on innovative leadership focuses on how leaders can ask the right questions – the catalytic questions, the questions that change the world. He explores how senior leaders can ask better questions to unlock what they don’t know they don’t know – before it’s too late. Developer of the “question burst” methodology, an alternative to traditional brainstorming, Gregersen is also the creator of a unique executive development experience “leadership and the lens”, which draws on photography and innovation to teach leaders how to ask radically better questions.

Hal Gregersen




Hal Gregersen is senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, senior fellow at Innosight, co-founder of the Innovator’s DNA consulting group, and former executive director of MIT’s Leadership Center. Before joining MIT, he taught at INSEAD, London Business School, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and Aalto University. Gregersen is also founder of the 4-24 Project, an initiative dedicated to rekindling in adults the provocative power of asking the right questions, so they can pass this crucial creativity skill on to the next generation.


How Organizational Change Disrupts Our Sense of Self (Sloan Management Review, Summer 2021 Issue); The Secret to Asking Better Questions (Wall Street Journal, 9 May 2019); The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (with Clayton Christensen and Jeff Dyer, HBR Press, 2019); Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life (Harper Collins, 2018); Better Brainstorming: Focus on Questions, not Answers, for Breakthrough Insights (Harvard Business Review, March-April 2018 issue). 





Media Picks


“Gregersen offers a new way of thinking about leadership, where the leader’s role is to ask the right questions, rather than know all the answers.

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50