Learn More About Linda A. Hill
Even before the pandemic, leaders in almost every sector of business and government were trying to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing digital landscape. That pressure has since been compounded by fallout from the pandemic and growing economic, social and political tensions. Such conditions call for the expertise of Linda A. Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and one of the world’s most respected and sought-after leadership and innovation experts. Hill helps organizations build and sustain growth by teaching leaders how to leverage the creativity of diverse thinkers, a resource she refers to as “collective genius.”
“There are many great organizational leaders but few know how to lead innovation,” said Hill during a recent TED talk that’s been seen by more than two million viewers. “If we want to build organizations that can innovate time and again, we must unlearn our conventional notions of leadership. Leading innovation is not about creating a vision and inspiring others to execute it. Innovation is not about an ‘a-ha’ moment. Innovation is not about solo genius. It’s about the power of collective genius to unleash innovation so you don’t have to worry about harnessing it.”
In addition to her longstanding role as an educator and researcher, Hill has worked closely with executives, managers and teams for more than 30 years as an advisor and coach. During that time, she has co-authored a number of books which have been translated into multiple languages including the award-winning “Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014) – which was named by Business Insider as one of “The 20 Best Business Books” and was named to the inaugural Thinkers50 Booklist: 10 Management Classics for 2022. Hill also authored “Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives of Becoming a Great Leader,” now considered a bible of sorts for leaders at every level of management. A related Harvard Business Review article she co-authored, “Collective Genius,” received the first Warren Bennis Prize in 2015.
Hill’s work focuses on helping organizations build agility and resilience so leaders and their teams can continuously facilitate and sustain innovation. Her steady, even-handed approach and time-tested frameworks have contributed to the success of diverse and influential organizations across the world including Merck, Aon, Mitsubishi, NASA, RELX, The Federal Reserve Bank, National Bank of Kuwait, Salesforce.com and The World Economic Forum. Hill has also served on three public boards in the power, oil and gas, and financial services industries, one private board, and numerous non-profit boards including the Rockefeller Foundation. She also works with health care and pharmaceutical firms including United Health Care, and her recent role as an advisor to Morgan Stanley’s sustainability initiative is just one example of her extensive work in the financial services space.
Beyond the corporate and non-profit scope, Hill’s work around leadership and innovation reaches into art and design. She sits on the boards of the ArtCenter College of Design and Eight Inc (designers of Apple and Tesla stores), and she spent many years studying “collective genius” at Pixar Films.
When working with executives, Hill employs the proprietary frameworks and assessment tools she continues to develop with her team at Paradox Strategies, a leadership research and advisory firm she co-founded in 2016. Among those is re:Route™, a rigorous diagnostic tool that examines an organization’s willingness and ability to culturally transform and continuously innovate. Hill shares her frameworks during live and online keynotes, as well as hands-on interactive workshops where participants get to apply her tools in an experiential setting.
A self-proclaimed “army brat,” Hill’s upbringing as a citizen of the world contributes to her ethnographer’s view of workplace and managerial behaviors. That early history led to her 10 years of research observing a diverse cross-section of exceptional leaders of innovation in seven countries and twelve different industries. She and her team spent hundreds of hours on site watching them in action and noting the patterns leading to their successes. Hill also studies factors that can cause career derailment and helps leaders identify and avoid similar pitfalls.
When it comes to building collective genius, Hill stresses the importance of including people from different backgrounds and ethnicities in the innovation process – a resonating theme today as organizations and institutions around the world face questions about their inclusion policies and practices. As an accomplished academic at the top of her field, Hill readily advises decision makers about their leadership roles in this increasingly important area of business as well. In addition to promoting positive change and inspiring other corporate citizens to follow suit, organizations willing to enact – and act on – broader inclusion policies will be poised to uncover previously missed opportunities within their organizations and in the marketplace.
“Learning to lead is something you have to do yourself. No one can do it for you. It requires lifelong learning,” says Hill. “You and your team need to be resilient and agile because you never know what kind of challenge you will be faced with.”
No matter the challenge – pandemic, social unrest and any other form of disruption – Hill encourages leaders to share the burden of responsibility by creating task forces within their organizations. Like those already doing so, Hill is happy to see innovative employees rising to the occasion in ways that may not have been possible had they not been included in the process.
Linda A. Hill is the co-founder of Paradox Strategies and co-founder of InnovationForce, a SaaS company using AI and machine learning to accelerate the process of innovation, which was named by Fast Company as a 2023 “Innovative Company to Watch.” She has been at the forefront of developing innovative learning programs for managers such as Breakthrough Leadership, which won a Brandon Hall Group Award for Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology, and the award-winning multimedia management development program, High Performance Management. She has been named by Thinkers50 as one of the top 50 management thinkers in the world in since 2011, and received the Thinkers50 Innovation Award in 2015.
Hill has chaired numerous HBS Executive Education programs, including the Young Presidents Organization Presidents’ Seminar, the High Potentials Leadership Program and Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation. In addition, she acted as course head during the development of the new Leadership and Organizational Behavior MBA required course.
Hill is a member of the Board of Directors of Relay Therapeutics, on the Board of Trustees of the ArtCenter College of Design and a member of the Team8 Fintech Strategic Committee. She serves on the advisory boards of several organizations including the American Repertory Theater, the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), Eight Inc., the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. She sits on the board of the Global Citizens Initiative, Inc. and is a Special Representative to the Board of Trustees of Bryn Mawr College. Hill is a former member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Business Publishing, State Street Corporation, The Bridgespan Group, and the Eaton Corporation. She is also a former member of the Board of Trustees of The Rockefeller Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund USA.
Hill completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Harvard Business School and earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences at the University of Chicago. She received her M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago and her B.A., summa cum laude, in psychology from Bryn Mawr College.
Linda Hill is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Linda Hill’s consulting and executive education activities focus on leading change and innovation, developing innovation ecosystems, the role of boards in governing innovation, talent development and implementing global strategies. Organizations with which Hill has worked include AIDA, General Electric, RELX, Accenture, UnitedHealth Group, IBM, MasterCard, Mitsubishi, Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Kuwait, AREVA, The Economist, Salesforce.com, and The World Economic Forum.
Hill has chaired numerous HBS Executive Education programs, including the Young Presidents’ Organization Presidents’ Seminar and the High Potentials Leadership Program, and Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation. She was course-head during the development of the new Leadership and Organizational Behavior MBA required course.
Hill has been at the forefront of developing various innovative learning programs for managers, including Breakthrough Leadership, the winner of the 2013 Brandon Hall Group Award for Best Advance in Unique Learning Technology, and the award-winning multimedia management development programs such as High Performance Management.
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Harvard Business School Professor Linda Hill does not teach organizations how to harness innovation; she teaches them how to unleash it – and her workshops provide all the tools. Based on her seminal books, “Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation” and “Being the Boss,” Hill’s skill-building workshops give participants the opportunity to work side-by-side with the master as they apply her proven frameworks and strategies in a collaborative setting. These can be booked as half-day, full-day or two-day sessions.
Hill can customize workshops to meet the needs and challenges of an organization or group of participants and she can cover a wide range of topics including:
- Effective strategies for leading innovation
- Developing creative agility
- Preparing high potentials to take on more scope and scale
- Leveraging diversity and inclusion to fuel innovation
- Successfully leading professional services firms
- Career strategies to help women and minorities thrive in corporations
- Avoiding derailers and addressing developmental needs while driving growth
- Managing the paradoxes of innovation problem-solving
Hill is a dynamic and energetic teacher and facilitator who empowers participants by giving them concrete tools and frameworks they can use to better drive innovation in their own organizations. These workshops are especially useful to leaders dealing with disruption and digital transformation, as well as those interested in leveraging diversity of thinking to further enhance the innovation process.
For more information on Linda Hill’s workshops, click here.