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World’s Best B-School Professors: Lynda Gratton

Once the chief psychologist at British Airways, Lynda Gratton is an expert on human capital and one of the world’s best business school professors

Lynda Gratton

London Business School

Claim to Fame: Human Capital

Age: 55


BA, PhD (Liverpool)

At London Business School Since: for over 20 years

Before London Business School: Chief Psychologist at BA and then Director at PA Consulting Group

Fun Fact: I love to paint the sea from my house in Spain

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: writing and running a wildly creative research/consultancy

Best part of the job: Variety and doing something meaningful

Worst part of the job: It sounds ridiculous, but I love it all!

Whether through research or teaching, the one thing any good business professor seeks to do is make future business practices more efficient. Lynda Gratton is no different. The professor of management practice at London Business School is one of the world’s most visible experts on people in organizations. Specifically she focuses on strategic human resource management, social capital, and innovation. Her research, books, articles, speaking, and teaching all revolve around the future of work with the central theme being that any organizational success—present or future—starts with workers.

In her latest book, The Shift, Gratton prophetically exclaims the future of work is already here as she hones in on five forces that will fundamentally change the way individuals view and engage in work over the next decade: globalization, society, demography, technology, and energy. In addition to The Shift providing a glance into the crystal ball of workforce management, there’s an app for it. The book’s app—available on iTunes—includes Gratton’s daily tips and advice for individuals seeking to shape their work futures.

Gratton is also widely known for her creation of the Hot Spot Research Institute. Founded in 2001 after she was awarded a government grant to study performance and innovation in contemporary firms, the institute investigates companies that are oozing with human resource management innovations thus making them a “hot spot.” She is also well known for her creation of the Hot Spots Movement, a specialist research and consulting team that helps businesses “future-proof” their managerial practices.

Gratton’s insights into the future of human resource management have positioned her as one of the most influential business thinkers of our time. In 2008, the Financial Times chose her as the business thinker most likely to make a meaningful difference over the next decade. She has received similar recognition from leaders in human resource management.

Industry Leaders Say:

“The future of the organization is dependent on our leadership. London Business School, led by Professor Lynda Gratton, has further emphasized this learning.” — Kate McCormack – Director of People, Learning and Culture at Mercy Health