Lynda Gratton

Leadership & Corporate Purpose

What is the role of the company and the leader in this changing world?

I am fascinated by the impact of global trends – technology, political, resources, demographic – on corporations and leadership. Leaders are under increasing pressure. Trust in corporations is on the decline, and ever more vocal citizens are forming themselves into worldwide communities of interest to influence corporate policy. And yet, while these pressures may be sweeping away some of the leadership capabilities we hold dear, they clear the way for new ideas about what leadership can and should be.

I’ve explored this from a couple of angles in two of my books and made the link with culture and purpose in the concept of ‘signature processes’.

This theme is at the centre of the MBA elective on the future of work that I teach at London Business School. Each year I’m joined by a range of CEOs and political commentators to discuss their views on corporate purpose.

I am an active member of the Drucker Foundation and have spoken about the role of corporate purpose at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. I’ve also chaired the World Economic Forum Council on Leadership.


  1. ‘The Key: how corporations can unlock a positive future’

    (2014) Won the CMI Management Book of the Year, 2015. Ranked in the top 10 of management books in Japan (awarded by Japanese edition of HBR).

  2. ‘The Exceptional Manager’

    (2006) Co-authored with Rick Delbridge and Gerry Johnson.

  3. ‘Building the Democratic Organisation’


Selected Articles and Videos

  1. HSM Advisory Pandemic Webinar – Leadership


  2. What it Means to Work Here

    Harvard Business Review. (2007)

  3. Beyond Best Practice

    Sloan Management Review. (2005)