Gianpiero Petriglieri is Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and an expert on leadership and learning in the workplace.
His award-winning research and teaching focus on what it means, and what it takes, to become a leader. He is particularly interested in the development and practice of leadership in the age of “nomadic professionalism,” an age in which people have deep bonds to work but loose affiliations to organizations, and authenticity and mobility have replaced loyalty and advancement as hallmarks of virtue and success. All his work aspires to humanise leadership in this age, that is, to help leaders be grounded as well as as adaptable, sustainable as well as effective, purposeful as well as portable. That work has earned him a spot among the 50 most influential management thinkers in the world.
Gianpiero regards leadership as a craft and, at its best, a genuine art form–because it involves using one’s energy, intellect, passion, skills, and tools to bring a unique intent to life and share it with the world. Building on his research, he has refined a unique approach to learning the artistry of leading. That approach aims to help individuals and groups clarify their leadership intent, claim it, commit to it, and forge relationships that sustain it. At INSEAD, Gianpiero directs the Management Acceleration Programme, the school’s flagship executive programme for emerging leaders, and chairs the INSEAD initiative for Learning Innovation and Teaching Excellence.
Gianpiero collaborates with multinationals in a variety of industries on the design and delivery of leadership development initiatives, some of which have received industry-wide awards for excellence and innovation in executive development. An insightful and engaging speaker, he presents widely at management conferences and corporate gatherings on how to live, lead, and learn “on the move” without losing one’s roots.
Ask people what makes a great leader in theory, and they will often point a lofty vision. But ask them about a leader that they trusted and felt good following in reality, and they will point to something else. A sense of being reassured, a strong connection that that made them feel safe. Embodying a more humane, less visionary, model of leadership might be what propelled Joe Biden Jr. to the White House in the 2020 US Presidential elections, Gianpiero argues in this new piece in Fast Company.
The election commentary builds this essay in the Harvard Business Review, on the importance of “holding” for leaders in a crisis. Gianpiero explores what “holding” is, how to provide it, and why it matters most in a crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends that we used to describe as the “future of work.” Trends like the questioning of the purpose of capitalism. Or like the remoteness of work, which has become more virtual and insecure at once. Unlike what many predicted, however, the old future turned new normal has not made management obsolete. It has created an opportunity to render it more human instead. Read Gianpiero’s new essays in the Harvard Business Review, examining the mid-life crisis of management, and in the Financial Times, calling for a movement (Human Relations 2.0) that would benefit businesses and society alike.
The essays are based on this article on the humanisation of organisation theory, and builds on Gianpiero’s work on defying “leaderism,” leading with care, and the value of holding rather than vision in crises.
The overarching purpose to humanise leadership through transformative learning informs all of Gianpiero’s development work. The courses and workshops he designs and teaches build on the assumptions that (1) leadership is a craft, not a conquest, that (2) we learn to lead through cycles of experience and reflection, and that (3) both our personal history and social context matter in determining if and when we get to lead–and how. Hence learning for leadership always needs to incorporate experience, make room for practice and reflection, involve the whole person, and take their context fully into account. Ultimately, leadership development needs to benefit individuals, their organisations, and society at large.
Gianpiero’s teaching aims to foster transformative learning. It builds upon his research on why humanising leadership matters, and how to do it, as well as on what it takes for organisations, and how it will benefit them. Read more about the courses and workshops that bring his approach to life….
For research, teaching, and public engagement.