Dorothy Leonard, the William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita, joined the Harvard faculty in 1983 after teaching for three years at the Sloan School of Management, at MIT. She has taught MBA courses in managerial leadership, knowledge management, new product and process design, creativity and innovation management. She has also taught executive courses on a wide range of innovation-related topics, such as cross-functional coordination during new product development, technology transfer and knowledge management at Harvard, M.I.T., and for corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, and 3M.
Dorothy has initiated and served as faculty chair for executive education programs on Leveraging Knowledge for the 21st Century, Leading Product Development, and Enhancing Corporate Creativity. She also served as a Director of Research for the Harvard Business School and Director of Research and Knowledge Programs for Harvard Business School’s non-profit organization, HBS Interactive.
Her major research interests and consulting expertise relate to managing knowledge for innovation and stimulating creativity in group settings. She has consulted with and taught about these topics for governments as well as Fortune 50 corporations. She has served on corporate Boards of Directors, such as American Management Systems and Gannett Communications and advises start-up enterprises in various advisory and board roles.
A prolific and widely lauded writer, her work appears in academic and practitioner journals such as Harvard Business Review and in dozens of field-based cases used in business school classrooms around the world. Her book, Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation, is considered seminal in the knowledge management field. When Sparks Fly: Igniting Group Creativity, (co-authored with Walter Swap), Harvard Business School Press was awarded “Best Book on Creativity” by the European Association for Creativity and Innovation. And her widely cited book, Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business (also with Walter Swap) has been translated into a dozen languages.
Before obtaining her Ph.D. from Stanford University, Dorothy worked in Southeast Asia for ten years.
Losing—and Rebuilding—Deep Smarts
Converting Your High Potential Employees into Experts
Knowledge and Innovation: A Paradox?
How to Kill Core Capabilities with Incentives