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John Hagel      

Independent management consultant and author

John Hagel III has nearly 30 years experience as a management consultant, author, speaker and entrepreneur, and has helped companies improve their performance by effectively applying information technology to reshape business strategies. John currently serves as co-chairman of the Silicon Valley-based Deloitte Center for the Edge, which conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for new corporate growth.

Before joining Deloitte, John was an independent consultant and writer. Prior to that, he held significant positions at leading consulting firms and companies. From 1984 to 2000, he was a principal at McKinsey & Co., where he was a leader of the Strategy Practice. In addition, he founded and led McKinseys Electronic Commerce Practice from 1993 to 2000. John has also served as senior vice president of strategic planning at Atari, Inc., and earlier in his career, worked at Boston Consulting Group. He is the founder of two Silicon Valley startups.

John is the author of a series of best-selling business books, including Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box and The Only Sustainable Edge. He has won two awards from Harvard Business Review for best articles in that publication and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and professional service firms. Additionally, he and Center Co-chairman John Seely Brown recently contributed a chapter to Business Network Transformation: Strategies to Reconfigure Your Business Relationships for Competitive Advantage (2009) and they are currently co-authoring a new book with Center Executive Director Lang Davison.

Speech Topics

Back to Strategy - Has Anything Changed?

In the peak of the dot com bubble, business strategy seemed a quaint relic from the past. Business strategy is now clearly back with a vengeance. The real question is: does business strategy have to adapt to changing needs?

I focus on underlying economic forces and maintain that a different approach to strategy is required in times of high uncertainty. Drawing on examples from a variety of industries, I show where traditional strategic principles still apply and where they need to change. Most importantly, I lay out a basic approach to strategy that promises to improve both near-term economic performance and long-term me

Harnessing the Real Economic Value of Offshoring

Companies are becoming increasingly intrigued with the potential of offshoring. They are also rightly concerned about strategic and executional risks - everything from protection of intellectual property to loss of control over key operations. Most companies view offshoring choices much too narrowly. As a result, they create even more risk and forego significant potential rewards. With the right approach, offshoring can become a significant operational and strategic weapon, with potential for significant profits. The stakes are high and the game is picking up speed - are you playing to win? contact me

Pursuing a New Innovation Agenda

Companies are beginning to realize that cost-cutting delivers diminishing returns. Executives are reassessing their innovation needs. Traditional forms of innovation - product innovation and managerial innovation are necessary but not sufficient. Growing competitive pressures require a more aggressive institutional innovation across multiple levels of business activity. In the process, the boundaries and even the role of the firm will be redefined. Rather than attempting "big bang" transformations, executives will be far more successful pursuing a pragmatic approach, focusing on delivering tangible operational performance improvement in short-term waves of initiatives. contact me

Tackling the Shadow Economy of the Enterprise

Look around any large enterprise today and take a hard look at where operating expense and assets concentrate. Two areas emerge: local workgroups scrambling to address exceptions in our internal processes and in processes encompassing our business partners. These activities operate in the shadow because we prefer to believe that our expensive systems have automated, or at least standardized, the processes that run our business. By focusing on how to make the people in this shadow economy more productive, we can unleash significant new economic value. This may in fact be the fertile field where the next wave of learning, business innovation and performance improvement will take shape. contact me

Does IT Matter?

A backlash against IT is sweeping through executive boardrooms, influenced in part by a provocative article entitled “IT Doesn’t Matter” in Harvard Business Review. Executives are much more skeptical than they were in the late 1990’s about the power of IT to generate meaningful strategic advantage or even acceptable return on investment. They acknowledge that it has become a necessary cost of doing business, but their objective is to minimize spending in this area as much as possible.

I address this skepticism head on and maintain that continuing innovations in IT are actually expanding, rather than diminishing, the potential for strategic differentiation. I pinpoint where this potential resides today and outline what companies need to do in order to realize this potential – and generate superior financial me

The Changing Role of Outsourcing

Outsourcing has evolved significantly over the past several decades. Originally viewed as a way to reduce costs and leverage assets, outsourcing is now becoming a catalyst for specialization and competitive differentiation. As this evolution continues, the techniques required to manage outsourcing relationships are changing. Outsourcing also poses fundamental strategic choices. Few companies are prepared to exploit the capabilities available through outsourcing. This presentation highlights both the potential pitfalls and the opportunities created by outsourcing. contact me


The Job Training Conundrum: An Interview With John Hagel - Forbes

John Hagel There's a big problem in the world of work: How do you keep your employees both happy and up to date on current trends? John Hagel ...

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