Acclaimed author and speaker, Dr. Leonard has long been a thought leader in the field of knowledge management and innovation. Her 20 years on the Harvard Business School faculty and her management experience enable her to address issues from the C–level of the organization on down. She is known for her ability to engage audiences and leave them both motivated and ready to take practical next steps.
Dorothy André Leonard
William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration, Emerita, Harvard Business School
Dorothy Leonard taught on the Harvard faculty for 20 years, after starting her professional career at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interest in knowledge management and corporate education derives from over 30 years of research, consulting and teaching about knowledge, innovation, technology commercialization and organizational capabilities. Her book, Wellsprings of Knowledge: Building and Sustaining the Sources of Innovation, published by the Harvard Business School Press 1995/1998, is considered seminal in the field. It has been praised as containing in–depth, solidly researched and practical insights into knowledge management. When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups, published in 1999 by the Harvard Business School Press, and co–authored with Walter Swap, explores the theme of knowledge generation. Re–issued in paperback in 2005, it was awarded “Best Book on Creativity” by the European Association for Creativity and Innovation. Her book, Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom (Harvard Business School Press, 2005 and also co-authored with Walter Swap) discusses business-critical, experience-based knowledge. A practical field guide for managers (co-authors Walter Swap and Gavin Barton) was published in 2015: Critical Knowledge Transfer: Tools for managing Your Company's Deep Smarts. In 2011, a selection of her work; including an extensive original introduction, Managing Knowledge Assets, Creativity and Innovation was published by World Scientific.
Professor Leonard has taught MBA and Executive Education courses in managerial leadership, innovation, strategic capabilities, new product and process development, technology strategy and knowledge management. At Harvard, M.I.T., Stanford and for corporations such as 3M, AT&T, and Johnson & Johnson, she has conducted executive courses on a wide range of innovation and knowledge management–related topics such as designing creative work groups, structuring new product development and knowledge transfer during new product and process development. She initiated, developed and served as faculty chair for executive education programs such as Leveraging Knowledge for the 21st Century, Leading Product Development, and Enhancing Corporate Creativity. She has taught in many other Harvard executive programs, including the Program for Management Development, CEO Leadership Forum and the World Bank Program.
She has also consulted with and taught about innovation and knowledge management for governments (e.g., Sweden, Indonesia and various U.S. government agencies). She served on the corporate Board of Directors for American Management Systems, a billion-dollar software development and consulting company, for 11 years and for Guy Gannett Communications. Besides her books, she has written dozens of articles for academic journals (e.g., “Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities in New Product Development” in Strategic Management Journal, which was awarded the “best paper prize” for influencing the field over time) and for practitioner journals (e.g., 12 articles published in Harvard Business Review). Professor Leonard has also published many book chapters and more than 50 field–based cases used in business school classrooms around the world. In 2013, she was appointed a Leonardo Laureate in Europe for her "thought leadership in Knowledge Management, Innovation and Creativity". Her Ph.D. is from Stanford University.
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