Nine Ways to Identify Natural Leaders

Posted by Gary Hamel on May 14, 2009

The need to empower natural leaders isn’t an HR pipedream, it’s a competitive imperative. But before you can empower them, you have to find them.

In most companies, the formal hierarchy is a matter of public record—it’s easy to discover who’s in charge of what. By contrast, natural leaders don’t appear on any organization chart. To hunt them down, you need to know . . .

Whose advice is sought most often on any particular topic?
Who responds most promptly to requests from peers?
Whose responses are judged most helpful?
Who is most likely to reach across organizational boundaries to aid a colleague?
Whose opinions are most valued, internally and externally?
Who gets the most kudos from customers?
Who’s the most densely connected to other employees?
Who’s generating the most buzz outside the company?
Who consistently demonstrates real thought leadership?
Who seems truly critical to key decisions?

EURAM Conference

May 1, 2007

“Management innovation: Venturing away from the crossroads” : Panel chaired by MLab’s professor Birkinshaw and Research Fellow Michael Mol

Conference website

CIPD annual conference

September 1, 2007

Professor Julian Birkinshaw on “The New Principles of Management”

The Future of Business

February 7, 2008
QE2 conference centre, London, UK

In his new book “The Future of Management”, Gary Hamel sets out the agenda for management in the 21st century. He demonstrates that it is innovation in management rather than in operations, products or strategies that is most likely to create long-term advantage.

At this conference Hamel will set out in detail how organisations can get a head start on the future by building tomorrow’s best practices today.

For further information and registration

The Future of Management

March 5, 2008
Johannesburg, South Africa
5 March 2008

The Future of Management, a one day conference led by professor Gary Hamel and hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in partnership with LeadershipWorks.

Post-event write up at

NHS Master Class

April 3, 2008
London, UK

Alan Matcham will deliver a Master Class on Leading Innovation and Entrepreneurship within a large
Public Service Organisation

For more information

CIPD HRD 2008 Conference

April 16, 2008
ExCel centre, Docklands, London, UK

Management Innovation Seminar

What can organisations do to make their management practices more adaptable, flexible and responsive to change in order to stay ahead of the market? This seminar, based on emerging research from the London Business School, will feature two organisations who have implemented a systematic but flexible approach to innovation in their management and business practices. It will provide practical advice on how to nurture, support and sustain management innovation in order to drive competitive advantage.

For information and registration

Inspiring the Leaders of the Future

April 13, 2008

Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE

An Executive Management Conference featuring one of the world's most sought-after management authorities:

Professor Gary Hamel , supported by Professor Julian Birkinshaw

For further information and registration

Researching Management Innovation: New Insights, Future Challenges

April 26, 2008
London, UK

A joint seminar with the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) to focus on current academic research in the field of management innovation. The speakers who will talk about their current research projects and also address the future research challenges in this area are:

Professors Gary Hamel, Julian Birkinshaw, Torben Pedersen and Andy Sturdy

Visit the AIM website

Download programme and registration form

Innovation Symposium

December 9, 2008
Engaged Innovation: Strategies for Enhancing Employee Participation in the Innovation Process

Even in today’s tough economic conditions, most firms recognise the importance of innovation as an imperative for long-term success. They also recognise that the innovation process requires widespread participation from employees across the firm and beyond, if it is to be effective.