Derek C. M. van Bever

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
Director, Forum for Innovation and Growth

Unit: General Management


(617) 496-6451

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Derek van Bever is a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit. He teaches Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise in the second year elective curriculum. He is also the Director of the Forum for Growth and Innovation, a research project sponsored by Professor Clay Christensen that is focused on discovering, developing and disseminating predictive theory on management and innovation.

Derek is a co-founder of The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO), a global research, consulting, and technology firm serving hospital and university executives, and was a member of the founding executive team of The Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: CEB), a global thought leadership and advisory network, which spun out of the Advisory Board Company in a highly successful 1999 Initial Public Offering. The Corporate Executive Board is now the world’s largest executive advisory network, with annual revenue over $800 million and a membership spanning over 50 countries and including executives from 85% of the Fortune 500 and 50% of the Dow Jones Asian Titans.

In his role as Chief Research Officer for the Corporate Executive Board, Derek directed teams studying best practices in strategy, innovation, talent management, finance and governance in the large-corporate sector worldwide. He oversaw the development and launch of the firm’s new practice areas following the IPO, and he led the development of the firm’s internal corporate academy. He co-authored the book Stall Points, an analysis of the growth experience of the Fortune 100 across the past half-century, which was published by Yale University Press in 2008. An article based on the book, entitled “When Growth Stalls,” appeared in the May 2008 Harvard Business Review and won the McKinsey Award for that year. His survey of the CEOs of newly-public companies, “The Perfect Storm: How the IPO Experience Threatens Good Work for Leaders of the Young Public Company,” was published as part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s GoodWork series, edited by Howard Gardner.

Derek is a 1988 graduate of HBS and a 2011 graduate of Harvard Divinity School. His divinity school thesis, “A Mission Beyond Commerce,” examines the challenges to personal and corporate mission posed by pivot points such as a change of ownership or leadership transition and suggests practices and disciplines for retaining a sense of perspective in the “high hurry” of business life. His current interests include both environmental and personal sustainability, and he has taught on the connection between sustainability and faith in Boston University School of Management’s MBA program.

Derek lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children. He was a founding board member of the Firefly Children’s Network and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.