Boris Groysberg

Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration

Boris Groysberg is a professor of business administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at the Harvard Business School. Currently, he teaches courses on talent management and leadership in the school's MBA and Executive Education programs. He has won numerous awards for his research, which focuses on the challenge of managing human capital at small and large organizations across the world. His work focuses, in particular, on how firms can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by engaging employees in the implementation of business strategy. Groysberg is author of the award-winning book Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance. A frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, he has written many articles and case studies on how firms hire, engage, develop, retain, and communicate with their talented employees. Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, he worked at IBM.

  1. Talk, Inc.

    How can leaders make their big or growing companies feel small again? How can they recapture the “magic”—the tight strategic alignment, the high level of employee engagement—that drove and animated their organization when it was a start-up? As more and more executives have discovered in recent years, the answer to this conundrum lies in the power of conversation. In Talk, Inc., Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind show how trusted and effective leaders are adapting the principles of face-to-face conversation in order to pursue a new form of organizational conversation. They explore the promise of conversation-powered leadership—from the time-tested practice of talking straight (and listening well) to the thoughtful adoption of social media technology. And they offer guidance on how to balance the benefits of open-ended talk with the realities of strategic execution. Drawing on the experience of leaders at diverse companies from around the world, Talk, Inc., offers provocative insights and user-friendly tips on how to make organizational culture more intimate, more interactive, more inclusive, and more intentional—in short, more conversational. How can leaders make their big or growing companies feel small again? How can they recapture the “magic”—the tight strategic alignment, the high level of employee engagement—that drove and animated their organization when it was a start-up? As more and more executives have discovered in recent years, the answer to this conundrum lies in the power of conversation. In Talk, Inc., Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind show how trusted and effective leaders are adapting the principles of face-to-face conversation in order to pursue a new form of organizational conversation. They explore the promise of conversation-powered leadership—from the time-tested practice of talking straight (and listening well) to the thoughtful adoption of social media technology. And they offer guidance on how to balance the benefits of open-ended talk with the realities of strategic execution. Drawing on the experience of leaders at diverse companies from around the world, Talk, Inc., offers provocative insights and user-friendly tips on how to make organizational culture more intimate, more interactive, more inclusive, and more intentional—in short, more conversational.
  2. Not Just Talk

    This article by Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind on organizational conversation appeared in The World Financial Review, July-August 2012.

     

  3. Chasing Stars

    It is taken for granted in the knowledge economy that companies must employ the most talented performers to compete and succeed. Many firms try to buy stars by luring them away from competitors. But Boris Groysberg shows what an uncertain and disastrous practice this can be.

    After examining the careers of more than a thousand star analysts at Wall Street investment banks, and conducting more than two hundred frank interviews, Groysberg comes to a striking conclusion: star analysts who change firms suffer an immediate and lasting decline in performance. Their earlier excellence appears to have depended heavily on their former firms' general and proprietary resources, organizational cultures, networks, and colleagues. There are a few exceptions, such as stars who move with their teams and stars who switch to better firms. Female stars also perform better after changing jobs than their male counterparts do. But most stars who switch firms turn out to be meteors, quickly losing luster in their new settings. Groysberg also explores how some Wall Street research departments are successfully growing, retaining, and deploying their own stars. Finally, the book examines how its findings apply to many other occupations, from general managers to football players. Chasing Stars offers profound insights into the fundamental nature of outstanding performance. It also offers practical guidance to individuals on how to manage their careers strategically, and to companies on how to identify, develop, and keep talent.


  4. Grow Your Stars -- Don't Buy Them

    An interview with Boris Groysberg, Professor, Harvard Business School. Many star performers hired from outside don't perform as expected at their new company. So, develop stars within your company; for example, through strong training and mentoring programs.