David K. Hurst – Brief Bio

I am a speaker, writer and management educator with extensive experience both as a practising manager and as a teacher. As a reflective practitioner, I have a unique niche in the field.  I spent twenty-five years working in corporations in several countries in a series of organizational “train wrecks” as the Western World began its radical transition from the industrial era to the age of knowledge and information.  I extracted from my experience some highly innovative ideas about leadership, the management of change and the dynamics of organizations that promote creativity and learning. I have spent another three decades honing my thinking as a writer and teacher.  I communicate these ideas to audiences around the world in the form of creative presentations, in-depth seminars and management development programs. My articles have been published in leading business publications such as the Financial Times, Globe and Mail, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, and several academic journals.

My first book, Crisis & Renewal: Meeting the Challenge of Organizational Change, was published by the Harvard Business School Press in 1995 and was reprinted in paperback in 2002. The second book, Learning from the Links: Mastering Management Using Lessons From Golf (The Free Press 2002) broke new ground in understanding what it takes to create excellence through practice. My third book, The New Ecology of Leadership: Business Mastery in a Chaotic World (Columbia University Press 2012), is an extraordinary integration of management thought and practice from a complex adaptive  systems perspective. Its objective is to help readers make meaning from their own management experience and education and thus to improve their practical judgment and wisdom – to ask better questions of reality and tell more compelling stories about it. The result is an inspirational synthesis of management thought and practice that will resonate with every reader’s experience.

For ten years I was Executive Vice-President of a large North American industrial distributor. With sales of over CDN $1 Billion, the company employed 1600 people.  I was appointed to that position in 1982 during a tumultuous period when I was part of a senior management team that saved the organization from bankruptcy during a severe business recession.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and an Associate of the Peter Drucker Society of Europe.  I hold an MBA (Finance) from the University of Chicago and a BA (Psychology) from the University of the Witwatersrand.  I teach on master-level programs at both McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and McMaster Univerity’s DeGroote School of Business and have been associated with the Center for Creative Leadership. I am also a Contributing Editor to Strategy+Business.