Lynda Gratton

Business theorist

Lynda Gratton (born February 1955) is a British organizational theorist, consultant, and Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and the founder of the Hot Spots Movement, known for her work on organisational behaviour.

Lynda Gratton, 2012


  • Two of the most widely adopted models of human resource management are the hard and soft versions. These are based on opposing views of human nature and managerial control strategies. The hard model is based on notions of tight strategic control, and an economic model of man according to Theory X, while the soft model is based on control through commitment and Theory Y. We argue that because these assumptions are so divergent, they cannot both properly be incorporated within a single model of human resource management.
    • Catherine Truss, Lynda Gratton, Veronica Hope-Hailey, Patrick McGovern and Philip Stiles (1997). "Soft and hard models of human resource management: a reappraisal." Journal of Management Studies, 34(1), 53-73.
  • Each of us needs three things, three types of network. We need a ‘posse’ prepared to ride out with us, so that when things get really tough you can e-mail them in the middle of the night to say, ‘Oh shit!’ and they get it, they know what you mean. I have about four people in my posse... You also need what I call the ‘big ideas’ crowd – people who live in different worlds from you. And I think we also need what I call a ‘regenerative community’: a physical place – because much of what we do now is virtual – a real place with real people who know you, who love you. My feeling is that the regenerative community is the bit that we’ve got most wrong right now, because the big default of the future is that we’re lonely. We live on our own in cities, and we’re lonely.
    • Lynda Gratton in: Stefan Stern, "Lunch with the FT," Financial Times, February 5, 2010
  • You can't expect that what you've become a master in will keep you valuable throughout the whole of your career, and you want to add to that the fact that most people are now going to be working into their 70s. Being a generalist is, in my view, very unwise. Your major competitor is Wikipedia or Google.
  • One-third of our children will live to 100-years-old. That will make a huge difference in how we think about careers. Longevity will be one of the most important issues we face. It will affect everyone and organisations are extremely ill-prepared.

The Shift: The Future of Work Is Already Here, 2011


Lynda Gratton (2011), The Shift: The Future of Work Is Already Here.

  • An unhysterical look at the future of employment. We are now facing a revolution in the way we work. A substantial schism in the past which is so great that the work we do will change – possibly so that in two decades our working lives will have been so REWORKED that they are unrecognisable.This is not just about the impact that a low carbon enonomy will have on the way we work. It is also about how the nexus of technology and globalisation will work together with demographic and societal changes to fundamentally transform much of what we take for granted about work
    • Abstract
  • Work is a defining, all-consuming part of our lives. Now, more than ever, the speed at which the nature of work is changing is having an extraordinary impact on working lives everywhere.
  • We are more likely to love our work when we see it as play.
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