Shlomo Ben-Hur

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Shlomo Ben-Hur is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior. His research, teaching, and consulting activities focus on the psychological and cultural aspects of leadership, and the strategic and operational elements of talent management and corporate learning.

He is the Director of IMD’s transformative leadership program for top executives, Cultivating Leadership Energy through Awareness and Reflection (CLEAR): a year-long journey in which participants learn how to thrive as responsible and holistic senior leaders. He also directs the Organizational Learning in Action (OLA) program for Chief Learning Officers, which won a Brandon Hall Group award in 2021, and the Changing Employee Behavior online course.

The work of the leader is like that of an operating system for computers or smartphones. It’s about creating the conditions, developing talent and providing an optimal working environment to allow people to flourish and drive performance.

Ben-Hur additionally chairs IMD’s Chief Learning Officers Circle which brings together CLOs, heads of management development, and HR to discuss topical challenges in corporate learning and the development of talent.

As an organizational psychologist with more than 20 years’ experience in senior executive positions in multinational corporations, Ben-Hur has worked with boards, CEOs, and executive teams both at large corporates and family businesses across the globe to help them develop their people strategy, leadership capabilities, teams, and overall organizational culture and performance.

Having managed large corporate universities himself, his research also focuses on the positioning of learning in organizations and their ability to learn faster than their competitors.

He has authored a variety of books on leadership, corporate learning, and talent management and has had articles published in academic and practitioner journals and popular media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Forbes, the Financial Times, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Leadership OS, his most recent book, explains how leadership success is no longer about the leader’s core capabilities, but about creating an operating system that drives performance in their organizations.

He has also written a variety of business case studies, including a series on Deutsche Telekom which won the Responsible Leadership Award in the European Foundation for Management Development case-writing competition.

Before joining IMD in 2009, Ben-Hur was Vice President of Leadership Development and Learning for the BP Group in London and Chief Learning Officer of DaimlerChrysler Services in Berlin. Earlier in his career, he worked with consulting firms and the Ministry of Education in Israel, focusing on leadership, organizational development, and the promotion of democracy and coexistence in the Arab and Jewish school systems.

Selected publications
Article
How intelligent is your AI?: Ask these four questions to tell if your AI solution is really AI.
In a world where buzzwords come and go, artificial intelligence has been remarkably durable. Since it first emerged as a concept in the 1950s, there has been a relatively constant flow of technolog...
Published 22 June 2020
Book
Leadership OS: The operating system you need to succeed
Based on years of original research, this book controversially counters almost every existing leadership model and approach. It shows how as leaders rise to senior levels, their roles become less...
Published 22 November 2019
Article
The missing piece in employee development
In some companies, traditional annual review processes are being replaced by ongoing efforts to help employees improve their performance. The challenge? Many managers aren’t confident they can chan...
Published 25 May 2017
Book
Changing employee behavior: A practical guide for managers
An important part of every manager's job is changing people's behavior: to improve someone's performance, get them to better manage relationships with colleagues, or to stop them doing something. Y...
Published 17 April 2015
Article
Aligning corporate learning with strategy
The approach we have presented is a practical way of addressing the key strategic question for corporate learning: “Are we doing enough of the right things to develop the capabilities our people ne...
Published 1 September 2015
Book
Talent intelligence: What you need to know to identify and measure talent
The challenge with most companies' talent intelligence is that it is just not that intelligent.¦Having good talent intelligence—an accurate understanding of the skills, expertise, and qualities of ...
Published 10 June 2013
Book
The business of corporate learning: Insights from practice
Corporate learning functions are now an established part of many of the world’s leading multinational firms. In this book, Shlomo Ben-Hur demonstrates how corporate learning can and should have an ...
Published 20 March 2013
Article
Turn talent data into real information
Big data is all the rage in HR recently. But more immediately promising is the talk of small data — of more effectively managing the data we already have before we start thinking about analyzing mo...
Published 3 September 2013
Academic publications
Book
Leadership OS: The operating system you need to succeed
Based on years of original research, this book controversially counters almost every existing leadership model and approach. It shows how as leaders rise to senior levels, their roles become less...
Published 22 November 2019
Article
Aligning corporate learning with strategy
The approach we have presented is a practical way of addressing the key strategic question for corporate learning: “Are we doing enough of the right things to develop the capabilities our people ne...
Published 1 September 2015
Article
Coaching executive teams to reach better decisions
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a systemic approach to understanding the challenges facing executive teams in making good decisions and propose a simple framework for addressing t...
Published 1 January 2012
Article
Ethical leadership: Lessons from Moses
The purpose of this paper is to outline a model of leadership based on the characteristics of the most highly acclaimed leader in Jewish history, Moses. The lessons from his leadership that are app...
Published 1 January 2012
Article
Four questions every leader needs to ask about talent management
Talent management has received much attention in recent years, yet despite enormous effort and investment, it is built on broken foundations. Beneath all the succession plans and talent pools, tale...
Published 1 January 2014
Insight for Executives
Books to inspire, inform and entertain 
Article
Books to inspire, inform and entertain 
From dealing with burnout and bullsh*t to the joys of friendship and climbing mountains, IMD professors offer a varied choice of summer reading material.
Published 16 June 2022
Article
Corporate learning must change to confront life beyond pandemic
COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a stressor to the system, but in terms of corporate education, the writing was on the wall way before the pandemic struck. Learning & Development (L&D) is in desperate...
Published 19 February 2021
Article
High-tech hopes - addressing Israel’s engineering shortage
Even before the coronavirus crisis, some of the most out-of-the-box thinking about how to solve the tech hiring crisis was around ways to draft underrepresented populations into the tech economy.
Published 17 August 2020
Article
How intelligent is your AI?: Ask these four questions to tell if your AI solution is really AI.
In a world where buzzwords come and go, artificial intelligence has been remarkably durable. Since it first emerged as a concept in the 1950s, there has been a relatively constant flow of technolog...
Published 22 June 2020
From crisis to recovery: leading your operating system to success
Video
From crisis to recovery: leading your operating system to success
Professor Shlomo Ben-Shlur gives a webinar on three business behaviors exhibited by companies that have emerged fitter and healthier in crises.
Published 10 June 2020
Article
Will Elon Musk’s narcissism be his downfall?
Elon Musk’s behavior has become increasingly narcissistic, controlling and concerning of late; when combined with increasing financial losses, a weak board of directors and execution concerns, Tesl...
Published 14 September 2018
Article
Why PepsiCo is splashing out US$3.2 billion on SodaStream: It's a bold move from outgoing Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi
PepsiCo announced it would acquire SodaStream for US$3.2 billion, a 10% premium on SodaStream’s stock price and a 100% increase since the beginning of 2018.
Published 22 August 2018
Article
The missing piece in employee development
In some companies, traditional annual review processes are being replaced by ongoing efforts to help employees improve their performance. The challenge? Many managers aren’t confident they can chan...
Published 25 May 2017
Article
The power of social norms: How to use social norms to change behaviors
Social norms, then, are a subtle, simple and powerful tool for changing behavior. To date, they have primarily been used to change the behavior of large groups of people. But armed with an understa...
Published 1 June 2015
Article
Understanding the fundamentals of behaviour change
Recent research in psychology, behavioural economics and even psychotherapy is all pointing towards one fundamental rule of behaviour change - context matters. Organisational psychologists have fou...
Published 14 April 2015
Article
Liten tro pa adferdsendringer
Published 13 April 2015
Article
Gamification, why leaders should care
Contrary to popular belief, gamification is not the use of games. In fact, it is not really about games at all. It is the use of a variety of methods and techniques to make activities as compelling...
Published 9 April 2015
Article
Rethinking measurement: How best to predict success
If the discussion forums on networking sites such as LinkedIn are anything to go by, many businesses find choosing which signs of talent to measure confusing. The forums teem with requests for sugg...
Published 17 December 2013
Article
Turn talent data into real information
Big data is all the rage in HR recently. But more immediately promising is the talk of small data — of more effectively managing the data we already have before we start thinking about analyzing mo...
Published 3 September 2013
Article
Viewpoint
Global talent measurement consultancy PDI's recent purchase by sear firm Korn/Ferry International is the latest in a wave of consolidation that is fundamentally changing the talent measurement mark...
Published 1 February 2013
Article
Consolidations, concerns in talent measurement department
The vast majority of businesses that seek to measure the talent and capabilities of employees rely, at least to some degree, on external vendors. Historically, these vendors have been divided into ...
Published 1 January 2013
Article
Case study: Deutsche Telekom
The challenge¦When René Obermann, pictured above, took over as chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, the former state-owned telecoms monopoly was living off past glories. Formerly one of the dominan...
Published 1 June 2011
Article
Training the best form within
IMD professor Shlomo Ben-Hur and EFMD associate director Gordon Shenton say there are 10 points to consider when designing a corporate learning unit (CLU) that can integrate training across the com...
Published 31 March 2011
The operating system you need to succeed