- Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges
- Change Management
- Inspiring Lives
- American Politics
Audience & Industry
- Board Meetings and Executive Briefings
- Colleges and Universities
- Senior Management Groups
Providing historical insights into current realities, Koehn helps leaders navigate the non-stop turbulence of the business landscape, and inspires organizations and individuals to become more resilient, more courageous, and more effective in pursuit of their mission.
Nancy F. Koehn is a historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robison chair of Business Administration. Koehn's research focuses on crisis leadership and how leaders and their teams rise to the challenges of high-stakes situations. Her latest book, Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, spotlights how five of history’s greatest leaders managed crisis and accomplished extraordinary things.
Koehn has written and supervised cases on Starbucks Coffee Company, Ernest Shackleton, Oprah Winfrey, Bono and U2, Whole Foods, Wedgwood, Estée Lauder, Henry Heinz, Milton Hershey, Madam CJ Walker, Marshall Field, Dell Computer, and other leaders and organizations.
Koehn consults with many companies and speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival and the World Business Forum. She has served as a director for Tempur-pedic, Athenahealth, Seniorbridge, and Fashion to Figure. Koehn has appeared on "American Experience," "Good Morning America," Bloomberg Televison, CNBC's "Moneywheel," "The NewsHour," A&E's "Biography," CNN's "Money Line" and many other television programs. She writes for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review Online and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and the BBC. In 2012, Poets and Quants ranked Koehn as one of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors.
Before coming to HBS, Koehn was a member of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences for seven years, first as a graduate student in history and then as a lecturer in the History and Literature concentration and the Department of Economics. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University, Koehn earned a Master of Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government before taking her MA and PhD in History from Harvard.
Koehn lives in Concord, Massachusetts and is a dedicated equestrian.
Nancy Koehn on Managing Failure
How Great Leaders Develop Their Grit
Five Leadership Lessons from FORGED IN CRISIS
Nancy Koehn's Speech Topics
How to Lead Courageously During a Crisis
As the world grapples with the fear and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic, it also offers a rare opportunity for business leaders to rise to the challenge. Organizations need strong and inspiring leadership to help teams navigate these turbulent and unpredictable times.
In this session you will learn how to:
- Lead with transparency and honesty
- Establish a routine to create order
- Integrate recovery periods and tools for releasing fear
- Prepare a long-term plan to deal with the waves of the crisis
- Communicate strategically by incorporating learnings and collective purpose
Works by Nancy Koehn
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Best-Selling Author; Acclaimed Historian and Journalist; Professor of History, Tulane University