DeGroote School of Business

David Hurst

David Hurst is a speaker, writer and management educator.  He spent twenty-five years working in the corporate world as a senior executive in what he describes as a series of business “train wrecks.” He is a reflective practitioner and these experiences, together with his research, have led him to reframe and redevelop everything he learned about business, management and finance.

He communicates these ideas to audiences around the world in the form of creative presentations, in-depth seminars and articles that have been published in leading business publications such as the Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times of London and Strategy+Business, as well as several academic journals. His 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. His next one, 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. His latest book, The New Ecology of Leadership: Business Mastery in a Chaotic World (Columbia University Press, 2012), uses an ecological systems framework to embrace and contain economics. The resulting reconfiguration of management resonates with the experience of managers all over the world.

For ten years David Hurst was Executive Vice-President of a large North American industrial distributor. With sales of over CDN $1 Billion, the company employed 1600 people located in nearly 50 separate facilities, which were effectively small businesses.  Here, in addition to his operational line responsibilities, he handled the Group’s Management Development and Management Information Services. He began his career in retail distribution, but soon became involved in mergers, acquisitions and business turnarounds, particularly in the steel industry. He immigrated to Canada in 1977 and, after two years as a management consultant, joined an industrial distribution company. He was appointed Executive Vice-President in 1982 during a tumultuous period when he, as part of a senior management team, saved the organization from bankruptcy during a severe business recession. For the first seven years of the 21st Century he designed and delivered executive development programs in Hong Kong and China, which gave him an excellent perspective on the challenges faced by fast-growing businesses in those regions, as well as first hand insights into the dynamics of entrepreneurial families.

David Hurst was born in England but grew up in South Africa.  He holds an MBA (Finance) from the University of Chicago and a BA (Psychology) from the University of the Witwatersrand.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina’s Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business, where he teaches two keystone courses on their EMBA program, and Adjunct Faculty with the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is also a Contributing Editor at Strategy+Business.