HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Cynthia A. Montgomery

Harvard Business School Professor and Strategist Expert


  • The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs
  • What Leaders Owe Their Companies
  • Re-imagining Strategy: Why It's Vital and What It Takes to Do It Well
  • Creating and Re-Creating A Reason to Matter
  • Leading with Strategy: Building an Organization That Steps Up to the Challenge



Cynthia A. Montgomery, top-selling Harvard Business Review author and creator of her own acclaimed business program at Harvard Business School, has successfully distilled the lessons from her immensely popular executive course on strategy into her book The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs (HarperBusiness). Driven by the voices and experiences of executives she has taught from around the world, she convinces leaders to embrace their role as Strategists, uniquely positioned to answer the most essential question facing every business: Does your company truly matter? Throughout her accomplished career, she has served on the Board of Directors of two Fortune 500 companies, several non-profit organizations, and a number of mutual funds. A captivating and enlightening lecturer, she is an ideal keynote speaker for corporate conferences, executive training programs and business schools.

"Are you a strategist?" That's the first question Montgomery asks the business owners and senior executives from all over the world who participate in her executive education course. In her "The Strategist" talks, she implores the audience to answer a series of bedrock questions: If you closed the doors tomorrow, would your customers suffer any real loss? How long would it take, and how difficult would it be, for them to find another firm that could meet those needs as well as you did? As tenacious as you and your employees may be, if you don't get strategy right, she illuminates, you diminish enormously your firms' chances of success. By bottling the experiences and insights gleaned in the Harvard classroom, Montgomery empowers leaders to develop the skills and sensibilities they need to become Strategists themselves. Her powerful message is applicable to all business leaders whether running a Fortune 500 firm or a small business.

Montgomery is the Timken Professor of Business Administration and immediate past head of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School, where she's taught for 20 years. She currently is teaching in the Advanced Management Program for senior executives and previously led the strategy courses in the School's Owner, President, and Manager Program. At Harvard, she received the Greenhill Award for her outstanding contributions to the School's core MBA strategy course.

She lives in Milton, Massachusetts.

Praise for The Strategist:

"Cynthia Montgomery stimulates you as a business leader, to be owner, creator and ongoing steward of your company's strategy. She uses her vast experiences in executive education to create engaging and stimulating exampling of successful strategies; both in purpose and execution. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book."
-- Dr. Tom Clarke, President of New Business Ventures, Nike, Inc.

"Cynthia Montgomery's The Strategist debunks the Myth of the Super-Manager, capable of overcoming any and all competitive forces. Instead, Montgomery prescribes a clear roadmap to develop successful, customized strategies for organizations and the people who lead them."
-- Craigie Zildjian, CEO, Avedis Zildjian Company

"Montgomery's approach to demystifying strategy is revolutionary. This book will make you sit up and take actions that will have a lasting and positive effect on your company. If you are ready for a life changing journey, read on."
-- Peter Henderson, Chairman, Indigo Telecomm

"Those who think that experience is the best teacher have not read Cynthia Montgomery's latest book, The Strategist. Professor Montgomery will take you on an engaging study of what strategy is, how it's done and why business leaders should care. Many of us will never get the chance to attend Harvard Business School, much less have the privilege of hearing a Montgomery lecture. But the full-effect of Montgomery's engaging teaching style comes through loud and clear in The Strategist. But, beware. Once you read this book, you too will become a strategy evangelist."
-- Missy Park, Founder, CEO, Title Nine

"Full of wisdom, intelligence, and -- rare in this field -- moral purpose. Montgomery calls the business leader to his/her necessary duty as strategist-in-chief for the enterprise. Showing how classic strategic concepts explain the trajectories of real-world companies as varied as Gucci and IKEA, she drives home the ways strategy can give meaning to what companies do and to the lives of those who forge their corporate future."
-- Walter Kiechel III, author of The Lords of Strategy