Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the director of the Kellogg Team and Group Research Center, the Kellogg Leading High Impact Teams Executive program, High Performance Negotiation Skills Executive program, and co-director of the Constructive Collaboration Executive program and the Navigating Work Place Conflict Executive program. In addition, she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Northwestern.
Her research focuses on negotiation skills and strategies, group decision making, creativity, and analogical reasoning. Her most recent research projects include investigations of divergent versus convergent thinking on negotiation performance; mindfulness and negotiation performance, gender and the use of ethically-questionable negotiation strategies, embarrassment and pride and their effects on creativity; and how analogical reasoning improves negotiation performance.
She has published more than 130 research articles and chapters in edited books. She has authored 9 books: The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (7th edition, Pearson, in press); Stop Spending, Start Managing (Harvard Business Review, 2016); Making The Team (6th edition, Pearson); Creative Conspiracy The New Rules of Breakthrough Collaboration (Harvard Business Review, 2013); The Truth About Negotiations (2nd edition, Pearson 2013); Shared Knowledge in Organizations (with David Messick and John Levine); Organizational Behavior Today (2008); Negotiation: Theory and Research (2006); and The Social Psychology of Organizational Behavior: Essential Reading (2003).
Most significant 2017-2018 highlights:
1. Kellogg Global Women’s Summit
TED speaker at the first-ever summit women-focused event gathering on May 8-9, 2018 for an audience of more than 800 Kellogg alumnae and students equipping and inspiring women to pursue, navigate and sustain career to drive organizational and societal impact.
2. 7th edition of the Mind and Heart of the Negotiator
The highly acclaimed and internationally recognized book providing research based, integrative-based theory with real world business situations at the bargaining table to be published in 2019.
3. Online Executive Education platform
Professor Thompson has developed a visionary method of delivery for an online high-touch, open enrollment executive program. This highly interactive program will be the first for Kellogg Executive Education and will focus on Negotiating Skills in the Virtual world. The course is due to launch in the summer 2018.
4. Negotiation in a Virtual World MBA course
Professor Thompson has created a model for a new high-touch online 5 week MBA course focusing on negotiating in a virtual world, allowing students in the downtown, Evanston programs to virtually negotiate with other one another.
5. Executive Education and PhD Research Partnership project
Kellogg Research Partners (KRP) was established in January 2017 as a partnership between students in Executive Education programs and Kellogg PhD candidates. The goal is for our talented and creative PhD candidates to work with managers and executives to address key questions and challenges facing their organizations. Meaningful and applied research studies are conducted with their employees / managers to inform and impact their business.
6. Online video content
Professor Thompson’s online videos are used extensively as pre- and post- work in custom and open enrollment Executive programs. Thompson has five major online video platforms:
(1) Talks at Google, Authors at Google: Stop Spending, Start Managing: Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits on February 16, 2017 and with more than 4,700 views. In this interactive session Thompson shares key insights from her book (co-authored with Dr. Tanya Menon), Stop Spending, Start Managing: Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits. The talk, like the book, is organized around 5 traps that can ensnare even the most sophisticated business people and leaders. Often our managerial strengths get us into these traps! Thompson provides insights in how to break down "wicked problems" and find workable solutions, saving dollars, time and resources for your organization. Research proven solutions are outlined to the below traps:
(2) "High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork and Negotiation," (Coursera MOOC) rated 4.8/5 and with more than 22,500 enrolled. This program was developed and launched in late 2015 and is part of a five-class Northwestern-wide specialization through Coursera and is designed to teach aspiring managers how to develop and expand their leadership skills in dynamic business environments. In 2016 the Capstone was developed and launched. In February 2018 Coursera selected Professor Thompson to be featured on the Coursera home page (note: there were 8 featured Coursera “star professors” including Martin Odersky, Founder of the Scale Programming Language, Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics, Yale University and Timothy Geithner, Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury).
(3) Teamwork 101: This is a 4-part, sub-hour series that includes: Designing Teams for Success; Optimizing Team Decision Making; People Skills and Emotional Intelligence; and Creativity and Innovation in Teams.
(4) Negotiation 101: This is a 4-part, sub-hour series that includes: What can go wrong? What must go right?; How to prepare effectively; Claiming Value; and Creating Value.
(5) Video Shorts (4 videos): these are energetic, professionally-animated videos, each less than 4 minutes in length that describe a common managerial problem, and provide research-based solutions for busy managers.
a. Brainwriting: How to neutralize the loudmouths
b. High Performance Negotiation Skills for Women
c. Managing Virtual Teams
d. Is Your Team Slacking? (What to Do)
Thompson is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and International Journal of Conflict Management. She has served on the selection panel of the Decision, Risk, and Management Program at the National Science Foundation and its program review committee. She was named a fellow of the American Psychological Society and is a member of the Academy of Management, American Psychological Association, Judgment and Decision Making Society, and Society for Experimental Social Psychologists.
For high-potential executives with enterprise-level responsibilities, this condensed, immersive experience — enhanced throughout with executive coaching — focuses on developing senior executive leadership agility, driving innovation, identifying growth opportunities and equipping your organization for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st-century.
The experts show you the conditions and competencies that foster highly productive collaboration in the workplace, and how to ignite a culture of collaboration at all levels in your company and its people.
For top-performing, high-potential middle and senior managers, this intensive, collaborative and empowering executive development program delivers the knowledge, tools and frameworks required to succeed and lead with confidence in a general management role.
Join peers from leading family-run organizations to learn how family governance can help sustain business continuity, family unity and commitment. Come away equipped and energized to realize your vision for the future of your family enterprise with confidence.
Dive into the science of negotiation and learn the essentials of deal making and dispute resolution. Learn new and proven negotiation strategies and techniques and hone your skills through challenging simulations and constructive feedback.
This hands-on program from the Kellogg School of Management and Segal Design Institute at Northwestern provides leaders with the tools to incorporate design thinking into their innovation strategy and communicate innovation across their organizations.
From the thought leaders that set the standard for building and leading effective teams, this intensive program delivers deep insight into Kellogg’s proven approaches and practical tools and techniques you can use immediately to solve complex team challenges.
This program is designed for anyone working in organizations where people problems and personalities challenge productivity. It is ideal for small businesses in which developing a collaborative culture is essential, as well as large organizations with complex reporting relationships. Organizations that are experiencing fundamental change, those that are trying to absorb new acquisitions, family businesses preparing for generational transitions and geographically-challenged teams are perfectly suited for this program.
Kellogg created this special leadership program for women executives to equip top female talent to break through the barriers that have historically impeded their career development and empower them to take their place at the highest levels of corporate leadership.