Edward D. Hess

Edward D. Hess

Professor of Business Administration
Batten Executive-in-Residence
Batten Faculty Fellow


FOB 298B

Areas of Expertise

Organic Growth, Innovation, & Learning, Mindsets, Behaviors, & Processes, High Performance Organizations, Values-Based Leadership

Education: B.S., University of Florida; J.D., University of Virginia; L.L.M., New York University

Professor Ed Hess spent more than 20 years in the business world as a senior executive at Warburg Paribas Becker, Boettcher & Company, the Robert M. Bass Group and Arthur Andersen.

He joined academia in 2002 as an adjunct professor of organization and management at the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University, where he was the founder and executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Growth and of The Values-Based Leadership Institute.      

In 2007, he joined the faculty of the Darden Business School as professor of business administration and the first Batten Executive-in-Residence. He is also a Batten Faculty Fellow. He teaches in the Darden Business School MBA & EMBA Programs and has taught in over 20 Executive Education programs and in Executive Programs at IESE (Barcelona), the Indian School of Business, Georgia Tech and AVT Denmark. He consults regularly with public and private companies and some Federal government agencies.

He is the author of 13 books, over 140 practitioner articles and over 60 Darden cases, etc., dealing with growth, innovation and learning cultures, systems and processes. The common theme of his work is high individual and organizational performance.

His book Smart Growth was named a Top 25 business book in 2010 for business owners by Inc. Magazine and a Top 10 Business Book for 2010 by the Toronto Globe and was awarded the Wachovia Award for Research Excellence. Learn or Die was an Amazon bestseller and was awarded the Wells Fargo Award for Research Excellence. 

His recent bestselling book is Hess& Ludwig, Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age (Berrett-Koehler, 2017).

His new book is HYPER-LEARNING: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change (Berrett-Koehler, August, 2020).

Hess' work has appeared in Fortune Magazine, European Business Review, HBR, SHRM, Fast Company, Wired, Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Businessweek, the Financial Times and in more than 400 other global media publications, as well as on CNBC Squawk Box, Fox Business News with Maria Bartiroma, Big Think, WSJ Radio, Bloomberg Radio with Kathleen Hayes, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Business Insider and Wharton Radio. 

His current research focuses on innovation and learning mindsets, behaviors and processes integrating neuroscience, business and elite performance research with the learnings of the great Eastern and Western philosophies. 

Edward D. Hess's Ideas to Action Posts


Selected Publications

Hess, Edward. "The Power of an Idea Meritocracy" Darden Ideas to Action (26 April 2018)

Hess, Edward. "Transforming School Education for the Smart Machine Age" Education: Future Frontiers (March 2018)

Hess, Edward. "Becoming a Hyper Learning Community: The Future of Business" Darden Ideas to Action (25 Jan 2018)

Hess, Edward. "How Humility Can Outsmart the Smart Machines" IESE Insight (Fourth Quarter, 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Humility - The Key to Success in the Smart Machine Age" Marginalia (30 June 2017)

Hess, Edward. "In the AI Age, "Being Smart" Will Mean Something Completely Different" Harvard Business Review (19 June 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Five Big Conversations We MUST Have About Jobs and the Next Generation" Pittsburgh Better Times (27 May 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Surviving the Digital Age: 4 Corporate Transformations" Darden Ideas to Action (27 April 2017)

Hess, Edward. "The Skills Humans Need to Stay Relevant in the Smart Machine Age" AMA Playbook (24 April 2017)

Hess, Edward. "The Organization of the Future: 3 Essentials" Darden Ideas to Action (7 March 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Are You Smarter Than a Smart Machine? Why 'Old Smart' Is the New Stupid" CEOWorld Magazine (23 February 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Coming Technology Will Likely Destroy Millions of Jobs. Is "President" Trump Ready?" The Washington Post (8 February 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Who Will Lead in the Smart Machine Age?"© Forbes.com (7 February 2017)

Hess, Edward. "To Excel in the Smart Machine Age, We Need Others" Darden Ideas to Action (24 January 2017)

Hess, Edward. "Here's Why Emotions are the Secret Sauce of Innovation" Forbes.com (17 January 2017)

Hess, Edward. "The AI Revolution Will Humanize Businesses" Forbes.com (12 January 2015)

Hess, Edward. "Growth to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Businesses," Ivey Business Journal, (November/December 2012).


Selected Books

Hess, Edward D. Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization, Columbia Business School Publishing of Columbia University Press, August (2014). 

    Hess, Edward DThe DNA of Business Growth v. The Myths of Business Growth: A Case for Smart Growth. Darden Business Publishing, 2012.

    Hess, Edward DGrow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial Business. Stanford University Press, 2012.

    Hess, Edward DGrowing An Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases. Stanford University Press, 2011.

    Liedtka, Jeanne and Edward D. Hess. The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System and Processes. Stanford University Press, 2012.

    Hess, Edward D. Smart Growth: Building an Enduring Business by Managing the Risks of Growth. Columbia Business School Publishing, 2010.

    Hess, Edward D. and Charles T. Goetz. So,You Want to Start a Business?: 8 Steps to Take Before Making the Leap, 2008.


    Case Studies

    Advancing knowledge through research that shapes business, Darden professors are recognized thought leaders in their fields. They are not only master case method teachers, they also author many of the cases used in Darden classrooms and around the world.

    Edward D. Hess' cases are available in the Darden Business Publishing website