Trained as an anthropologist (Ph.D. University of Chicago), Grant has studied American culture and business for 25 years.
He has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and worked for many organizations including Timberland, New York Historical Society, Diageo, IKEA, Sesame Street, Nike, and the Ford Foundation.
He started the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, where he did the first museum exhibit on youth cultures.
He has taught at the University of Cambridge, MIT, and the Harvard Business School.
He is a long time student of culture and commerce. Many academics prefer to look askance at interactions of culture and commerce. He has explored this theme in two books: Culture and Consumption I, and Culture and Consumption II.
He has also looked at how Americans invent and reinvent themselves. He had explored this theme in two more books: Big Hair and Transformations: identity construction in a contemporary culture.
He is the student of American culture. Plenitude published in 1997 looked at the new explosive growth of contemporary culture. In Flock and Flow, he shows how contemporary culture and commerce change.
Two years ago, he published a book called Chief Culture Officer with Basic Books that argues that culture now creates so much opportunity and danger for the organization that need senior managers who focus on it full time. He is hoping this will create a new occupational destination for graduates in the arts and humanities.
The latest book is called Culturematic, published by the Harvard Business Review Press in 2012.
This year Grant is affiliated with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.