Kenichi Ohmae

Organizational theorist; developer of the 3C’s model.


Inducted into the Thinker50 Hall of Fame in 2013.


Ranked #27 in 2007.

Previous positions:

#16 (2005), #19 (2003), #22 (2001).


Ohmae is a concert-level flautist.


Ohmae first came to prominence in the West with the publication of The Mind of the Strategist (1982). At a time when people were seeking to understand the Japanese way, the book offered insights and hope in equal measure. Credited with introducing Japanese management methods – such as Toyota’s just-in-time production and the long strategic planning horizon of Japanese companies – to a broad Western audience, Ohmae went on to usher in the realities of globalization with a series of ground-breaking books, including Triad Power, The Borderless World, and The Next Global Stage. Ohmae’s 3C’s model outlines three main elements for strategic success: the company, the customers, and the competitors.


A former McKinsey consultant, Ohmae is also an MIT-trained nuclear physicist and, in 2011, coordinated a report into the Fukushima nuclear accident. He went on to become a member of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Ohmae graduated with a masters in nuclear physics from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and gained his doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT in 1970. After leaving McKinsey in 1995, he was appointed dean and professor at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.


The Mind of the Strategist: Business Planning for Competitive Advantage (McGraw-Hill, 1982); The Borderless World: Power and Strategy in the Global Marketplace (Profile, 1990); Triad Power: The Coming Shape of Global Competition (Macmillan, 2005); The Next Global Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World (FT/Prentice Hall, 2005). 


Media picks


“Known world-wide as Mr Strategy; a multi-talented thinker and entrepreneur with a hyperactive intellect.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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