thinkers50 ranked thinker


Prolific researcher providing valuable insights in strategy, governance, democratic capitalism, and social innovation. 

01. ranked thinker

Ranked #5 in 2021.

Previous positions: #2 (2019), #1 (2017), #7 (2015), #3 (2013), and #6 (2011).


Thinkers50 2015 Social Enterprise Award with Sally Osberg for their work on sustainable social enterprises.


Thinkers50 2015 Book Award (with Sally Osberg) for Getting Beyond Better.

Thinkers50 2013 Book Award (with AG Lafley), for Playing to Win.


Martin’s influence on business strategy and thinking has been immense. He championed the idea of integrative thinking, arguing that ‘and’ rather than ‘or’ thinking yields better solutions, and showing how combining elements from seemingly opposing models can pave the way for innovation and problem solving. He also developed the theory of design thinking, demonstrating how to balance the exploration of new knowledge (innovation) with the exploitation of existing expertise (efficiency). Martin’s work also focuses on corporate social responsibility and country competitiveness.




Professor Emeritus and former dean of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Martin is a trusted strategy adviser to CEOs worldwide and the author of eleven books, including Thinkers50 award winners Playing to Win (with AG Lafley) and Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg). Martin received his AB from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to his academic career he spent 13 years as a director of Monitor Company, a global strategy consulting firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He serves on a number of public service boards.


Creating Great Choices (with Jennifer Riel, HBR Press, 2017), Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg, HBR Press, 2015), Playing to Win (with AG Lafley, HBR Press, 2013), Fixing the Game (HBR Press, 2011); The Design of Business (HBR Press, 2009); The Opposable Mind (HBR Press, 2007); The Responsibility Virus (Basic Books, 2002); Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be (with Jim Milway, Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2012); Diaminds (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, University of Toronto Press, 2009); The Future of the MBA (with Mihnea Moldoveanu, Oxford University Press, 2008).




Media Picks


“Roger Martin’s enlightened views on the role of the ‘socially effective executive’ have profound implications for society.

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50