Tom Peters to Receive Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award


Monday 2 October 2017


LONDON – Thinkers50, the global ranking of management thinkers, today announced that Tom Peters is to be the recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award – previously won by Charles Handy, Ikujiro Nonaka, Henry Mintzberg and Michael Porter.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone who has had a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management,” explains Thinkers50 co-founder Des Dearlove. “Tom Peters has done that and much more.  Charismatic, passionate, and insightful, Tom virtually invented the modern thought leadership industry. He co-authored In Search of Excellence, which helped create the business book industry – and had a serious impact on how managers managed and how we viewed organizations. His intellectual energy and curiosity continue. Even now, Tom’s speeches are a restless tour de force. His perspectives have moved with reality. He is a keen tweeter, voracious reader, and endlessly enthusiastic. And, smart. Very smart.”

“I am deeply honored by this award and am looking forward to being part of the Thinkers50 2017 gala,” says Tom Peters. “Given the uncertainty and, dare I say, disruptions that mark the global economy and post-World War II socio-political order, imaginative management thinking and institutional analyses have never been more important or more urgent.”

Born in Baltimore in 1942, Tom Peters is a civil engineering graduate of Cornell University, and earned an MBA and a Ph.D. in business at Stanford. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966–1970, made two deployments to Vietnam and “survived a tour in the Pentagon”. He was a White House drug-abuse advisor in 1973–1974, and then worked at McKinsey & Co. from 1974–1981, becoming a partner in 1979 and co-founding McKinsey’s Organization Effectiveness practice. In 1981, he founded Skunkworks Inc. and The Tom Peters Company.

“If Peter Drucker ‘invented’ management, Tom Peters vivified it,” commented the late Warren Bennis.  Tom Peters’ books include In Search of Excellence: (1982, with Robert Waterman); A Passion for Excellence (1985, with Nancy Austin); Thriving on Chaos (1987); Liberation Management (1992); The Circle of Innovation (1997); The Brand You 50 (1999), The Project50 (1999); Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age (2003); and The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Achieve Excellence (2010).

Over his career, Peters estimates that he has given more than 2,500 speeches, and travelled more than 5 million miles to 67 countries. His 17 books have sold more than 10 million copies.

In Search of Excellence remains a key work in our understanding of organizations and management.  It introduced concepts – such as MBWA [managing by walking about] – which have stood the test of time. Given the impact of this first bestseller, it is easy to overlook the power and prescience of Peters’ other books. For example, Liberation Management really set the management agenda for the 1990s and beyond,” says Thinkers50’s Stuart Crainer.  “At the heart of Tom Peters’ business philosophy is a deep belief in the power and potential of people. In the digital age he reminds us that we can embrace the latest technology while retaining our humanity.”

Tom Peters will receive the award at Thinkers50 2017 on 13 November 2017 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Management thinkers from throughout the world will attend Thinkers50 2017. Tom Peters will be answering questions about his ideas and career, along with Charles Handy, at the event. Throughout October the Thinkers50 website will be highlighting Tom Peters’ work.

Thinkers50 2017 partners include The Brightline Initiative, Fujitsu, The Growth Faculty, Management Centre Turkey, India’s Institute for Competitiveness and the European Centre for Strategic Innovation. Thinkers50 has established Ideas Labs in Odense, Denmark, which is home to Thinkers50 Europe, and Qingdao, China, where Thinkers50 China is hosted by the Haier Group.

About Thinkers50

Thinkers50 scans, ranks, and shares the very best in management ideas. Its definitive global ranking of management thinkers is published every two years. The #1 ranked thinker in 2015 was Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School who also topped the ranking in 2005. Previous top-ranked thinkers include Clay Christensen (2013 and 2011); CK Prahalad (2009 and 2007); and Peter Drucker (2003 and 2001). For Thinkers50 2017, nearly 7,000 people nominated thinkers for the ranking; 2,400 people nominated thinkers for Distinguished Achievement Awards.

About Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove

Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer are the founders and directors of Thinkers50. Internationally recognized experts and commentators on management ideas, they are the authors of more than 15 books available in 20 languages. Former columnists to The (London) Times, they are editors of The Financial Times Handbook of Management. They advise thinkers and organizations worldwide.


Stuart Crainer
(0044) 0118-9401360

Des Dearlove
(0044) 01342-826578


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