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What Are The Awards?


Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement AwardsThinkers50 — the first-ever global ranking of management thinkers — was created in 2001 by Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove. Since then, the scope of Thinkers50 has broadened to include a range of activities that support its mission of identifying, ranking and sharing the best management thinking in the world.

The Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards were introduced in 2011. Today, Thinkers50 is widely recognized as the world’s definitive ranking of the top 50 business thinkers, and the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards have been dubbed “the Oscars of Management Thinking.”

On Monday, 13 November 2017, the biennial Thinkers50 rankings will be announced, along with the Distinguished Achievement Awards winners — celebrating the best and brightest management thinkers in the world. The Awards Gala — the culmination of a two-year Thinkers50 campaign to identify the very best new management thinking — follows a day-long event featuring some of the world’s most exciting and insightful management ideas.

The Distinguished Achievement Awards for 2017:


The T50 Breakthrough Idea Award celebrates a eureka moment in management thinking. It is given to a thinker whose radical ideas and insights have the potential to change the way we think about business forever. From Taylorism to The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, new ideas have challenged what we know about the business world. Where will the next management breakthrough come from? Winners (most recent first): Rachel Botsman, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Vijay Govindarajan


Digital technology has transformed the world. It has also changed the way we work and even the way we understand ourselves as human beings. Which thinker’s research and insights shed the most original and valuable light on the new digital reality of business? The T50 Digital Thinking Award celebrates the thinker who has done the most to transform the digital revolution into useful management insights. This was a new award in 2015. Winners: Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee


The RADAR Award will identify the new thinker who has emerged over the last two years with the potential to change the world of theory and practice.


There is nothing so practical as a great idea. At Thinkers50 we value practical thinking that makes a valuable contribution in the real world. Equally, we admire organizations that are open to new ideas no matter what their source. The T50 Ideas into Practice Award celebrates the individual whose ideas have successfully led organizational change, putting new ideas to work. This was a new award in 2015. Winner: Zhang Ruimin & Haier


If necessity is the mother of invention, then innovation is its nurturing father. The word innovate comes from the Latin to “make new.” The need for innovation has never been more pressing—in society as well as in organizations. The T50 Innovation Award recognizes the thinker who has contributed the most to our understanding of innovation in every sphere over the last two years. Winners (most recent first): Linda Hill, Navi Radjou, Clay Christensen


Teams, corporations, and organizations of every kind demand and require leadership. Yet the nature of leadership and how we understand the role of the leader is constantly evolving and being reappraised. The T50 Leadership Award acknowledges thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and yet classic subject. Winners (most recent first): Marshall Goldsmith, Herminia Ibarra, Marshall Goldsmith


Where are you going and how do you intend to get there? This question lives at the heart of management and leadership. Strategy is arguably the intellectual and inspirational lifeblood of every organization. The T50 Strategy Award celebrates the very best of strategic thinking. If you were running a corporation, to whom would you turn for strategic advice? Winners (most recent first): Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, Rita McGrath, W Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne


In ancient Greece the talent was a unit of currency. Today, human talent has become the global currency, with organizations competing for the very best people from around the world. With changing attitudes toward work and new generations entering the workforce, the challenge now is to better understand how talented individuals work best and how they can be effectively trained, attracted, motivated and employed.  Research into talent has never been so globally urgent. The winner will have contributed original thinking or new practices. This was a new award in 2015. Winner: Stew Friedman

The biennial Thinkers50 Rankings and Awards celebrate the best and brightest management thinkers in the world. The much-anticipated Awards Gala, held in November of odd-numbered years, is the culmination of a two-year Thinkers50 campaign to identify the very best new management thinking. The event brings thinkers and practitioners from across the globe, and features many of the world’s most exciting and insightful management ideas.