Distinguished Achievement Awards

Acknowledging outstanding contributions to
management thinking.

about the awards

About the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards

The biennial Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards were created in 2011 to recognise the exceptional contributions of individual thinkers.

Award categories can vary slightly in any given year, but tend to fall into the categories below. Thinkers50 publishes the specific list of upcoming awards, including descriptions of the criteria for each one, during the award nomination period.

Distinguished Achievement Award Categories:

  • Breakthrough Idea Award
  • Coaching & Mentoring Award
  • Digital Thinking Award
  • Ideas into Practice Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Leadership Award
  • Radar Award
  • Strategy Award
  • Talent Award

In addition to the category awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual thinker in recognition of an outstanding body of work over an entire lifetime; and a Founders’ Award is given to individuals in the world of business ideas who provide industry leadership and inspiration.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Recognising an outstanding body of work over an entire lifetime.

The Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone who has had a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management. The first-ever award in this category was given to Charles Handy in 2011. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award gain automatic entry into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame.

FOUNDERS’ AWARD

For an individual who has paved the way for thought leadership to flourish.

The Thinkers50 Founders’ Award, introduced in 2019, recognises individuals in the world of business ideas who provide industry leadership and inspiration. It acknowledges the invaluable contribution of the architects who lay the foundations for ideas to flourish. The first Thinkers50 Founders’ Award recipient was Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University.

SELECTION PROCESS

Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards: The Selection Process

Nominations for the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Category Awards are open from February to July in Thinkers50 Awards Gala years (odd-numbered years), and shortlists are announced in late summer. Awards are conferred in November at the biennial Thinkers50 Awards Gala event.

All nominations for the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards are considered by the Thinkers50 Panel of Advisors.

Public participation is an important part of the Awards process. In Thinkers50 Awards years (odd-numbered years) all interested parties are invited to participate in the nomination process by submitting online the names and qualifications of thinkers they wish to put forward for consideration. Nominations from across the globe are accepted – and encouraged.

The Thinkers50 Distinguished
Achievement Awards have been described by the Financial Times as

The Oscars of Management Thinking

because, like the Oscars, they are highly prestigious in their industry and are presented at a gala event attended by scores of the great management thinkers of our time. The Thinkers50 Awards Gala also features the announcement of the new Thinkers50 Ranking.

Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards 2019

THINKERS50 awards gala 2019

18 November 2019

Every two years, Thinkers50 hosts a unique event in central London – a gathering of great business minds for a day of ideas, debate, and networking, followed by an elegant evening celebrating the very best in management thinking.

Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards 2019 Recipients and shortlists

BREAKTHROUGH IDEA
Award Recipient

Amy Edmondson

for The Fearless Organization

Pioneer of psychological safety and author of The Fearless Organization, a ground-breaking blueprint on creating a fear-free culture

BREAKTHROUGH IDEA AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Tiffani Bova for Growth IQ

Clayton Christensen, Karen Dillon & Efosa Ojomo for The Prosperity Paradox

Richard D’Aveni for The Pan-Industrial Revolution

Amy Edmondson for The Fearless Organization

Isaac Getz for The Altruistic Corporation

Jeremy Heimans & Henry Timms for New Power

Anders Indset for The Q Economy

H. James Wilson & Paul R. Daugherty for Human+Machine

Coaching and Mentoring
award Recipient

Sanyin Siang

Teaches leaders how to drive innovation, reinvention, and transformation through breaking down silos and bridging divides

Coaching and Mentoring AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Carol Kauffman

Tom Kolditz

Magdalena Mook

Jonathan Passmore

Sanyin Siang

Michael Bungay Stanier

Gabriela Teasdale

Mark C. Thompson

Digital Thinking
award Recipients

Marshall Van Alstyne & Geoff Parker

The go-to gurus for platform business models

Digital Thinking AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Marshall Van Alstyne & Geoff Parker

Rachel Botsman

Malcom Frank, Paul Roehrig & Ben Pring

Joshua Gans, Ajay Agrawal & Avi Goldfarb

Ayanna Howard

Jeane W. Ross

Amy Webb

Shoshana Zuboff

IDEAS INTO PRACTICE
Award Recipient

Jos de Blok

Founder of the pioneering healthcare system, Buurtzorg

IDEAS INTO PRACTICE AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Jos de Blok

Christian Busch

Subir Chowdhury

Mary Gentile

Soulaima Gourani

Reid Hoffman

Leena Nair

Eric Ries

INNOVATION
award Recipient

Vijay Govindarajan

Leading expert on strategy and innovation

INNOVATION AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Simone Ahuja

Safi Bahcall

Jeff Dyer, Nathan Furr & Curtis Lefrandt

Vijay Govindarajan

Kaihan Krippendorff

Gary Pisano

Alf Rehn

Howard Yu

LEADERSHIP award Recipient

Liz Wiseman

Author of the book Multipliers

LEADERSHIP AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Peter Bregman

Laura Empson

Heidi Grant

Hal Gregersen

Rasmus Hougaard

Whitney Johnson

Terence Mauri

Liz Wiseman

radar
award Recipients

Corporate Rebels: Pim de Morree & Joost Minnaar

Inspiring workplace transformation through their mission to make work more fun

RADAR AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Kriti Jain

Jennifer Jordan

Alexandra Levit

Pim de Morree & Joost Minnaar

Aneeta Rattan

Megan Reitz

Michael Smets

Ruchika Tulshyan

STRATEGY
award Recipients

Chris Clearfield & András Tilcsik

Authors of the book Meltdown

STRATEGY AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Omar Abbosh, Paul Nunes & Larry Downes

Chris Clearfield & András Tilcsik

Steve Goldbach & Geoff Tuff

Anil Gupta & Haiyan Wang

Michael Jacobides

Rita McGrath

Nicolaj Siggelkow & Christian Terwiesch

Ming Zeng

Talent
award Recipient

Francesca Gino

Champions rebels as the masters of innovation and reinvention; a corporate ‘rebel rouser’ extraordinaire

TALENT AWARD 2019 SHORTLIST

Dan Cable

Dorie Clark

Francesca Gino

Morten Hansen

William R. Kerr

Jennifer Petriglieri

Daniel Pink

Dan Pontefract

Lifetime Achievement award Recipient 2019

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter has championed a humane, inclusive, practical, and inspiring brand of management throughout her career. From Men and Women of the Corporation and The Change Masters to her forthcoming book, Think Outside the Building, she has translated ideas into action and has been engaged in policy and advocacy on major societal issues, including economic development, transportation, national service, and the future of cities. “Her books have been required reading for all who work in and lead organisations for more than four decades,” says Des Dearlove, co-founder of Thinkers50.

Founders’
award Recipient 2019

Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño

“Santiago Iñiguez, the President of IE University in Madrid, has championed the role of business education and has re-shaped the European business school marketplace. He is entrepreneurial, cosmopolitan, and thoughtful, and his leadership has been transformational for not only his own institution, but for thousands of students. “We are delighted to acknowledge his huge contribution to management education with this new award,” says Stuart Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50.

Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards 2019

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