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Ranking & Distinguished Achievement Awards

2011 Thinkers50 Ranking & Awards

London, November 14, 2011

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Ranking     Achievement Awards

2011 Ranking of Management Thinkers

#1 Clayton Christensen

The architect of disruptive innovation, twice topped the Thinkers50 rankings, in 2013 and 2011.  

#2 W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Inventors of the ground-breaking “blue ocean strategy”, paving the way for organizations to break out of fixed market boundaries, and create a whole new space.  

#3 Vijay Govindarajan

Leading expert on strategy and innovation, teaches how to facilitate and execute breakthrough ideas to generate growth..  

#4 Jim Collins

Socratic advisor to leaders, focusing on what makes a business great, and not just good; introduced five levels of leadership, and the flywheel effect.  

#5 Michael Porter

The father of modern business strategy, and the most cited scholar today in economics and business.  

2011 Distinguished Achievement Awards & Shortlisted Nominees

Breakthrough Idea Award

The Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award celebrates a Eureka moment in management. It is given for a radical idea, which has the potential to forever change the way we think about business. From Taylorism to the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, new ideas have challenged what we know about the world. This award is dedicated to the legacy of CK Prahalad, who proved there is nothing so practical as a great idea.


Vijay Govindarajan

The $300 house. An August 2010 blog by Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar set off a campaign to re-invent housing for the world’s poorest people.


  • Linda Scott: The Double X Economy
  • Michael Porter: Shared Value
  • Roger Martin: Integrative Thinking
  • Teresa Amabile: The Progress Principle
  • Umair Haque: Capitalism 2.0.

Future Thinker Award

Digital technology has transformed the world of work. It has also changed the way we understand ourselves as human beings. But which thinker’s research and insights shed the newest and most original light on the new digital reality? The Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award celebrates the thinker who has done the most to convert the digital language of the 0 and 1 into useful human insights.


Lucy P. Marcus
Anglo-American board chair and non-exec director is setting the agenda on future proofing boardrooms and companies. The CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, her expertise embraces best practice in governance, investment and entrepreneurship.


  • Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  • Dong Mingzhu
  • Ranjay Gulati
  • Sung Joo Kim
  • Umair Haque

Global Village Award Sponsored by Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.

The T50 Award Global Village Award is given to the thinker who has contributed most to our understanding of globalisation and the new frontiers established by the emerging markets.


Nirmalya Kumar
London Business School’s Kumar star has been in the ascendant alongside that of India. His latest book, India Inside (with Phanish Puranam) provides a compelling take on the reality behind the stereotypes and hyperbole.


  • Don Tapscott
  • Fons Trompenaars
  • Haiyan Wang
  • Pankaj Ghemawat
  • Tom Friedman

Innovation Sponsored by Fujitsu.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then innovation is its nurturing father. The word innovate comes from the Latin to “make new.” It has never been more pressing – in society or in organizations. The Thinkers50 Innovation Award recognizes the thinker who has contributed the most to our understanding of innovation over the last two years.


Clayton Christensen
Harvard doyen of disruptive innovation. The author of The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997) and many more, has been busy applying theories to classrooms and healthcare among other things. Founder of consulting firm Innosight.


  • Costas Markides
  • Henry Chesbrough
  • Joi Ito
  • Teresa Amabile
  • Vijay Govindarajan

Leadership Sponsored by the Open University.

Teams, corporations, and organizations of every kind, demand and require leadership. Yet the nature of that leadership and how we understand the role of the leader is constantly being reappraised. The Thinkers50 Leadership Award acknowledges thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject.


Marshall Goldsmith

Author of the bestsellers What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and Mojo, Marshall Goldsmith is corporate America’s favourite executive coach. His success is built on a no-nonsense approach to leaders and leadership and a Buddhist philosophy.


  • Herminia Ibarra
  • Jeffrey Pfeffer
  • Linda Hill
  • Marcus Buckingham
  • Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones

Lifetime Achievement

The T50 Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges an exceptional individual whose work has made an important contribution to global thought leadership over an extended period. This person has brought insights that challenge the way we think about management. Their work must be global, original and embraced by practitioners.


Charles Handy
Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2011 Thinkers50, Handy describes himself as a social philosopher.

Strategy Award Sponsored by CIMA.

Where you are going and how you intend to get there lie at the heart of management and leadership. Strategy is the intellectual and inspirational lifeblood of organizations. The Thinkers50 Strategy Award celebrates the very best of strategic thinking. If you were running a corporation, who would you turn to for strategic advice?


W Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy is the business book of the last decade. The Insead professors are working on a sequel and overseeing their ideas being put to work around the world.


  • Henry Mintzberg
  • Michael Porter
  • Richard D’Aveni
  • Richard Rumelt
  • Rita McGrath

Thinkers50 Book Award Presented by Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove.

Which business book has made the outstanding contribution to management thinking over the last two years?


Pankaj Ghemawat
Strategy professor and renowned globalization expert, renowed for his robust analysis of global trends.


  • Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams – Macrowikinomics (Portfolio Penguin)
  • Julian Birkinshaw – Reinventing Management (Jossey-Bass)
  • Linda Hill & Kent Lineback – Being the Boss (HBR Press)
  • Richard Rumelt – Good Strategy/Bad Strategy (Profile)
  • Roger Martin – Fixing the Game (HBR Press)
  • Vineet Nayar – Employees First, Customers Second (HBR Press)