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Ranking & Distinguished Achievement Awards

2013 Thinkers50 Ranking & Awards

London, November 11, 2013

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2013 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 Roger Martin

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

#4 Don Tapscott

One of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business & society, pioneer in the advancement of the blockchain.  

#5 Vijay Govindarajan

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

2013 Distinguished Achievement Awards & Shortlisted Nominees

Best Book Award 

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


Playing to Win
How Strategy Really Works, by AG Lafley and Roger Martin (HBR Press, 2013).


  • How Will You Measure Your Life: Finding Fulfillment Using Lessons from Some of the World’s Greatest Businesses, by Clayton Christensen, James Allworth and Karen Dillon (HarperBusiness, 2012)
  • Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, by Jim Collins & Morten Hansen (HarperBusiness, Oct 2011)
  • Reinventing Giants: How Chinese Global Competitor Haier Changed the Way Big Companies Transform, by Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago, and Fang Liu (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant (Viking, 2013)
  • The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving As Fast as Your Business, by Rita McGrath (HBR Press, 2013)
  • To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others, by Daniel Pink (Riverhead Books, 2012)
  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg (Knopf, 2013)

CK PRAHALAD Breakthrough Idea Award

Which management idea has emerged over the last two years with the potential to change the world? We are looking for ideas, which, practically and inspirationally, challenge managers to change their worlds.


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation—The Circular Economy

The circular economy is an industrial system designed to overcome the leakages of today’s linear “take-make-dispose” economic model and the current system’s resource constraints. It suggests ways to re-use material inputs to the maximum possible level whilst replacing ‘end-of-life’ concepts with one of restoration through the superior design of materials, products, systems and business models, as well as a shift toward renewable energy. Working with their Global Partners including B&Q, Cisco, Philips and Renault, and their Knowledge Partner McKinsey & Company, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation aims to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.


  • Bhagwan Chowdhry—Financial Access at Birth
  • Mark Campanale & Pradeep Jethi—The Social Stock Exchange
  • Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja—Jugaad Innovation
  • Richard D’Aveni—Strategic Capitalism
  • Sheryl Sandberg—Lean In
  • Steve Blank—Lean startup
  • Subir Chowdhury—The Economics of Quality

Future Thinker Award
Sponsored by Speakers Associates

Which thinker has emerged over the last two years with the potential to change the world of theory and practice?


Nilofer Merchant
teaches innovation at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. In a meteoric 20-year career, Nilofer Merchant has gone from being an administrator to becoming a CEO and then board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. Along the way she has gathered monikers such as “the Jane Bond of Innovation” for her ability to guide Fortune 500 and start-up companies. She is the author two best-selling books: The New How (O’Reilly, 2010); and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra (HBR Press, 2012).


  • Christian Stadler
  • Dorie Clark
  • Ethan Molick
  • Gianpiero Petriglieri
  • Ioannis Ioannou
  • Lee Newman
  • Whitney Johnsonli

Global Solutions Award

This award is given to the thinker who has contributed most to our understanding of globalisation and the new frontiers established by the emerging markets.


Don Tapscott
The author or co-author of 15 widely read books including Macrowikinomics (revised paperback 2012) and most recently Radical Openness: Four Unexpected Principles for Success (TED, 2013), with Anthony D. Williams. His current work champions Global Solutions Networks, non-state networks achieving new forms of cooperation, social change and even the production of global public value. Tapscott is spearheading a multi-million dollar global investigation of the new models, conducted by The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto in partnership with a group of private sector, government, global institution and foundation investors.


  • Anil K Gupta & Haiyan Wang
  • Celia de Anca
  • Iqbal Z. Quadir
  • Lynda Gratton
  • Maya Hu-Chan
  • Pankaj Ghemawat
  • W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Innovation Sponsored by Fujitsu.

Which management thinker is re-shaping the way we think about and practice innovation?


Navi Radjou
A fellow of the Cambridge Judge Business School, where he is the former director of the Centre for India & Global Business, Radjou is co-author (with Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja) of Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth (Jossey Bass, 2012); and (with Prasad Kaipa) From Smart to Wise (Jossey Bass, 2013).


  • Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
  • Hal Gregersen
  • Henry Chesbrough
  • Kai-Fu Lee
  • Matt Kingdon
  • Ron Adner
  • Vijay Govindarajan

Leadership Sponsored by Executive Networks.

Which thinker has contributed most significantly to our understanding of leadership over the last two years?


Herminia Ibarra

Shortlisted for the 2011 Thinkers50 Leadership Award, Ibarra is the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. Her work focuses on professional and leadership development, including collaborative leadership, identity, women’s careers and career transition. She is the author of Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career (HBR Press, 2003). Her current research examines CEO leadership and corporate performance, and includes co-authoring “The Best Performing CEOs in the World,” (Harvard Business Review, 2010).


  • Liu Chuanzhi
  • Amy Edmondson
  • Stewart (Stew) Friedman
  • Linda Hill
  • Andrew Kakabadse
  • Liz Mellon

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.


Ikujiro Nonaka
Ikujiro Nonaka became interested in management and organization while working for Fuji Electric in 1958. “My ambition was to develop a new, original, made in Japan theory, rather than borrowing theories from elsewhere,” says Nonaka.

Strategy Award Sponsored by CIMA.

If you were the CEO of a major corporation who would you turn to for practical and imaginative strategic advice? Who could see your world in a new light and figure out a way through the competitive complexity?


Rita Gunther McGrath

An associate professor of management at Columbia Business School, McGrath is the author of a string of well-received Harvard Business Review articles. She is the author of three books in addition to her latest bestseller, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business (HBR Press, 2013).


  • Chris Zook
  • Cynthia Montgomery
  • Erik Brynjolfsson
  • Laurence Capron
  • Richard D’Aveni
  • Richard Rumelt
  • Roger Martin