thinkers50 ranked thinker

Julian Birkinshaw

Recognised expert on innovation, entrepreneurship, and renewal in large corporations; prolific author making unique contributions on work practices as competitive advantage.

01. ranked thinker

Ranked #45 in 2019.

Previous positions: #45 (2017), #42 (2015), and #39 (2013).


Co-founder of the Management Innovation Lab, with Gary Hamel.


Elected fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Social Sciences, the Academy of Business, and the Advanced Institue of Management Research.


As a leading authority on disruption and renewal, Birkinshaw teaches how to respond to disruptive change in a decisive way. His research impacts topics such as reinventing management, strategic agility, game-changing innovation, employee engagement, managing for innovation, entrepreneurial leadership, and cross-business collaboration. Birkinshaw argues for leaders to be alert and emotionally connected in order to create competitive advantage in a world overwhelmed by data.




Birkinshaw is professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and deputy dean at London Business School, where he is also director of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He gained PhD and MBA degrees from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Durham. Birkinshaw was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Stockholm School of Economics in 2009. 


Fast/Forward: Make your Company Fit for the Future (with Jonas Ridderstrale, Stanford Business Books, 2017); 25 Need to Know MBA Models (with Ken Mark, FT Publishing, 2017); Becoming a Better Boss: Why Good Management is so Difficult (Wiley & Sons, 2013); Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done (Wiley & Sons, 2010); Giant Steps in Management: Innovations that Change the Way we Work (with Michael Mol, FT/Prentice Hall, 2007).




Media Picks


“Birkinshaw is the ambidextrous professor – combining academic rigour and real world relevance.

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50