Harvard Business School’s Amy Edmondson Tops Thinkers50 Ranking For The Second Time; Recipients Of The Thinkers50 Awards Announced

LONDON – Thinkers50, the global ranking of management thinkers, has announced its 2023 Ranking of management thinkers and the recipients of its nine Distinguished Achievement Awards at an awards ceremony at London’s historic Guildhall attended by more than 500 delegates from around the world.

For the second, consecutive time, the Thinkers50 Ranking is topped by Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School.

“Amy’s work continues to be repeatedly cited by the practitioners we talk to as practical and inspiring,” says Thinkers50 cofounder, Des Dearlove. “The impact of her work on psychological safety resonates throughout organisations around the world. And her latest book, The Right Kind of Wrong, delivers fresh thinking on learning from failure – it’s going to be another game-changer.”

The new Thinkers50 Ranking places the top 10 thinkers in order from 1 to 10, with the remaining 40 thinkers listed alphabetically. “Although we used to assign all 50 a number, arranging the Thinkers50 in this way fits with the way our organisation has evolved,” explains Thinkers50 co-founder, Stuart Crainer. “Events over the past few years have made it clear that collaboration and community lie at the heart of the Thinkers50. Which prompted the theme for this year’s Thinkers50 Awards Gala: Reconnect, Rethink, Reset.”

Newcomers to the Thinkers50 Ranking include Heidi Gardner from Harvard Law School, Mark Greeven and Howard Yu from IMD in Switzerland, Ranjay Gulati from Harvard Business School, Tina Opie of Opie Consulting Group, and Zeynep Ton from MIT. Just over half of the Ranking comprises women and it features thinkers from multiple diverse backgrounds and nationalities, from Denmark to South Korea, and Argentina to Turkey. 

Also announced at the Thinkers50 2023 Awards Gala, dubbed ‘the Oscars of management thinking’ by the Financial Times, were the recipients of the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards. The recipients were:

Dedicated to the memory of C.K. Prahalad
for Both/And Thinking

Wendy K. Smith and Marianne W. Lewis grapple with paradoxes at the heart of how we work and live. In their 2022 book, Both/And Thinking: Embracing Creative Tensions to Solve Your Toughest Problems, they show us how to employ ‘both/and thinking’ to make more creative, flexible, and impactful decisions in a world of competing demands. Wendy is the Dana J. Johnson professor of management and faculty director of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Lerner College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware. Marianne is dean and professor of management at the Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati.

in partnership with coaching.com
for How to Work With (Almost) Anyone and How to Begin

Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder of Box of Crayons, a training and development company that has taught coaching skills to hundreds of thousands of people across the world. His latest books are How to Work With (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships and How to Begin: Start Doing Something That Matters. He is also the author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap, the latter of which his TEDx talk, Tame Your Advice Monster, is based on a talk that has received over 1.5 million views.

for Radically Human

Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson are the authors of Radically Human: How New Technology is Transforming Business and Shaping our Future, in which they explain how  new AI-powered technologies have led to more human technology. Paul is group chief executive for technology at Accenture and serves on the board of Girls Who Code. H. James Wilson is managing director of information technology at Accenture Research. They are also co-authors of Human + Machine, for which they were shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2019 Breakthrough Idea Award.

for promoting leadership development for girls and young women

Julie Carrier is CEO of the consultancy firm, Girls Lead Worldwide, the author of Girls Lead and BeYOUtiful, and a former senior management consultant in leadership development for the Pentagon. Julie specialises in applied neuroscience in leadership education, which lays the foundation for program The Leadership Development Institute For Young Women. She is also a fellow at the Institute of Coaching at McLean/Harvard Medical School.

in partnership with Fujitsu
for Think Bigger

Sheena Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee professor of business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School. Her latest book, Think Bigger: How to Innovate, asks the timeless question, “How can I get my best ideas?” By debunking some of the popular concepts surrounding creativity, she provides a step-by-step framework for entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators – and everyone – to think more effectively and grow their ideas.

in partnership with ExecOnline
for Head & Heart

Kirstin Ferguson is an award-winning author, columnist, company director, and a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant contributions to business and gender equality. Her latest book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, debuted in the top 10 non-fiction bestseller list on release and features on the Thinkers50 2023 Best New Management Booklist.

sponsored by Deloitte
for For the Culture

Marcus Collins’ 2023 book, For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, And Who We Want To Be contends that culture is a key driver of human behaviour. He is a clinical professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, former head of strategy at Wieden+Kennedy, has worked in music and tech as a startup co-founder, and led iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple, as well as running digital strategy for Beyoncé.

in partnership with Brightline, a Project Management Institute Initiative
for future readiness

Howard Yu is the LEGO® professor of management and innovation at IMD and director of IMD’s Center for Future Readiness, which produces the Future Readiness Indicator. He specialises in technological innovation, strategic transformation, and change management. He is the author of Leap: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied and was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2019 Innovation Award.

for The Case for Good Jobs

Zeynep Ton is Professor of the practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management and president of the nonprofit Good Jobs Institute. In her latest book, The Case for Good Jobs: How Great Companies Bring Dignity, Pay, and Meaning to Everyone’s Work, she argues that high-quality jobs are essential for competitive advantage and company success. She is also the author of The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs and Boost Profits.

In addition, Zhang Ruimin, the chairman emeritus of the Haier Group, was presented with the Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award by Gary Hamel of London Business School. The Thinkers50 founders, Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove, presented their Founders’ Award to Iryna Tykhomyrova, president of the International Management Institute in Kyiv, as acknowledgement of her school’s work since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Thinkers50 2023 Ranking in full, with previous top 10 positions:

  1. Amy Edmondson (1)
  2. Adam Grant (6)
  3. Andrew Winston & Paul Polman (-)
  4. Amy Webb (-)
  5. W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne (3)
  6. Sheena Iyengar (-)
  7. Rita McGrath (2)  
  8. Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur (4)
  9. Scott D. Anthony (7)
  10. Tsedal Neeley (-) 

In alphabetical order:

Marshall Van Alstyne & Geoff Parker

Sinan Aral

Rachel Botsman

Tiffani Bova

Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Jin Chen

Dorie Clark

Susan David

Erica Dhawan

Kirstin Ferguson

Frances Frei & Anne Morriss

Heidi K. Gardner

Heidi Grant

Lynda Gratton

Mark Greeven

Hal Gregersen

Ranjay Gulati

Linda Hill 

Herminia Ibarra

Michael Jacobides

Whitney Johnson 

Hubert Joly

Martin Lindstrom

Roger Martin 

Nilofer Merchant

Erin Meyer

Katy Milkman

Tina Opie

Gianpiero Petriglieri

Daniel Pink 

Navi Radjou

Megan Reitz

Laura Morgan Roberts

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Sanyin Siang

Simon Sinek

Zeynep Ton

Howard Yu

Liz Wiseman


About Thinkers50

Founded in 2001, Thinkers50 identifies, ranks, and shares the leading business and management ideas of our age. Every two years, the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards recognise individual achievement across a range of management categories, and the definitive global ranking of the 50 most influential business thinkers is published. The previous #1 Ranked Thinkers are Amy Edmondson, W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, Roger Martin, Clayton Christensen, C.K. Prahalad, Michael Porter, and Peter Drucker.

Thinkers50 partners include Accenture, the Business Ecosystem Alliance, Brightline Initiative, Capgemini Invent, coaching.com, Decision, Dell, Deloitte, execonline, Executive Excellence, Fujitsu, GlobalXED, Haier Model Institute, the Haier Group, Hult International Business School, India’s Institute for Competitiveness, IMD, INSEAD, The Leadership Development Institute for Young Women, The L Group, Management Centre Turkey, Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches, Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, Questrom School of Business, Reinforce UA, Rotman Management, and Wiley. 

About Thinkers50 founders, Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove

Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove are internationally recognised experts and commentators on management thinking. For more than two decades, they have championed the very best new management ideas through Thinkers50. The editors of The Financial Times Handbook of Management, Des and Stuart are the authors of a number of best-selling books, including Generation Entrepreneur, Firestarters, and Gravy Training. Their books are available in more than 20 languages. Des and Stuart are both former columnists to The Times. They advise thinkers and organisations worldwide.



Monika Kosman, communications director, Thinkers50



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