Thinkers50 announces its 2024 Management Classics Booklist

13 May 2024 

Thinkers50 announces its 2024 Management Classics Booklist

LONDON – Thinkers50, the global authority on management thinking, has unveiled its 2024 Management Classics Booklist. This annual curation honours management and business books that have withstood the test of time and remain powerfully relevant today.

Among the exemplary works to be showcased this year are Multipliers (2010) by Liz Wiseman, Business Model Generation (2010) by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006) by Carol Dweck. The Booklist also pays tribute to classic titles from the last century, including Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage (1985), Ricardo Semler’s Maverick (1993), and Riding the Waves of Culture (1994) by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner.

‘A lot of today’s ideas go back further than you think,’ explains Thinkers50 co-founder, Des Dearlove. ‘Thinkers50 tries to show respect for the originators of management theory and practice.’

‘The Classic Management books are the ones that have had and continue to have a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management,’ adds Thinkers50 co-founder, Stuart Crainer. ‘They are the coping stones for modern management and remain essential reading for managers everywhere.’

Every year Thinkers50 announces two booklists, one for the Classics and one that features the best of the current crop – the Best New Management Books – which is to be released on 10 June.
Says Des Dearlove, ‘With these two annual lists we are building an indispensable guide for those who want to understand the past, present, and future of management and business.’

Rounding out the 2024 Classics Booklist are High Output Management (1983) by Andy Grove, Working Identity (2002) by Herminia Ibarra, The First 90 Days (2003) by Michael Watkins, and Wilful Blindness (2011) by Margaret Heffernan.

These new additions join the hallowed ranks of Classics from previous years, which include seminal works from each decade since the 1950s, such as In Search of Excellence (1982) by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, The Innovator’s Dilemma (1997) by Clay Christensen, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (2004) by CK Prahalad and The Fearless Organization (2018) by Amy Edmondson. 

Books were selected from nominations and canvassed opinions from within the Thinkers50 Community, which comprises many of today’s most eminent business thinkers. 

Explains Des Dearlove, ‘To help us compile this year’s Classics List, we reached out to managers and management thinkers to ask which books they would include in their all-time greats – which books do they consider the most relevant today, with the only rule being that participants could not nominate their own book.’

In alphabetical order, this year’s top 10 Management Classics are:Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation (2010) by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

‘This book has literally changed the way we think about business models, and innovation. It is now 14 years old, and has such wide influence that it deserves the appellation “classic”.’ – Bill Fischer, Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, IMD


Competitive Advantage

Competitive Advantage (1985) by Michael Porter

‘Michael Porter’s Five Forces model is still being used throughout the world. That is all you need to know!’  – Shane Cragun, author of The Employee Engagement Mindset 

High Output Management

High Output Management (1983) by Andy Grove

High Output Management is a bible that every entrepreneur and every manager in the country should look at, read and understand.’  – Bill Campbell, former Apple board member


Maverick (1993) by Ricardo Semler

‘It transformed Happy from micromanaging to a company based on trust and freedom where everybody can make their own decisions.’ – Henry Stewart, CEO, Happy.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006) by Carol Dweck

‘The psychologist Carol Dweck has had a profound influence on our understanding of motivation, learning, intelligence, and self-belief. She can be largely credited with introducing the word mindset into the management lexicon. Our understanding of the power of mindsets is largely down to her work.’ –  Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, co-founders, Thinkers50


Multipliers (2010) by Liz Wiseman

‘It’s a fantastic concept, and it really seems like the sort of book that, when it comes up in conversation, everyone agrees that it’s a must-read.’ –  Kate O’Neill, Thinkers50 Radar, author of Tech Humanist

Riding the Waves of Culture

Riding the Waves of Culture (1994) by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner

‘Managing across different cultures was a new thing for many people when this book first appeared.  Now it is reality for hundreds of millions of people working in global organisations. Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner laid out the practical issues faced in managing globally with humanity and insight.’ – Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, co-founders, Thinkers50

The First 90 Days

The First 90 Days (2003) by Michael Watkins

The First 90 Days has become the classic reference for leaders in transition. First published in 2003, it outlines basic principles to help leaders transition quickly and efficiently to new professional roles and identifies the most common traps and provides the tools and strategies to avoid them. Practical and inspiring.’ –  Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, co-founders, Thinkers50

Wilful Blindness

Wilful Blindness (2011) by Margaret Heffernan

Wilful Blindness is an engaging read, packed with cautionary tales ripped from today’s headlines as well as a trove of research on why we often stick our head in the sand. With deft prose and page after page of keen insights, Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image – and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness.’ – Dan Pink, Thinkers50 Ranking, author of Drive

Working Identity

Working Identity (2002) by Herminia Ibarra

‘Whether you’re mid-career or just starting out, Herminia Ibarra’s masterpiece provides wise advice and compelling stories to help you find and change your path for greater fulfilment in work and in life. Well ahead of its time when first published, Working Identity now finds its sweet spot of ultra-relevance in our tumultuous era of career searching and pivoting.’ – Amy C. Edmondson, Thinkers50 #1 Ranking, Harvard Business School

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