Announced every January, the Thinkers50 Radar identifies a cohort of 30 up-and-coming thinkers whose ideas we predict will make an important impact on management thinking in the future. Since its introduction in 2007, the unveiling of the new Thinkers50 Radar Class has been one of the most popular and eagerly awaited moments in the Thinkers50 calendar. The Thinkers50 Radar identifies new talent and ideas and provides an early alert system for managers, publishers, speaker bureaus, and others in the thought-leadership industry.
Thinkers50 uses its market knowledge and influence to highlight the up-and-coming thinkers and showcase the ideas that will shape management in the coming years. The hope is that the recognition and profile this gives to these young (and not so young) thinkers will spur them on to do their best work.
The Thinkers50 Radar Class of 30 thinkers to watch in the coming year is always an eclectic mix of people who have crossed the Thinkers50 radar or been nominated by members of the Thinkers50 community.
Thinkers50 believes in diversity, inclusivity, and equity. The Thinkers50 Radar list is a celebration of those values. We not only welcome but positively seek out the rainbow spectrum of thought that comes from seeing the world from multiple perspectives and backgrounds.
As we were compiling our selection of 30 thinkers to watch in 2020, we heard the sad news of the death of Clay Christensen. Clay was number one in the Thinkers50 rankings of 2011 and 2013 and, more recently, was inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. He was without doubt one of the most intellectually gifted thinkers we have ever met. He was also a genuine and humble man.
In his office at Harvard Business School he had a sign that said “anomalies welcome”. When we asked him about it, he explained that he wanted people to challenge his theory of Disruptive Innovation with data that didn’t fit or couldn’t be explained by it. It was only through anomalies he said that a theory could be improved. Clay cared about anomalies because he wanted to make his work more robust and more useful. At a time when many of those in high positions prefer to ignore difficult truths, Clay welcomed them with an open mind.
We hope that in their very different ways our Thinkers50 Radar class of 2020 carry on the truth-telling, world-enhancing, open-minded work of Clay Christensen. They are very big footsteps to follow in.
The objective of the Thinkers50 Radar is to bring an eclectic and compelling group of thinkers to the attention of the broader audience of managers and leaders in organizations worldwide.
The 30 thinkers are truly global in reach and aspiration. And they are tackling the big issues of our times with rigour and energy. We salute them, look forward to watching their ideas develop and hope that they succeed in putting a dent in the universe.