Distinguished Achievement Awards 2013

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 McGrathRita 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).


Erik Brynjolfsson: The Schussel Family Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Brynjolfsson’s work focuses on how businesses can effectively use information technology. He is the author (with Andrew McAfee) of Race Against The Machine (Digital Frontier Press, 2012).

Laurence Capron: The co-author of Build, Borrow or Buy: Solving the Growth Dilemma (HBR Press, 2012), Laurence Capron is a professor of strategy at INSEAD. She joined INSEAD in 1997 and directed the INSEAD-Wharton alliance from 2007 until 2010. She has taught at MIT Sloan, Wharton, and the Kellogg School of Management.

Richard D’Aveni: The Bakala Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, D’Aveni is the author of a number of highly influential books including Hypercompetition, (Free Press, 1994) and Beating the Commodity Trap (HBR Press, 2009). Most recently, in Strategic Capitalism (McGraw-Hill, 2012), he has turned his strategic lens to China and how best the United States, and other nations, can respond to the competitive threat now posed.

Roger Martin: The former dean of Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Martin has written compellingly about the importance of design thinking. Most recently, he is the co-author (with AG Lafley, chairman of Procter & Gamble) of Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (HBR Press, 2013), a practical approach to winning strategy. He now holds Premier’s Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness at Rotman.

Cynthia Montgomery: The Timken Professor of Business Administration and former chair of the strategy unit at Harvard Business School, Montgomery’s latest book is The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs (HarperBusiness, 2012).

Richard Rumelt: The Harry and Elsa Kunin Chair in Business and Society at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Rumelt has been described as the “strategist’s strategist.” He has authored or co-authored numerous business publications, including Strategy, Structure, and Economic Performance (Harvard Business, 1974), Fundamental Issues in Strategy (Harvard Business Press, 1994), and Good Strategy/Bad Strategy (Crown, 2011).

Chris Zook: A partner at Bain & Co. where he leads its Global Strategy Practice, Zook’s books include the Profit from the Core trilogy and his most recent book, Repeatability (HBR Press, 2012) which expands on the themes of the trilogy. It argues that complexity is a silent killer of profitable growth, while successful companies endure by maintaining simplicity at their core.

Leadership Award

Sponsored by Executive Networks

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


Herminia IbarraHerminia 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: The Chairman of Legend Holdings Limited, and the Founder and Honorary Chairman of Lenovo Group Limited, he started the business with a $24,000 loan from the Chinese government in 1984. His leadership emphasizes the core management team, strategy and execution – seeking to take the best Western management theories and apply them to the reality of creating a Chinese-based global brand.  Lenovo is now the second-largest computer group in the world.

Amy Edmondson: The Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. Her field research into teamwork has spanned a range of environments including the cardiac surgery operating room; factory floor; and executive suite. She is the author of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012).

Stewart (Stew) Friedman: A practice professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Friedman has long championed leadership development and work/life integration. His books include Integrating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide (Jossey-Bass, 1998); and the best-selling, award winning Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life (Harvard Business Press, 2008).

Linda Hill: Short-listed for the Thinkers50 Leadership Award in 2011, Linda Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and also chairs the school’s leadership initiative. Her books include the best-selling Becoming a Manager (Harvard Business Press, 2003); Being the Boss, co-authored with Kent Lineback (HBR Press, 2011); and Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation (forthcoming 2013).

Andrew Kakabadse: Professor of Governance and Leadership at Henley Business School, Kakabadse is one of world’s leading experts on top teams, boardroom effectiveness and governance. His Top Teams database covers 21 nations and his board studies span 14 countries and include many thousands of private and public sector organizations. A prolific author and co-author, his books include Leading the Board: The Six Disciplines of World Class Chairmen (Palgrave McMillan, 2007); and Leading Smart Transformation: A Roadmap for World Class Government (Palgrave McMillan, 2011).

Liz Mellon: Author of Inside the Leader’s Mind: Five Ways to Think Like a Leader (FT Prentice-Hall, 2011), Mellon launched and developed Duke Corporate Educations’ London office. Before joining Duke, she was a professor of organizational behavior at London Business School. She has been a visiting faculty member at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and spearheaded the launch of Duke’s executive education programs in India. She is currently working on a book about leading strategy execution.

Mike Myatt: A leadership advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs and boards of directors, author of Hacking Leadership (Wiley 2013), Leadership Matters (Outskirts 2007), a Forbes leadership columnist, and the CEO at N2growth. He is best known for his work on creating a culture of leadership and for solving complex problems.

Wang Shi: A mountaineer who has scaled Everest as well as many other of the world’s great peaks, Wang Shi is founder and chairman of Vanke, the world’s largest residential home developer.  He has also been a visiting scholar at Harvard, led China’s first and largest entrepreneur organization, is involved with a variety of philanthropic organizations, and is the author of Ladder of the Soul (Citic Press, 2011).

Liz Wiseman: A former executive at Oracle, Wiseman is President of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley. She is the author of Multipliers (HarperBusiness, 2010), and the subsequent book The Multiplier Effect (Corwin, 2013).

Innovation Award

Sponsored by Fujitsu

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


Navi RadjouNavi 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).


Ron Adner: Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Adner is the author of The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation (Portfolio, 2012), which has been heralded as a path-breaking guide to successful innovation in an interdependent world. He is also author of the Harvard Business Review article, “Match Your Innovation Strategy to Your Innovation Ecosystem”.

Henry Chesbrough: Director of the Center for Open Innovation at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Professor at Esade Business School in Barcelona, Spain, Chesbrough is best known as the father of open innovation. His books include Open Innovation (Harvard Business Press, 2003); Open Business Models (Harvard Business Press, 2006) and Open Services Innovation (Jossey-Bass, 2011).

Vijay Govindarajan: The Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business, Govindarajan is best known for his work (with Chris Trimble) on reverse innovation. In 2011, Govindarajan received the Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award for his idea (with Christian Sarkar) to design a $300 house. Govindarajan has published nine books including Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators (Harvard Business Press, 2005) and The Other Side of Innovation (Harvard Business Press, 2010).

Hal Gregersen: A Professor of Leadership at INSEAD, Gregersen is coauthor (with Clay Christensen and Jeffrey Dyer) of The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (HBR Press, 2011). His other co-authored books, including: It Starts With One: Changing Individuals Changes Organizations (Wharton, 2008); and Global Explorers: The Next Generation of Leaders (Routledge, 1999).

Matt Kingdon: The co-founder of the innovation international consulting firm ?What If!, Kingdon is author of The Science of Serendipity: How to Unlock the Promise of Innovation in Large Organizations (Wiley, 2012). Kingdon’s ideas revolve around how companies and managers can create a fertile environment for innovation to grow. The secret, he argues, lies in understanding how serendipity works.

Kai-Fu Lee: Now based in Beijing, Lee was educated in the United States and later carried out research at Carnegie Mellon. He went on to work for Apple, Silicon Graphics, Microsoft and Google where he was the founding president of Google China. He runs a venture capital fund called Innovation Works, backing Chinese entrepreneurs. His blog has 40 million followers. He is the author of Making a World of Difference (2011).

Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur: Osterwalder and Pigneur are the authors of Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Gamechangers and Challengers (self-published, 2010). This is based on a tool called the Business Model Canvas. The book’s contents were co-created by 470 Business Model Canvas practitioners from 45 countries, and features a highly visual, four-colour design that explains a range of strategic ideas and tools.

Best Book Award

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


Playing To WinPlaying 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)

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 TapscottDon 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.


Celia de Anca: The Professor of Global Diversity at Spain’s IE Business School, de Anca is an expert in Islamic finance and speaks fluent Arabic. She is the author of Beyond Tribalism: Managing Identities in a Diverse World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Her work seeks to bridge the gap between academia and practice to enable greater understanding of the dynamics of diversity in organizations.

Pankaj Ghemawat: First released in 2011, the Global Connectedness Index analyses global flows and their power to increase prosperity. Led by Ghemawat, and sponsored by DHL, the Index tracks the depth and breadth of trade, capital, information, and people flows across 140 countries that account for 99% of the world’s GDP and 95% of its population. The Rubiralta Professor of Global Strategy, IESE, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, NYU Stern, Ghemawat is the author of World 3.0 (Harvard Business Press, 2011).

Lynda Gratton: A Professor of Management Practice at London Business School, Gratton’s most recent book, The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here (Collins, 2011), explores the changing patterns of work that are already affecting people all over the world. Gratton leads a research consortium of over 78 multinationals in an exploration of the look and feel of tomorrow’s workplace.

Anil K Gupta & Haiyan Wang: The founders of the China India Institute, a Washington DC-based research and consulting firm, Gupta and Wang are the authors of Getting China and India Right (Wiley, 2009); and Tigers in Dragon Land (forthcoming from Wiley). Rather than viewing each other as competitors, Gupta and Wang argue that China and India’s destinies are entwined and should be the basis for a mutually beneficial trading relationship.

Maya Hu-Chan: Born and raised in Taiwan, Hu-Chan is the President of Global Leadership Associates, based in San Diego. She was previously an anchor for the China Broadcasting Company in Taiwan before becoming CEO of a non-profit organization in California. She focuses on global leadership and cross-cultural business skills. She is the co-author of Global Leadership: The Next Generation (FT Prentice Hall, 2003).

W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: The authors of the worldwide bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business Press, 2005), Kim and Mauborgne are professors at INSEAD where they founded the Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. Other institutes now exist in Malaysia, North America and South America. In bringing the concept of blue ocean strategy to organizations – from companies to governments throughout the world – Kim and Mauborgne are seeking to transform how strategy is perceived and practiced.

Iqbal Z. Quadir: Bangladesh-born Professor of the Practice of Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. He worked as a consultant for the World Bank before returning to Bangledesh to found Grameenphone and Gonofone. In September 2007, Legatum, a Dubai-based private investment firm, committed $50 million to the creation of a new Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT led by Quadir. The goal of the Legatum Center is the promotion of bottom-up entrepreneurship in developing countries.

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.


Steve Blank—Lean startup: Steve Blank of the Haas School of Business is credited with launching the Lean startup Movement and revolutionizing the practice and teaching of entrepreneurship and innovation. Blank’s work, initially focused on startups, is now being applied to the corporate world. Blank is the co-author of The Startup Owner’s Manual (K&S Ranch, 2012) and The Four Steps to Epiphany (K&S Ranch, 2003).

Mark Campanale & Pradeep Jethi—The Social Stock Exchange: Launched in April 2013, the Social Stock Exchange is an online portal that will publish details of social ventures that want investment. The initiative, supported by the London Stock Exchange, was launched with 12 listed member companies from industries such as recycling, clean technology and social and affordable housing. The Social Stock Exchange will not act as a trading platform where investments can be bought and sold, but as a shop window through which social investors can access information on publicly listed businesses.

Bhagwan Chowdhry—Financial Access at Birth: Chowdhry is a professor of finance at UCLA’s Anderson School. A meal with Vijay Mahajan, India’s father of microfinance, led to Chowdhry and his host coming up with Financial Access @ Birth (FAB). FAB is a new venture designed by Chowdhry to increase access to financial savings. The idea is that when a child is born, he or she is assigned an electronic ID, which also serves as a birth certificate. At the time of birth, $100 dollars is also deposited into an online bank account to jump start savings. The FAB idea is to repeat this process for every child born across the globe.

Subir Chowdhury—The Economics of Quality: Subir Chowdhury’s work establishes a clear link between quality and economics. He is currently working to demonstrate how this link determines the very economic future of countries and their citizens. He argues that the cumulative effect of poor quality (from waste, atrophy, corruption) will retard the advancement of civilizations.

Richard D’Aveni—Strategic Capitalism: With the rise of the new economic powerhouses, especially China, D’Aveni argues we are seeing a new form of capitalism where states compete against other statesor more accurately their forms of capitalism compete with each other for economic success. The struggle between China and the US amounts to the opening moves of a Capitalist Cold War.

Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu and Simone Ahuja—Jugaad Innovation: Western corporations can no longer just rely on the old formula that sustained innovation and growth for decades: a mix of top-down strategies, expensive R&D projects and rigid, highly structured innovation processes. With the idea of jugaad innovation, Navi Radjou and his co-authors argues that the West must look to places like India, China, and Africa for a new, bottom-up approach to frugal and flexible innovation.

Sheryl Sandberg—Lean In: Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg has re-ignited the debate about how best women can succeed in the workplace. Central to Sandberg’s argument is the idea of leaning in, creating a virtuous circle of proving your worth and then shaping your future. It has spawned a movement.

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 MerchantNilofer 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).


Dorie Clark: Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Clark is a former presidential campaign spokeswoman and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013).

Ioannis Ioannou: Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, Ioannou’s research focuses on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, especially how environmental, social and corporate governance strategies can be implemented effectively.

Whitney Johnson: Whitney Johnson dared to dream when she began her Wall Street career as a secretary. With courage and persistence, by her forties she had risen to become an Institutional Investor-ranked sell-side analyst. She co-founded the investment firm Rose Park Advisors, is a regular contributor for the Harvard Business Review blogs, and is the author of the book Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream (Bibliomotion, 2012).

Ethan Molick: Edward B. and Shirley R. Shils Assistant Professor of Management, at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Molick studies innovation and entrepreneurship, and the ways in which an individual’s actions can affect firms and industries. His research includes the role of founding team members in the success of start-ups; the way in which communities of users come together to innovate; and the factors that drive the performance of entrepreneurial companies. Mollick is the co-author of Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming The Future of Business, (FT Press, 2008).

Lee Newman: Professor at IE Business School, in Madrid, Lee Newman’s work has been mainly in the area of positive psychology and behavioural science. Recently, he has explored the role of behavioural biases in human judgment and decision-making, and the impact they have when making decisions under risk and uncertainty. Prior to pursuing an academic career, he was a founder and senior manager in two technology-based startups in New York City (Brainstorm Interactive, and HR One), and served as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in Chicago.

Gianpiero Petriglieri: Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour at INSEAD, Petriglieri is the academic director of the school’s initiative for Learning Innovation and Teaching Excellence, and chairs the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on new models of leadership. His interests bridge the domains of leadership, identity, adult development and experiential learning. He is a frequent Harvard Business Review blogger.

Christian Stadler: An Associate Professor in Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, Stadler is an expert on long-term success. For the past decade he has devoted his energy to the investigation of long-living corporations – how they grow, adapt, and consistently beat their competitors, to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. Stadler is the author of Enduring Success. What we can learn from the history of outstanding corporations (Stanford University Press, 2011). His work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review and has been translated into 11 languages.


See the 2015 Award Results.

See the 2011 Award Results.