ranking

For over 20 years, Thinkers50 has been identifying, ranking, and sharing the very best in management thinking.
ABOUT THE RANKING

About the Thinkers50 Ranking

Published every two years, the Thinkers50 Ranking is the definitive list of the most influential management thinkers in the world and answers one simple question: who is the world’s most influential living management thinker?

Nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are open from March to September in the years that the ranking takes place (odd-numbered years). The public is invited to participate in the online nomination process by submitting the names and qualifications of thinkers they wish to put forward for consideration. Nominations are accepted and encouraged from individuals and organisations across the globe.

All nominations for the Thinkers50 Ranking are considered by the Thinkers50 Panel of Advisors. Each new ranking is announced at the Thinkers50 Awards Gala held in November every other year, culminating in a countdown of the top 10.

The Thinkers50 Ranking uses a proprietary methodology for evaluating management thinking. Thinkers50 founders Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove lead the process, with input and review from the Thinkers50 advisors. The criteria are evaluated on a weighted basis taking account of the thinker’s performance over the long term, as well as over the two years since the previous ranking.

SELECTION PROCESS

Thinkers50 Ranking: The Selection Process

The methodology is organised by two broad concepts: Viability – the quality and relevance of ideas; and Visibility – the influence and impact of ideas in the world. These concepts are quantified using 10 criteria.

VIABILITY (THE 4RS):

  • Relevance (applicability to current issues and management practice)
  • Rigour (quality of research and theory)
  • Reach (international reach and reach across sectors)
  • Resilience (the durability of ideas in a rapidly changing global economy).


VISIBILITY (IMPACT):

  • Influence (a measure of citations and references)
  • Media coverage and profile (traditional and social media)
  • Presence (public speaking profile and popularity)
  • Communication skills (image, accessibility, and dissemination)
  • Affiliations (associated networks and institutions)
  • Tools and techniques (practical applications).

Thinkers50 Ranking 2017

#1 Roger Martin

Prolific researcher providing valuable insights in strategy, governance, democratic capitalism, and social innovation.

Martin’s influence on business strategy and thinking has been immense. He championed the idea of integrative thinking, arguing that ‘and’ rather than ‘or’ thinking yields better solutions, and showing how combining elements from seemingly opposing models can pave the way for innovation and problem solving. He also developed the theory of design thinking, demonstrating how to balance the exploration of new knowledge (innovation) with the exploitation of existing expertise (efficiency). Martin’s work also focuses on corporate social responsibility and country competitiveness.

#2Don Tapscott

One of the world’s leading authorities on the impact of technology on business and society, pioneer in the advancement of the blockchain…

#3Clayton Christensen

The architect of disruptive innovation, twice topped the Thinkers50 rankings, in 2013 and 2011…

#4W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Inventors of the ground-breaking “blue ocean strategy”, paving the way for organizations to break out of fixed market boundaries and create a whole new space…

#5 Michael Porter

The father of modern business strategy, and the most cited scholar today in economics and business…

#6Marshall Goldsmith

One of the world’s leading executive educators, coaches, and authors, who was inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame in 2018.

#7 Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

The brains behind the world-renowned “business model canvas” – instrumental in helping new businesses put strategy into practice…

#8 Adam Grant

Specialist in organizational psychology, focusing on originality, motivation, non-conformity, generosity, meaningful work, and success…

#9Richard D’Aveni

Expert on competitive dynamics and disruptive production, and a powerful voice on the future impact of technology…

#10 Rita McGrath

Globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship; champion of harnessing disruptive influences for competitive advantage…

#11 Daniel Pink

Recognized expert on the science of motivation, the science of timing, and the business zeitgeist; writes and creates at the intersection of work, psychology, and society.

#12 Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

Launched into the thought leadership stratosphere in 2014 with The Second Machine Age, their work continues to provide a road-map for success in a digital economy.

#13Amy Edmondson

Pioneer and champion of psychological safety, studies people, projects and organizations to uncover the secrets of succesful teaming…

#14Steve Blank

Serial entrepreneur, and creator of the customer development method that launched the renowned lean startup movement.

#15Linda Hill

Top expert on leadership and innovation, focused on global strategies, and how to harness creativity and engagement for strategic implementation…

#16Eric Ries

Best-selling author, entrepreneur, and business visionary, applying lean business principles to the reinvention of Wall Street…

#17Pankaj Ghemawat

Pankaj Ghemawat Strategy professor and renowned globalization expert, renowed for his robust analysis of global trends…

#18Simon Sinek

Leadership visionary with the intent to change how business leaders think, act, and operate, to create environments in which people work at their natural best…

#19Richard Florida

Urbanist, champion of gentrification and the positive role of the “creative class” on city neighbourhood rejuvenation…

#20Herminia Ibarra

Distinguished authority on leadership and career development, advocating the importance of strategic networks, and the value of collaboration…

#21Vijay Govindarajan

Leading expert on strategy and innovation, teaches how to facilitate and execute breakthrough ideas to generate growth…

#22Nilofer Merchant

Prominent thought leader and strategist on the future of work in the social era, advocating for people in a technology-driven workspace…

#23Sydney Finkelstein

Award-winning professor renowned for his research on leadership, strategy, and corporate governance and how to become a “superboss”…

#24Hal Gregersen

Catalytic questioner and global innovator, exploring how asking the right questions builds leadership and innovation, and drives purposeful change…

#25Hermann Simon

Expert in strategy, marketing, and pricing, with a focus on how pricing can create new markets and help businesses gain a sustained, competitive advantage…

#26Zhang Ruimin

World-renowned entrepreneur, creating a unique, innovative, evolving business model that fuses management philosophies of east and west…

#27Subir Chowdhury

“The quality prophet”, and best-selling author on “six sigma” philosophy, with insightful research on how quality affects all levels of business function and public policy….

#28Anil Gupta & Haiyan Wang

Global strategists, experts on entrepreneurship and the transformational rise of emerging markets, foremost China and India…

#29Lynda Gratton

Psychologist, with a unique focus on organizational change, and the movement of business from a competitive to a more collaborative work space…

#30Whitney Johnson

Expert on the powers of disruption, and the ways to grasp the opportunities of change, starting with the personal…

#31Jim Collins

Socratic advisor to leaders, focusing on what makes a business great and not just good; introduced five levels of leadership and the flywheel effect…

#32Gary Hamel

Bureaucracy buster, champion of management revolution, and advocate for innovation as the driver of wealth creation…

#33Seth Godin

Marketing pioneer, unleashing the power of the consumer and the importance of building trust, connections, and positioning in the market place…

#34Scott D. Anthony

Leading adviser on innovation and champion of “dual transformation” strategy, helping businesses to turn disruption into advantage…

#35Liz Wiseman

Best-selling author, proponent of talent development through leadership, advocates the power of harnessing collective intelligence…

#36Martin Lindstrom

International branding expert, who has led deep research into the minds of buyers, applying insights from neuroscience to develop the concept of “buyology”…

#37Tammy Erickson

Leading analyst of the changing workforce, with a focus on generational differences, and how organizations can engage the hearts and minds of their employees…

#38Stew Friedman

“Total leadership” guru, award-winning teacher, and best-selling author who explores how good leadership goes hand in hand with a richer life…

#39Erin Meyer

Specialist on cross-cultural management, her evaluation of different cultures has resulted in a strategic framework for organizations seeking international success…

#40Susan David

Award-winning psychologist who applies her knowledge of emotions, human motivation, and change to individuals and organizations…

#41Morten Hansen

Author, professor, and management theorist, with award-winning work on social networks, collaboration, knowledge management, and corporate innovation…

#42Henry Chesbrough

Innovation thought leader who launched the “open innovation” paradigm; his research focuses on technology management and innovation strategy…

#43Amy Cuddy

Best-selling author, award-winning lecturer, and social psychology expert on the behavioural science of power, presence, and prejudice…

#44Jennifer Aaker

A highly creative and innovative business professor, teaching courses ranging from happiness, humour, purpose, and empathy to augmented reality…

#45Julian Birkinshaw

Recognised expert on innovation, entrepreneurship, and renewal in large corporations; prolific author making unique contributions on work practices…

#46Rachel Botsman

World-renowned expert on the explosive new era of trust and technology and what this means for life, work, and how we do business…

#47Gianpiero Petriglieri

Expert on leadership and learning in the workplace, notably leadership in the age of “nomadic professionalism”, and broadening…

#48David Burkus

Leadership, innovation, and strategy podcaster; author, speaker, and educator on working smarter to improve your work and life…

#49Francesca Gino

Award-winning professor, researcher, and author, focused on how people can have more productive, creative, fulfilling lives…

#50Heidi Grant

Neuroscience-based talent strategist – teaching us the science of human performance, motivation, and decision-making…

Thinkers50 Ranking 2017

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