Thinkers50 Hall of Fame & Award Nominees

Rob Llewellyn By Rob Llewellyn

Thinkers50 Hall of Fame & Award Nominees

At this year's Thinkers50 awards, Andrew Kakabadse accompanies five distinguished thinkers who join Charles Handy, Tom Peters, Philip Kotler and Henry Mintzberg in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. They are outstanding individuals who have all made a lasting and vital impact on how organisations are led and managed – they are the giants upon whose shoulders managers and leaders stand.
The nominees for other Thinkers50 awards including Leadership, Digital, Innovation, Strategy and more, are listed further down this page, courtesy of Thinkers50.
The formal awards will place in London on 9 November in what was described as the Oscars of management thinking, to discover who has won this year's prestigious awards. Others not in London watched the awards via a live online steam.
The full list of Thinkers50 Awards for 2015 were published in a subsequent post here.

Six New Members of the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame

Andrew Kakabadse
Professor at the UK’s Henley Business School, Professor Emeritus at Cranfield School of Management, wide ranging body of work including (most recently) The Success Formula and Leading the Board.
[well]Read a review of one of Andrew Kakabadse's books and listen to Rob Llewellyn interview him here[/well]
Ram Charan
Indian-born executive coach and author of 15 books including, most recently, The Attacker’s Advantage. “He has the ability to distill meaningful from meaningless and transfer it to others in a quiet effective way,” says Jack Welch.
Edward Lawler
Professor at the University of Southern California and prolific author of more than 40 books including Management Reset, Rewarding Excellence and Effective Human Resource Management.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Harvard Business School professor, political campaigner, author of bestsellers including The Change Masters, Confidence and Men and Women of the Corporation.
Richard Rumelt
Professor at UCLA’s Anderson School, founding member of the Strategic Management Society and author of the bestselling Good Strategy/Bad Strategy.
Edgar H Schein
MIT professor, created the term ‘career anchors’, author of seminal works Organizational Culture and Leadership and Career Dynamics.



The T50 Breakthrough Idea Award celebrates a Eureka moment in management. It is given to a radical idea, which has the potential to change the way we think about business forever. From Taylorism to the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, new ideas have challenged what we know about the world. This award is dedicated to the legacy of CK Prahalad who proved there is nothing so practical as a great idea. Previous winners were The Ellen MacArthur Foundation for the circular economy; and Vijay Govindarajan for the $300 house.
2015 Shortlist:
Rachel Botsman for Collaborative Consumption
Co-author of What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live (HarperCollins) and a visiting lecturer at Oxford University, Saïd Business School, Botsman’s TED talk on the collaborative economy has been watched by more than 2 million people.
Robin Chase for Peers Inc.
The incorporation of the peer-to-peer economy into the business world, championed by co-founder of Zipcar and transportation entrepreneur. Book published by Public Affairs (2015).
Salim Ismail, Michael Malone and Yuri van Geest for Exponential Organizations
Ismail is an entrepreneur, former VP of Yahoo, founding executive director of Singularity University; Malone a leading journalist and author; and van Geest a digital consultant and speaker based in the Netherlands. Authors of Exponential Organizations (Diversion, 2014).
W. Chan KimRenee Mauborgne for Blue Ocean Leadership
INSEAD professors and authors of global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy (HBR, 2005), turn their attention to leadership and re-constitute it as a service.
Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur for Collaborative Intelligence
Markova (ex-MIT) and McArthur of Professional Thinking Partners champion the concept of CQ in 2015 book Collaborative Intelligence (Random House).
Lee Newman for Behavioural Fitness
Workplace behaviours can be fine-tuned and improved in similar ways to how we improve our bodies. Positive psychology meets leadership courtesy of consultant turned b school professor, and dean of IE School of Human Sciences & Technology.
Brian Robertson for Holacracy
Philadelphia-based entrepreneur and former CEO, author of Holacracy (Portfolio, 2015) which provides an antidote to hierarchy.
Dave Ulrich for Leadership Capital Index
Prolific author from the University of Michigan’s Ross School, provides an index by which investors can gauge leadership strength of an organization. Book out later this year (Berrett Koehler).



Digital technology has transformed the world of work. It has also changed the way we understand ourselves as human beings. But which thinker’s research and insights shed the newest and most original light on the new digital reality? The T50 Digital Thinking Award is a new award that celebrates the thinker who has done the most to convert the digital language of the 0 and 1 into useful human insights.
2015 Shortlist:
Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee
MIT co-authors of The Second Machine Age (Norton, 2014) and Race Against the Machine (Digital Frontier Press, 2011).
Enrique Dans
Professor at IE Business School, blogger at, one of most followed global tech opinion formers with more Twitter followers than any other professor.
Peter Diamandis
Founder X Prize Foundation, co-author of Abundance (Free Press, 2012) and Bold (Simon & Schuster, 2015), and co-founder Singularity University.
Umair Haque
Commentator, HBR blogger, author of The Lamp and the Light (ebook, 2015).
Nilofer Merchant
Silicon Valley-based ex-exec, author 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era (HBR, 2012).
Alex ‘Sandy’ Peatland
Director Human Dynamics Lab at MIT, author of Social Physics (Penguin, 2014).
Don Tapscott
Author of Digital Capital, Wikinomics and other bestsellers including Radical Openness (TED, 2013).
Jim Whitehorse
Ex-Delta CEO and now CEO of Red Hat, author The Open Organization (HBR, 2015).



There is nothing so practical as a great idea. At Thinkers50 we value new thinking that makes a valuable contribution in the real world. Equally, we admire organizations that are open to new ideas no matter what their source. The T50 Ideas into Practice Award is a new award that celebrates an organization putting new ideas to work.
2015 Shortlist:
Zhang Ruimin for Haier
Relentless change, team working, destruction of middle management layers, combined with long-term dynamic leadership.
 Jim Whitehorse for Red Hat
The open source movement applied to management of a modern corporation. Ideas captured in Whitehorse’s book The Open Organization (HBR, 2015).
Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil & Robert Richards for Singularity University
Think tank meets educational institution and more. Silicon Valley-based benefit corporation seeking to change the shape of education.
Robin Chase for Zipper
The incorporation of the peer-to-peer economy into the business world made real by Chase, co-founder of Zipcar.



If necessity is the mother of invention, then innovation is its nurturing father. The word innovate comes from the Latin to “make new”. It has never been more pressing – in society as well as in organizations. The T50 Innovation Award recognises the thinker who has contributed the most to our understanding of innovation over the last two years. Previous winners were Navi Radjou and Clay Christensen.
2015 Shortlist:
Scott Anthony
Managing partner of Insight, coauthor with Clay Christensen and solo of The First Mile (HBR, 2014).
Alexa Clay & Kyra Maya Phillips
Innovation comes from the fringe. How to hustle like a gangster, think like a pirate and more alternative takes revealed in Misfit Economy (Simon & Schuster, 2015).
Rowan Gibson
Co-founder of Innovation Excellence and author, most recently, of Four Lenses of Innovation (Wiley, 2015).
Vijay Govindarajan
Creator of reverse innovation. Tuck Business School professor and author of forthcoming The Three Box Solution (HBR, 2016).
Linda Hill
Harvard Business School professor and co-author Collective Genius (HBR, 2014).
Gary Pisano
Harvard Business School professor, co-author Producing Prosperity (HBR, 2012) and most recently author of “You Need an Innovation Strategy” in Harvard Business Review.
Alf Rehn
Finnish academic, speaker and author of Dangerous Ideas (Marshall Cavendish, 2011) and coauthor of Trendsetting (ebook, 2013).
Juan Pablo Vazquez Zampare
Professor at IE Business School and frequent HBR blogger applying disruptive innovation concepts to current managerial challenges.



Teams, corporations, and organizations of every kind, demand and require leadership. Yet the nature of that leadership and how we understand the role of the leader is constantly being reappraised. The T50 Leadership Award acknowledges thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject. Previous winners were Herminia Ibarra and Marshall Goldsmith.
2015 Shortlist:
Amy Cuddy
Harvard Business School social psychologist, author of Presence (later in 2015).
Marshall Goldsmith
One of the world’s leading executive coaches and author, most recently of Triggers (Crown, 2015).
Hal Gregersen
Executive director MIT Leadership Center; and co-author of The Innovator’s DNA (HBR, 2011).
Heidi Grant Halvorson
Social psychologist based at Columbia Business School and the NeuroLeadership Institute. Author of No One Understands You and What to do About It (HBR, 2015).
Herminia Ibarra
INSEAD professor and author of bestselling Think Like a Leader, Act Like a Leader (HBR, 2015).
Fred Kiel
Co-founder and principal of KRW International. Author of Return on Character (HBR, 2015).
Giampiero Petrolieri
Psychiatrist, INSEAD professor and prolific HBR blogger.
Liz Wiseman
Former Oracle exec and author of Multipliers (Harper, 2010) and co-author of The Multipliers Effect (Corwin, 2013). Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New World of Work (HarperBusiness, 2014).



Capitalism can be a force for good. Social enterprises – businesses, which aim to do good as well as making a profit – challenge the way we think about business and its role in society. The T50 Social Enterprise Award celebrates the business thinker who has done the most to further our understanding of these nascent organizations.
2015 Shortlist:
Liam Black
One of the UK’s best-known social entrepreneurs, having led successful social enterprises, most recently Fifteen with chef Jamie Oliver. Author of There’s No Business Like Social Business (The Cat’s Pyjamas, 2004), and the Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z (2014).
Bill Drayton
Founder and CEO of Ashoka, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding and fostering social entrepreneurs worldwide.
Pamela Hartigan
Director of Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School; managing director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; and co-author The Power of Unreasonable People (HBR, 2011).
Rebecca Henderson
Professor at Harvard University, research fellow at National Bureau of Economic Research, joint editor of Leading Sustainable Change (OUP, 2015), leads ‘Reinventing capitalism’ course at Harvard Business School, and HBR blogger.
Leila Janah
Social entrepreneur, founder of the Sama Group, youngest recipient of the Club de Madrid Leadership Award. Named Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Social Enterprise Alliance, one of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, and one of the seven most powerful women in tech in 2014 by Entrepreneur.
Johanna Mair
Professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and visiting scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Academic editor, Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Alex Nicholls
Professor of social entrepreneurship at Said Business School, Oxford. Author of Changing the Game: The Politics of Social Entrepreneurship (forthcoming).
Sally Osberg & Roger Martin
Osberg is President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, and Martin is a best-selling author and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management. Osberg and Martin are co-authors of ‘Two Keys to Sustainable Social Enterprise’ (HBR, May 2015) and Getting Beyond Better (Harvard, 2015).



Where you are going and how you intend to get there lies at the heart of management and leadership. Strategy is the intellectual and inspirational lifeblood of organizations. The T50 Strategy Award celebrates the very best of strategic thinking. If you were running a corporation who would you turn to for strategic advice? Previous winners were Rita McGrath, W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
2015 Shortlist:
Richard D’Aveni
Tuck Business School professor, creator of “hyper competition”. Most recent work on impact of 3D-printing revolution. Books include Strategic Capitalism (McGraw Hill, 2012).
Niraj Dawar
Ivey Business School professor, author of Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers (HBR, 2013).
Pankaj Ghemawat
Professor of Management and Strategy and Director of the Center for the Globalisation of Education and Management at the Stern School of Business. Author of World 3.0 (HBR, 2011).
Benjamin Gomes-Casseres
Professor of International Business at the Brandeis International Business School. Author of Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations, (HBR, 2015).
Rita G McGrath
Professor at Columbia Business School and author of The End of Competitive Advantage (Harvard, 2013).
Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
Authors of Business Model Generation (Wiley, 2010). Invented the “Business Model Canvas,” used by companies worldwide. The original book followed by Business Model You (Wiley, 2012) and Value Proposition Design (Wiley, 2014).
Michael E Porter & James E. Heppelmann
Harvard strategy guru and Heppelmann, CEO of PTC, authored influential November 2014 Harvard Business Review article, ‘How Smart Connected Products are Transforming Competition’.
Martin Reeves, Knut Hanna’s, & Janmejaya Sinha
Boston Consulting Group strategy experts and co-authors of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy (HBR, 2015).



In ancient Greece the talent was a unit of currency. Today, human talent has become the global currency, with organizations competing for the very best people from around the world. With the changing attitudes to work and new generations entering the workforce, the challenge now is to better understand how talented individuals work best and they can be effectively attracted, motivated and retained. Research into talent has never been so important and practically useful. This is a new award.
2015 Shortlist:
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
University College, London and Columbia academic as well as head of assessment company. Author of the book Confidence (Profile, 2013).
Robin Ely
Harvard Business School professor and expert on gender and race issues.
Claudio Fernandez-Arroz
Senior adviser at Egon Zehnder. Author of It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best, (HBR, 2014).
Stew Friedman
Practice professor at Wharton. Books include Total Leadership (HBR, 2008) and Baby Bust: New Choices for Men and Women, (Wharton Digital Press, 2013), and Leading the Life You Want (HBR, 2014).
Adam Galinsky & Maurice Schweitzer
The Columbia and Wharton professors are authors of Friend and Foe (Crown, 2015) which argues that the foundation of all human interaction lies in cooperation and competition. The key is to balance the tension between the two.
Whitney Johnson
Founder and Managing Director of Springboard Fund, and co-founder of Rose Park Advisors along with Clayton Christensen. Author of Dare, Dream, Do (Bibliomotion, 2012); and Disrupt Yourself, (Bibliomotion, 2015).
Doug Ready
Author of Harvard Business Review articles, Senior Lecturer in Organization Effectiveness at the MIT Sloan School of Management and founder of the International Consortium for Executive Development Research.
Zeynep Ton
Adjunct associate professor in the operations management group at MIT Sloan School of Management. Before MIT Sloan, she spent seven years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. Author of The Good Jobs Strategy (New Harvest, 2014).



Which of the new generation of business thinkers is most likely to shape the future of business and business thinking? Whose work has the potential to challenge the way we think about management? With the T50 Radar Award we identify and celebrate the thinker-most-likely-to. Previous winners were Nilofer Merchant and Lucy Marcus.
2015 Shortlist:
David Burkus
Oral Roberts University professor and author of The Myths of Creativity (Jossey-Bass, 2013).
Steven D’Souza
Director of Programs at the FT/IE Corporate Learning Alliance and co-author of the award winning, Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty into Possibility (LID, 2014).
Erica Dhawan
Formerly with Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Deloitte, now champion of idea of connectional intelligence. Co-author Get Big Things Done (St Martins Press, 2015).
Erin Meyer
INSEAD professor and author of The Culture Map (Public Affairs, 2014) and articles in Harvard Business Review.
Jennifer Petrolieri
INSEAD professor, rated as one of best business school professors under the age of 40.
Erin Reid
Questrom School of Business, Boston University professor. Attention grabbing 2014 HBR blog “Why some men pretend to work 80 hour weeks”.
Lauren Rivera
A professor at Kellogg, Northwestern University, Rivera is a cultural sociologist who previously worked for Monitor.
Arun Sundararajan
Professor at Stern School of Business NY. His research has been recognised by six Best Paper awards, and been supported by organizations including Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google and IBM.
Anirban Dutta
Student at Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shipper. Winner of the Future Ideas Young Thinker’s Award for research into transport systems.



The T50 Lifetime Achievement Award acknowledges an exceptional individual whose work has made an important contribution to global thought leadership over an extended period. This person has brought insights that challenge the way we think about management. Their work must be global, original and embraced by practitioners.
Discover more about Thinkers50
Dorie Clark on Thought Leadership 101