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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • The 15 Most Influential Thought Leaders In Business

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  • Business Insider
    Clay Christensen
    Since 2001, the management ranking organization Thinkers50 has ranked the world's top 50 thinkers in management every two years, based on online voting from a carefully selected shortlist and the input of a panel of experts. 
    The organization seeks to identify those select few business thinkers whose writing, research, and work genuinely influences the way leaders and companies operate.  
    These thought leaders are evaluated by 10 criteria that measure short-term and long-term influence.
    Recent impact, defined as the past two years, is based on the relevancy of their ideas, the rigor of their research, how well they present their ideas, the accessibility of what they produce, and how internationally applicable the ideas are.
    The long-term impact, which includes the past 20 years, is based on the originality of the ideas, their effects, how practical they are, if they make real business sense, and their power to inspire.
    Last night, in a ceremony billed as "the Oscars of management thinking," the new ranking was revealed. 15. Amy Edmonson
    Edmonson is a professor at Harvard Business School whose work focuses on teaming and collaboration. She also worked with the legendary inventor Buckminster Fuller, and wrote a book explaining his work. 
    She ranked at No. 35 in 2011. Her most recent book is "Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy."
    Source: Thinkers50
    14. Lynda Gratton
    Gratton is a professor of management at London Business School who focuses on how people behave in large organizations and what the future of work might look like. 
    She came in at No. 12 in the last ranking, and her most recent book is "The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here."
    Source: Thinkers50
    13. Daniel Pink
    Page 2 of 5 - Before becoming the massively popular author of "Drive," "A Whole New Mind," and "To Sell Is Human," Pink was journalist, speechwriter, and political aide.
    He jumped 13 spots in this year's rankings, from No. 29 in 2011.
    Source: Thinkers50
    12. Jim Collins
    Collins, a former faculty member at Stanford's Graduate School of Business, is a perennially best-selling writer. Two of his books, "Good to Great" and "Built To Last," are among those that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sees as absolutely essential.
    He founded and continues to run a management laboratory in Boulder, Colo., and his latest book is "Great By Choice." He was ranked No. 4 in 2011.
    Source: Thinkers50
    11. Pankaj Ghemawat
    Before moving to IESE Business School in Spain, Ghemawat was the youngest full professor ever appointed at Harvard Business School. 
    His work focuses on globalization, and he argues that we aren't in one homogenized economy but are much more disconnected than people realize. Those disconnects can be a source of advantage, he says.
    His ranking improved 16 points, from No. 27 in 2011. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    10. Marshall Goldsmith
    Goldsmith is one of the most popular and prominent executive coaches in the world. If you've ever heard of or gone through a 360-degree feedback process, it started with him. 
    Page 3 of 5 - He's the author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 books and continues to run a top-tier executive coaching group. He came in at No. 7 in the last round of rankings. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    9. Herminia Ibarra
    Ibarra, a chaired professor at INSEAD, received the Leadership award from Thinkers50 for exceptional work on the subject. This year, she breaks into the top 10, from No. 28 in 2011. 
    She emphasizes that the most successful careers aren't linear — the traditional ladder-climbing ascent to senior management — but the result of experimentation. She didn't necessarily follow the advice herself, telling the Financial Times that she first dreamed of being a professor of organizational theory at age 13. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    8. Linda Hill
    Hill is a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and leads the school's Leadership Initiative. Her work focuses on developing leadership, talent management, and leading innovation. 
    In 2011, she ranked No. 16. Her newest book, arriving in 2014, is "Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation.
    Source: Thinkers50
    7. Michael Porter
    Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, has been one of the most influential business thinkers in the world for years. He was named the world's most influential thinker by Thinkers50 in 2005. Many credit him with developing corporate strategy as we know it today, particularly the way companies think about competitive advantage.
    Recently, he's focused on how nations remain competitive, and on health care. He placed at No. 5 in the last ranking. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    6. Rita McGrath
    McGrath is a professor at Columbia Business School. In addition to her high ranking, she won the strategy award for exceptional new ideas in the field, and was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 book award for her recent book, "The End Of Competitive Advantage."
    Page 4 of 5 - Her work focuses on growth in uncertain environments. She ranked at No. 19 in 2011.  
    Source: Thinkers50
    5. Vijay Govindarajan
    Govindarajan is a professor of international business at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. He also recently spent time as GE's first professor in residence and chief innovation consultant. His recent work has focused on how innovation can happen in developing countries, as opposed to being the sole province of corporate headquarters.
    He won the Breakthrough Idea award in 2011 for a global challenge to build a $300 house. He was ranked No. 3 in 2011. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    4. Don Tapscott
    Tapscott is a leading thinker on innovation, globalization, and the impact of rapidly changing technology on business and society. 
    He's the author of 15 widely read books, including several best sellers. Most recently, he wrote "Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World." Tapscott came in at No. 9 in the last round of rankings. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    3. Roger Martin
    Martin stepped down as dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto earlier this year, and remains a professor there. In addition to his third-place ranking, Martin co-wrote "Playing To Win" with Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley, which earned the Thinkers50 award for most influential business book.
    The book focuses on what's become a signature of Martin's, using integrative thinking to break down and solve complex business problems. He was ranked No. 6 in 2011. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    2. W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
    Both are professors at INSEAD and the co-authors of the incredibly influential 2005 book, "Blue Ocean Strategy." The book, still talked about eight years later, focuses on creating market space where competition is irrelevant. Some governments, Malaysia in particular, have used their ideas to further their policy efforts. 
    Page 5 of 5 - The pair came in at No. 2 in the previous ranking, and their next book is expected in 2014. 
    Source: Thinkers50
    1. Clay Christensen
    Christensen, a longtime professor at Harvard Business School, takes the top spot again. That's unsurprising given how incredibly influential his 1995 book, "The Innovator's Dilemma" and his concept of disruptive innovation remain.
    Since then, he's turned his attention to fixing health care and the education system. His most recent book is "How Will You Measure Your Life."
    Source: Thinkers50
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