The new Thinkers50 list was announced this week, along with the category award winners. Here’s the breakdown:


Rita Gunther McGrath, an associate professor of management at Columbia Business School, received the Thinkers50 Strategy Award. The Strategy Award honors the thinker recognized for the ability to see the world in a new light and figure a way through competitive complexity.

“From Sun Tzu to Igor Ansoff, Machiavelli to Mintzberg, strategy has occupied some of the best brains in the universe,” says Thinkers50 cofounder Stuart Crainer. “Today is no exception. The shortlist for the award was an exceptional list. But Rita McGrath’s work stood out. It is accessible and authoritative, with a restless inquisitive energy and a boldness which sets it apart.”

The other shortlisted thinkers for the Strategy Award were:

Erik Brynjolfsson – MIT Sloan School of Management
Laurence Capron – INSEAD
Richard D’Aveni – Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
Roger Martin – former dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Cynthia Montgomery – Harvard Business School
Richard Rumelt – UCLA’s Anderson School of Management
Chris Zook – Bain & Co.



Herminia Ibarra, the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD, received the Thinkers50 Leadership Award. The Leadership Award honors the thinker who has contributed most significantly to our understanding of leadership over the last two years.

“Leadership remains one of the most interesting fields in the world of business,” says Thinkers50 co-founder Des Dearlove. “Herminia Ibarra’s work is deeply rooted in the actual practice of leadership. It is not abstract theorizing or hero-worship, but rigorous and relevant to what leaders actually do and need to do.”

The other shortlisted thinkers for the 2013 Leadership Award were:

Liu Chuanzhi – Legend Holdings Limited
Stew Friedman – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Linda Hill – Harvard Business School
Andrew Kakabadse – Henley Business School
Liz Mellon – Duke Corporate Education
Mike Myatt – N2growth
Wang Shi – Vanke
Liz Wiseman – The Wiseman Group



Navi Radjou, a fellow of the Cambridge Judge Business School, where he has served as director of the Centre for India & Global Business, received the Thinkers50 Innovation Award for 2013. The Innovation Award honors the thinker who is re-shaping the way we think about and practice innovation.

“The concept of jugaad innovation has captured worldwide attention,” says Thinkers50 co-founder Stuart Crainer. “It turns much of the preconceived wisdom about innovation on its head and encourages those in the West especially to think again about how they interpret and practice innovation. His contribution is both distinctive and important.”

The other shortlisted thinkers for the 2013 Innovation Award were:

Ron Adner – Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
Henry Chesbrough – Berkeley’s Haas School of Business
Vijay Govindarajan – Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
Hal Gregersen – INSEAD
Matt Kingdon – ?What If!
Kai-Fu Lee – Innovation Works
Alexander Osterwalder & Yves PigneurBusiness Model Generation



Canadian thinker Don Tapscott has won the Thinkers50 Global Solutions Award for 2013.

“The Global Solutions Award aims to recognize the thinker whose ideas have had the biggest impact in tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems,” says Thinkers50 co-founder Stuart Crainer. “Don Tapscott has a considerable track record of dealing thoughtfully and creatively with big issues and challenges – from the advent of the digital age to demographic change. His current work champions Global Solution Networks, non-state multistakeholder networks achieving new forms of cooperation, social change and even the production of global public value.

The other shortlisted thinkers for the 2013 Global Solutions Award were:

Celia de Anca – Spain’s IE Business School
Pankaj Ghemawat – Spain’s IESE Business School; The Stern School, New York
Lynda Gratton – London Business School
Anil K Gupta & Haiyan Wang – The China India Institute, Washington, DC
Maya Hu-Chan – Global Leadership Associates, San Diego
W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne – INSEAD, Blue Ocean Strategy Institute
Iqbal Z. Quadir – MIT, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship



Nilofer Merchant has won the Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award for 2013.

“Nilofer Merchant is a compelling and original voice,” says Des Dearlove, co-founder of Thinkers50. “For this award we are looking for someone we believe will strongly influence the way managers manage and lead organizations going into the future. Nilofer’s work fits that description. It is changing things.”

Merchant teaches innovation at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities. In a meteoric 20-year career, Merchant has gone from being an administrator to becoming a CEO and then board member of a NASDAQ-traded company.

The other shortlisted thinkers for the 2013 Future Thinker Award were:

Dorie Clark – Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business
Ioannis Ioannou – London Business School
Whitney Johnson – Dare, Dream, Do
Ethan Molick – The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Lee Newman – IE Business School, Madrid
Gianpiero Petriglieri – INSEAD
Christian Stadler – Warwick Business School

Congratulations to all named! Special congrats to my friend Roger Martin, who jumped from #6 in 2011 to #3 this year!