December 01, 2005

Who is the world's most influential business thinker alive today? Thinkers 50 2005 ranking

Friend sent me an e-mail today - seems I have been ranked number 17 in the world in answer to the question, "Who is the most influential business thinker alive today?". In the last ranking (2003) I came number 46 - rather a surpise. And even more so to be ranked where I am today. An article describing the process is below. Maybe the fact that my site has now been seen by 9 million different visitors, half of whom are managers, has helped a little.

All business rankings have their own characteristics as every business school knows, and at the end of the day, the final adjustments by the team of judges will carry some subjective judgments.

Here is an explanation in the Times

Porter thinks his way to the top;Profile;Michael E. Porter;The Most Influe ntial Management Gurus;Thinkers;Thinkers 50

1 December 2005
The Times

The death of Peter Drucker means that there is a new king of management thinking, write Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer.

THE most influential living management guru is Michael E. Porter, head of Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, according to the rankings of The Thinkers 50 2005.

The Thinkers 50 ranking is based on the votes of 1,200 business people, consultants, academics, MBA students and visitors to the project's website.

Nonetheless, Professor Porter only just made it to the top. Had the ranking been compiled a few weeks earlier, the title would have gone to Peter Drucker for the third successive year. But the father of modern management died on November 11 at the age of 95.

Professor Porter's ascension is no surprise. After the new economy meltdown, strategy is fashionable again. More of a surprise is a massive surge of support for Bill Gates. Once regarded as the business equivalent of a James Bond villain, Gates's elevation to the No 2 slot suggests that he has successfully reinvented himself through a judicious combination of vacating the Microsoft hot-seat and billion-dollar philanthropic giving.

Also benefiting from a generosity of spirit is another strategy guru, Professor C.

K. Prahalad, of the University of Michigan, whose book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid challenges conventional thinking about the world's poor. He rises an impressive nine places to No 3. Professor Prahalad is one of several Indian-born management gurus to make the 2005 ranking. These include the CEO coach Ram Charan (ranked 24), Professor Vijay Govindarajan, of Tuck Business School (30), and Harvard's rising star Professor Rakesh Khurana (33). As yet no Chinese guru has emerged.

Business gurudom is a man's world, with only four women in the top 50. Insead's Professor Renee Mauborgne is the highest placed at 15, followed by Harvard's Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter at 19, Dr Lynda Gratton, of the London Business School (34), and the No Logo author Naomi Klein (46). The anti-management message of Dilbert rises from 27th to 12th place in the guise of the cartoonist Scott Adams. However, despite a strong showing early on, there is no place in this year's ranking for the ultimate management fashion victim David Brent.


1. Michael Porter (2)* - Harvard strategy specialist

2. Bill Gates (20) - Founder of Microsoft

3. C. K. Prahalad (12) - (left) LBS strategy man

4. Tom Peters (3) - Leadership consultant

5. Jack Welch (8) - GE's ex-CEO and celebrity

6. Jim Collins (10) - Author of Good to Great

7. Philip Kotler (6) - Kellogg's marketing guru

8. Henry Mintzberg (7) - Promotes Managers not MBAs

9. Kjell Nordstrom & Jonas Ridderstrale (21) - Funky Business exponents

10. Charles Handy (5) - British portfolio worker

11. Richard Branson (34) - Entrepreneur and Virgin flyer

12. Scott Adams (27) - creator of Dilbert (left)

13. Thomas Stewart (37) - Intellectual Capital author

14. Gary Hamel (4)- Strategy consultant

15. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne (31) - Blue Ocean Strategy duo

16. Kenichi Ohmae (19) - Japanese strategy master

17. Patrick Dixon (46) - Futurist and change guru

18. Stephen Covey (16) - Knows The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

19. Rosabeth Moss Kanter (9) - Harvard's change manager

20. Edward De Bono (35) - Lateral thinker and author

21. Clayton Christensen (22) - Harvard's new-tech guru

22. Robert Kaplan & David Norton (15) - Balanced scorecard creators

23. Peter Senge (14) - Learning organisation inventor

24. Ram Charan (-) - Coach to the CEOs

25. Fons Trompenaars (50) - Intercultural management man

26. Russ Ackoff (-) - Specialist of systems thinking

27. Warren Bennis (13) - Humanist leadership guru

28. Chris Argyris (18) - Action and learning guru

29. Michael Dell (33) - Dell Computer's founder

30. Vijay Govindarajan (-) - Tuck's strategy innovator

31. Malcolm Gladwell (-) - Blink and Tipping Point guru 32. Manfred Kets De Vries (43) - Psychoanalytic economist

33. Rakesh Khurana (-) - Harvard labour market guru

34. Lynda Gratton (41) - LBS people and strategy guru

35. Alan Greenspan (42) - Head of US Federal Reserve

36. Edgar Schein (17) - MIT organisational psychologist

37. Ricardo Semler (36) - Radical CEO of Semco

38. Don Peppers (48) - Customer relationship man

39. Paul Krugman (40) - Economist and columnist

40. Jeff Bezos (39) - Amazon's main man

41. Andy Grove (26) - One of the Intel founders

42. Daniel Goleman (29) - Emotional intelligence inventor

43. Leif Edvinsson (-) - Professor of intellectual capital

44. James Champy (25) - Advocate of re-engineering

45. Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones (-) - Authentic leaders

46. Naomi Klein (30) (left) - No Logo author

47. Geert Hofstede (47) - Cultural expert

48. Larry Bossidy (-) - Chair of Honeywell

49. Costas Markides (-) - LBS strategy professor

50. Geoffrey Moore (38) - Hi-tech marketing man

* 2003 ranking in brackets

(c) Times Newspapers Ltd, 2005