Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2017 – MFL Global

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2017

On Monday 13th November 2017 I was privileged to attend the Thinkers50 Awards Gala and I wanted to share a few highlights with my readers!

First of all, in case you are not familiar with it, what is the Thinkers50?

Launched in 2001, Thinkers50 was the first-ever global ranking of management thinkers. It has been published every two years since, and remains the premier ranking of its kind.

Since 2001, the scope of Thinkers50 has broadened to include a range of activities that support the mission of providing innovative access to powerful business and management ideas – ideas that will make the world a better place.

That mission is based on three core beliefs:

  • Ideas have the power to change the world.
  • Management is essential to human affairs.
  • New thinking can create a better future.

The Thinkers50 Awards Gala has been dubbed “the Oscars of Management Thinking” by the Financial Times – was introduced in 2011. This extraordinary event celebrates the very best in management thinking, and provides a forum for thinkers to share the leading business and management ideas of our age.

Held every other year in central London, the Gala draws thinkers from across the globe for a full day of debate, discussion and networking, followed by an elegant evening awards ceremony.

Winners of Thinkers50’s eight Distinguished Achievement Awards are announced.

The new Thinkers50 Ranking of Management Thinkers is revealed, including who has won the coveted #1 position on the list.

The 2017 ranking can be viewed here:

And the Award Winners are:

Lifetime Achievement: Presented to Tom Peters

The Thinkers50 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.

Tom Peters has been credited with inventing the modern management guru industry. He is chairman of the Tom Peters Company and has several best-selling business books under his name.

Ideas Into Practice Award Winner: Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

The world’s leading champion of project management and founder of a global movement that has transformed a tactical topic such as project management, into one of the central issues in the CEO’s 2020 agenda. He argues that project management is the lingua franca of the business and personal worlds from the C-suite to managing your career or relationships.

The Thinkers50 Ideas into Practice Award celebrates an organization putting new ideas to work.

As an aside, Antonio cut his honeymoon short to attend the event, he told me afterwards: “It was a bold bet shortening my honeymoon without knowing if I would win the prize. The deal was that if I didn’t win, we would do a second honeymoon ;-)”

Talent Award Winner: Amy C Edmondson

Amy C EdmondsonAmy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. She teaches and writes on leadership, teaming and organisational learning, and her articles appear in management publications such as Harvard Business Review and California Management Review as well as in top academic journals. She is best known for her pioneering work on psychological safety, which helped spawn a large body of academic research in management, healthcare, and education over the past 15 years.

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 how they can effectively be attracted, motivated, and retained. Research into talent has never been so important and practically useful.

Innovation Award Winner: Scott Anthony

Managing partner of Innosight, the innovation and growth consulting firm, Anthony is the author and co-author of several books, including (with Clay Christensen) Seeing What’s Next (HBR, 2004) and The First Mile (HBR, 2014). His latest book, Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future, co-authored with Clark Gilbert and Mark W. Johnson, (HBR Press 2017), tackles how successful incumbent companies can counter the threat of disruption.

The Thinkers50 Innovation Award recognizes the thinker who has contributed the most to our understanding of innovation over the last two years.

Leadership Award Winner:  Hal Gregersen

Hal Gregersen Executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT’s Sloan School, Hal Gregersen is the author of 10 books. His question-centric research project to surface insights into how leaders can build better questions to unlock new solutions helped defined what Gregersen calls his Catalytic Questioning methodology.

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 Thinkers50 Leadership Award acknowledges thinkers who shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject.

RADAR Thinker Award Winner: Amy Webb

Amy Webb

Amy Webb is the founder of the Future Today Institute, a future forecasting and strategy firm that researches technology. She is a lecturer at Columbia University and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University.

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 Thinkers50 Radar Award we identify and celebrate the thinker-most-likely-to.

Digital Thinking Award Winner:  Don and Alex Tapscott

Authors of The Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World (Portfolio, 2016), an international bestseller. Canadian technology trailblazers, they are also co-founders of the Blockchain Research Institute. Don Tapscott is the author of The Digital Economy, Wikinomics and other global bestsellers.

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 Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award celebrates the thinker who has done the most to convert the digital language into useful human insights.

Breakthrough Idea Award Winner: Susan David

Susan David
Susan David is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, and is co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital. She is the author of Emotional Agility (Penguin, 2016), which Harvard Business Review rated as one of its Management Ideas of the Year.

The Thinkers50 Breakthrough Idea Award celebrates a Eureka moment in management. It is given for a radical idea, which has the potential to forever change the way we think about business.

Strategy Award Thinker Winner: Richard D’Aveni

The Bakala Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. D’Aveni is the author of a number of influential books including Hyper-competition (Free Press, 1994), Beating the Commodity Trap (HBR Press, 2009) and Strategic Capitalism (McGraw-Hill, 2012). His forthcoming book, When Titans Rule the World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018), builds on his HBR article “3-D Printing Will Change the World,” and charts the rise of “pan-industrial” manufacturers.

The Thinkers50 Strategy Award celebrates the very best of strategic thinking.

Number One Thinker Winner: Roger Martin

The former dean of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Martin is a strategy advisor to CEOs worldwide and the author of ten books, including Thinkers 50 award winners Playing to Win (with AG Lafley, HBR Press, 2013) and Getting Beyond Better (with Sally Osberg, HBR Press, 2015). His new book Creating Great Choices (with Jennifer Riel, HBR Press, 2017) follows up on his 2007 bestseller The Opposable Mind (HBR Press).