Top 50 Business Brains: Step Aside, Peter Drucker – it’s Michael Porter

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…
read the Times article >>
The Top 50 Business Brains
1 Michael Porter (2)* Harvard strategy specialist
2 Bill Gates (20) Founder of Microsoft
3 C. K. Prahalad (12) 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
13 Thomas Stewart (37) Intellectual Capital author
14 Gary Hamel (4) Strategy consultant
15 Chan Kim & Renée 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) 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
My opinion: this is a watered-down version of Tom Davenport’s Guru Index in “What’s the Big Idea?”
UPDATE
Stuart Crainer tells us that “The Thinkers 50 ranking actually pre-dates Tom Davenport’s. It first appeared in 2001 and is updated bi-annually.”
The methodology behind the standings is shown below (thanks, Patrick Dixon). So, I take back what I said about this being “watered down”… [I just wish they ranked the top 200 nerds, instead of just 50!]
1. ORIGINALITY OF IDEAS
Are the ideas and examples used by the thinker original?
2. PRACTICALITY OF IDEAS
Have the ideas promoted by the thinker been implemented in organizations? And, has the implementation been successful?
3. PRESENTATION STYLE
How proficient is the thinker at presenting his/her ideas orally?
4. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
How proficient is the thinker at presenting his/her ideas in writing?
5. LOYALTY OF FOLLOWERS
How committed are the thinker’s disciples to spreading the message and putting it to work?
6. BUSINESS SENSE
Do they practice what they preach in their own business?
7. INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK
How international are they in outlook and thinking?
8. RIGOR OF RESEARCH
How well researched are their books and presentations?
9. IMPACT OF IDEAS
Have their ideas had an impact on the way people manage or think about management?
10. GURU FACTOR
The clincher: are they, for better or worse, guru material by your definition and expectation?

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