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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

World's Best Business Brains

Serious about business? Here are 10 people you should know about. 

Every year lists the “Definitive List of the World’s Top 50 Business Thinkers” of the year. Here are the top 10 from 2011:

#1 - Clayton Christensen
Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on innovation and growth. He is the bestselling author of a number of books: his seminal work, The Innovator's Dilemma (1997) received the Global Business Book Award for the best business book of the year.
#2 - W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne
W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne are professors of strategy and management at INSEAD, and co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute in Fontainebleau, France. They are the authors of the worldwide bestselling strategy book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (2005).
#3 - Vijay Govindarajan
Vijay Govindarajan, known as VG, is the Earl C. Daum 1924 professor of international business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He is one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. He has published nine books including international bestsellers Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators and The Other Side of Innovation.
#4 - Jim Collins
Jim Collins, a former Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty member, founded a management laboratory in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado in 1995. He is best known for his books on what makes companies long-lived and great.
#5 - Michael E. Porter
Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, and one of the most influential management thinkers of his generation. Porter is considered by many to be the father of modern corporate strategy. Porter’s Five Forces Framework is taught in every business school in the world.
#6 - Roger Martin
Roger Martin is dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is best known for his work on integrative thinking as a means of solving complex problems. He lists his other research interests as business design, corporate social responsibility, and country competitiveness. The author of 12 Harvard Business Review articles, Martin’s best-known book is The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking.
#7 - Marshall Goldsmith
Marshall Goldsmith is one of the world's leading executive coaches. He was a pioneer of the 360-degree feedback technique. His success is built on a no-nonsense approach to leaders and leadership and a Buddhist philosophy. He is the author, co-author, and editor, of more than 30 books inclduding The Leader of the Future (co-edited with Frances Hesselbein and Richard Beckhard, 1996) and What Got You Here – Won’t Get You There (co-authored with Mark Reiten, 2007).
#8 - Marcus Buckingham
Marcus Buckingham is best known for his work on “strengths” – the idea that it is more productive to focus on a person's strengths rather than their weaknesses. He is the founder and CEO of the eponymous Marcus Buckingham Company. Buckingham is the author or co-author of seven bestselling books.

#9 - Don Tapscott
Don Tapscott is an adjunct professor of management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, globalization and the economic and social impact of technology on business and society. The author or co-author of 14 books, Tapscott wrote the 1992 best seller Paradigm Shift.
#10 - Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is an award winning staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. He is also the author of several best-selling books. In The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000) Gladwell observed parallels between the spread of infectious diseases and how fashions take hold. He looked for the fulcrum, the point at which seemingly small differences become a critical mass, converting the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Other thinkers to make the list include Seth Godin at #17, Tom Peters at #24, Daniel Pink at #29, John Kotter at #41, Stephen Covey at #47 and Subir Chowdhury at #50. Check out the full list (including full bios, photos and videos) at
Any of your favorites on the list? Anyone that you feel should have made the top 50 cut and didn’t (e.g., Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Richard Branson? Jack Welch? Warren Bennis? Jeff Bezos? Donald Trump?

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