May 6, 2008
News & Opinion: The Wall Street Journal Business Gurus List
The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a major feature titled "New Breed of Business Gurus Rises." The article provides a ranking of the thought leaders in business today. The ranking system is based on the 2003 book What's the Big Idea? : Creating and Capitalizing on the Best New Management Thinking by Thomas Davenport. Davenport compiled the rankings using data from Google mentions, Lexus-Nexus media hits, and academic citations.
The methodology creates a systematic way of measuring popularity, but it seems problematic. Take the case of Bill Gates at #3 on the list. For the man who created Microsoft, people are constantly talking about him in the media, online, and in academia. It seems a stretch that business people look to Gates for advice.
Outside of Gates, the folks at the top are no huge surprise to folks who follow business books. Gary Hamel, Tom Friedman, Gates, Malcolm Galdwell, and Howard Gardner round out the top five. Below is a list of the gurus with their 2008 rankings and one of their noteworthy books:
|Gary Hamel||1||Competing for The Future|
|Thomas Friedman||2||The World is Flat|
|Bill Gates||3||Business @ The Speed of Thought|
|Malcolm Galdwell||4||Tipping Point|
|Howard Gardner||5||Frames of Mind|
|Phillip Kotler||6||Marketing Management|
|Daniel Goleman||8||Emotional Intelligence|
|Henry Mintzberg||9||Mintzberg On Management|
|Stephen Covey||10||Seven Habits For Highly Effective People|
|Jeffrey Pfeffer||11||The Knowing Doing Gap|
|Peter Senge||12||The Fifth Discipline|
|Richard Branson||13||Losing My Virginity|
|Michael Porter||14||Competitive Strategy|
|Michael Dell||15||Direct From Dell|
|Geert Hofstede||16||Culture's Consequences|
|Clayton Christensen||17||The Innovator's Dilemma|
|Tom Peters||19||In Search of Excellence|
|Ikujiro Nonako||20||The Knowledge Creating Company|
There are some gurus listed here who we have not given much attention to. Anybody read much on Hofstede or Nonaka? We will do some research as well.
P.S. Rebecca also has a post on the side conversation going on at wsj.com about the lack of women on the list.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.