Howard Yu FT50 winner - IMD Business School
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Howard Yu recognized with the 2023 Thinkers50 Strategy Award

IMD Professor Howard Yu received the award at the organization’s biennial gala in London, which also celebrated the induction of Professor Michael D Watkins into the Thinkers50 Management Hall of Fame.
November 2023

The brightest minds of management thinking gathered in London on 5 and 6 November for the 2023 edition of the biennial Thinkers50 Gala, which honored the work of LEGO® Professor of Management and Innovation Howard Yu with the Thinkers50 Strategy Award, a recognition for his insights and research on future readiness.

“It is an incredible honor to be part of this community and this connection. We all struggle to bring our ideas to life, and it is by talking to our colleagues and peers, at whatever stage we are in, that we share this struggle. I think this award is a great recognition, but it really reflects the collective wisdom of trying to bring a better idea to the world,” says Yu, a specialist in technological innovation, strategic transformation, and change management, as well as author of the award-winning best-seller LEAP: How to Thrive in a World Where Everything Can Be Copied.

With the Center of Future Readiness, he’s been focusing on firms’ capacity to sustain new growth in the face of a changing future. “It is really about staying one step ahead and closing the gap between knowing and doing. Future readiness means always thinking one step ahead, so that you always have room for growth and improvement, both for yourself and for your organization.”

Yu was also included in Thinkers50’s 2023 Ranking, alongside Professor of Innovation and Strategy and CEO of IMD China Mark Greeven and IMD Visiting Professor Alex Osterwalder.

Professor of Strategy and Digital Transformation Mohan Subramaniam was shortlisted for the same Thinkers50 Strategy Award thanks to the ideas outlined in his latest book, The Future of Competitive Strategy: Unleashing the Power of Data and Digital Ecosystems, while Professor of Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation Julia Binder was among the shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Innovation Award for her work ahead of the IMD Center for Sustainable and Inclusive Business.

Lifetime achievement

The evening of 6 November also celebrated the years of invaluable endeavors of Michael D Watkins as a management thinker. The IMD Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change received the highest recognition conferred by Thinkers50, having been inducted into the Thinkers50 Management Hall of Fame. Watkins joins Emeritus Professor Bill Fischer, who was inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame in 2019.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, alongside some of the most influential and inspiring management thinkers of our time. This recognition is a testament to the impact of my work on helping leaders and organizations navigate transitions and transformations,” says Watkins, the author of the best-selling book The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter.

“I am grateful to my colleagues, clients, and readers who have supported and challenged me throughout my career. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the field of leadership and organizational change, and to share my insights and frameworks with the world.