Steve Blank wins inaugural World Cup for ideas

The Laurie Young Global Prize for Thought Leadership 2014

1097 May13 SPOT Blank.inddSteve Blank                                               US-based retired serial entrepreneur turned author and educator Steve Blank has won the inaugural Laurie Young Global Prize for Thought Leadership for his Harvard Business Review cover story on lean start-ups. His paper emerged victorious amidst tough competition from world-leading thinkers, including runner up Alex Pentland of MIT and author of Social Physics, with The Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review in third place.

The prize was created by the Thought Leadership Club to rigorously measure and celebrate the world’s best thought leadership. People tend to celebrate leadership of other kinds, but there are also those whose ideas and research break new ground and gain follower-ship and deserve to be called leaders. In its first year, the club reviewed world-leading thinking from business schools, HBR authors, Financial Times journalists, management consultancies, professional firms and technology companies.

The Thought Leadership Club and Prize was conceived as a legacy for Laurie Young, a UK-based consultant and author of “Thought Leadership”. It aims to create an annual world cup for ideas to improve the overall quality and efficacy of thought leadership content.

Steve’s winning article “Why the Lean Start-up Changes Everything” defines the movement he launched. It was submitted by the HBR Editorial Board. Commented the judges:

 “[It] Turns long standing perceived wisdom on its head and will have a profound impact on a global scale and long-term.”

“A topical, positive and insightful piece that successfully challenges the irrelevance of traditional approaches and celebrates the strengths of agile, entrepreneurial and innovative ideas.”

“Simple and concise work with great insight and relevance.”

Other finalists (in alphabetic order) included: Berwin Leighton Paisner; Professor Julian Birkinshaw (London Business School); Capgemini; Deloitte; The Financial Times (Ajay Makan & Ed Crooks); IBM; and McKinsey & Co.

The ceremony was moderated by Julia Kirby, Editor-at-Large of the Harvard Business Review and hosted in London by law firm Allen & Overy on 14 July 2014.


Notes for editors:

Judging process: The panel is led by Joel Kurtzman who is credited with coining the term ‘thought leadership’. Respected intermediaries, such as the HBR Editorial Board and the Strategic Management Forum, submitted top 10 shortlists for their communities. Thought Leadership experts Source for Consulting then narrowed a long list to the 10 finalists. Over 50 judges based worldwide then voted independently for the winner.

The Thought Leadership Club extends scholarship into the value and impact of thought leadership through funding a small number of grants each year to consortia of business schools, think tanks and NGOs. Participating organisations contribute 1% of their annual thought leadership expenditures.

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