4 minute read

Who is the most followed on the Thinkers50 list?

When launched in 2001, Thinkers50 was the first-ever global ranking of management thinkers. Since then, it has published a new list every two years, and remains the premier ranking of its kind.

The BlueSky Thinking postcast has a full episode dedicated to business school  rankings - read the transcript and listen now.

With the list of 2021 winners due to be revealed in November 2021 at the next Thinkers50 Awards Gala, we have looked at most recent list from 2019 and asked ourselves “how do these champions in management thinking perform on social media?” Specifically, we explored the followers for each Thinker on both Twitter and LinkedIn. Here is a table detailing our findings:

Thinkers50 ranking

Name

Twitter Followers

LinkedIn Followers

1

W. Chan Kim

-

-

1

Renee Mauborgne

-

-

2

Roger Martin

26,800

-

3

Amy Edmondson

27,700

63,661

4

Alexander Osterwalder

107,900

65,848

4

Yves Pigneur

3,948

10,345

5

Rita McGrath

35,700

24,278

6

Daniel Pink

443,000

206,621

7

Richard D'Aveni

767

16,564

8

Erik Brynjolfsson

190,700

6,941

8

Andrew McAfee

67,700

108,597

9

Scott D. Anthony

14,900

8,982

10

Adam Grant

462,300

3.7million

11

Simon Sinek

805,500

5.2million

12

Eric Ries

314,800

558,810

13

Lynda Gratton

19,100

13,565

14

Whitney Johnson

69,000

1.8million

15

Zhang Ruimin

-

-

16

Hal Gregersen

7,066

14,426

17

Liz Wiseman

18,900

17,648

18

Herminia Ibarra

19,800

7,084

19

Pankaj Ghemawat

13,600

8,327

20

Martin Lindstrom

29,300

160,242

21

Francesca Gino

19,500

46,420

22

Linda Hill

-

5,239

23

Steve Blank

1,867

652,522

24

Subir Chowdhury

21,600

15,518

25

Anil Gupta

357

8,732

25

Haiyan Wang

579

2,982

26

Morten Hansen

10,400

18,393

27

Nilofer Merchant

57,400

131,712

28

Ming Zeng

209,900

-

29

Michael D Watkins

-

9079

30

Rachel Botsman

47,800

41,690

31

Gary Hamel

31,900

13,788

32

Erin Meyer

14,400

 

33

Susan David

29,300

157,373

34

Seth Godin

765,500

-

35

Amy Cuddy

95,000

830,693

36

Marshall Van Alstyne

5859

7847

36

Geoff Parker

3583

5,131

37

Gianpiero Petriglieri

20,300

14,334

38

Marcus Buckingham

56,000

-

39

Frederic Laloux

-

-

40

Gary P. Pisano

1430

4,955

41

Jim Collins

26,000

-

42

Sheena Iyengar

13,800

3,307

43

Stew Friedman

13,300

-

44

Sydney Finkelstein

6542

9,521

45

Julian Birkinshaw

2836

-

46

David Burkus

12,800

19,914

47

Heidi Grant

18,400

7,410

48

Dorie Clark

44,800

205,602

49

Michael Jacobides

788

-

50

Tiffani Bova

41,900

36,984

Data correct as of Sept 9th 2021.

Blank values indicate absence of social media account.

 

For Twitter, Seth Godin, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink certainly stand out. With more than 700,000 Twitter followers, Seth is an American author with an incredibly successful blog called Seth’s Blog which is heavily promoted through his Twitter. He is also a serial entrepreneur, founding both Squidoo and Yoyodyne. Daniel Pink and Adam Grant both tweet to more than 400,000 Twitter followers. A recognised expert on the science of motivation and timing, as well as the author of six book on the topics, Daniel regularly retweets articles or posts he has thoughts on and shares these with his followers.

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Adam Grant is a specialist in organisational psychology and studies how we can find motivation and meaning and lead more generous and creative lives. He regularly tweets useful facts and advice related to the working world.

This approach has also led to Adam boasting more than 3.7 million followers on LinkedIn. Adam’s most recent LinkedIn posts consist of screenshots of his own tweets demonstrating how content from one platform can be used perfectly well on another, with each of these posts regularly generating 1000s of comments and more than 50,000 reactions.

But far in the lead for followers, on both LinkedIn and Twitter, is Simon Sinek. A British-American author and inspirational speaker who teaches organisations and leaders how to inspire people, his work focuses on the capacity to inspire, identifying patterns to how people think, act, and communicate, and the environments in which people operate their best. Thanks to Simon’s visible presence on Twitter, tweeting at least every other day, he now boasts more than 800,000 followers on Twitter with a simple inspiring sentence regularly generating more than a thousand retweets.

Simon also posts regular videos on Twitter of himself which is a fantastic way to engage followers and potential followers as we are more likely to stop scrolling and watch a video. Simon also takes a similar approach with his more than 5 million followers on LinkedIn.

As a management thinker, why is it important to share your work, research, and media coverage on social media?

As an academic, expert, or thought leader, it is important to be active on social media as it allows potentially interested individuals to become acquainted with your work and research. Share posts about your research and your findings in a way that your followers can find interesting and engaging. After all, not everyone reads academic journals. As they share your posts about your work and research, it is then more likely to be seen by their followers who may then share the post with their followers, and so on.

It is also important to share any media coverage you feature in on social media, whether that’s op-ed articles, profile pieces, or broadcast media. This is because it allows your feature to reach far beyond just the audience of a publication. For example, many of your followers could potentially be interested in reading an article of yours in Forbes or profile piece on you in Poets&Quants, but might not frequent the publication, so won’t be aware unless you share it. If you make them aware of the coverage via social media, they can then share this with their followers, increasing the reach of the post and the number of people exposed to your article.

We regularly share the research of academics we work with on our LinkedIn page  - scroll through and connect with us.

Sharing work or research findings on social media platforms also allows followers to engage with you in a more familiar, friendly, and casual way. Academic research can sometimes be difficult for non-academics to understand, especially if you expect them to read an academic research paper on it. However, sharing your findings in a Twitter or LinkedIn post, perhaps associated with a relevant news topic or alongside a video, can introduce the general public to your work in a way that’s easier for them to understand.

For more information on how to increase your media and social media presence,  get in touch with BlueSky Education today.

Work pic Kyle Author: Kyle Grizzell

Trends and opportunities in business education media coverage

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