By Joel Kurtzman

Google and Amazon summary

Joel Kurtzman is the man who coined the term “Thought Leaders” with an article and then this book. In this unprecedented collection of interviews and profiles, twelve of the world’s most remarkable business leaders and thinkers tell companies what it will take to prosper in the next century.

Visionary and inspiring, the contributors offer compelling insights into such topics as the strategic uses of technology, building sustainable business growth, and realizing a new corporate core while anticipating key business functions and competencies for the future.

The cast includes such renowned pundits as C.K. Prahalad, Charles Handy, Gary Hamel, and Warren Bennis. Also heard are a number of powerful new voices including those of Minoru Makihara, president of Mitsubishi; Jean Rene-Fourtou, CEO of the French pharmaceutical-chemical giant Rhone-Poulenc; and Paul Romer, the brilliant Stanford economist. Always fascinating and often provocative, this work speaks to everyone who had rather be ready for tomorrow today.

According to a review:

While most of the book is about highlighting a dozen exceptional business thinkers of the day (1990’s), it does leave some great nuggets on the topic of thought leadership in the introduction of the book that I’ll drop as some quotes below to save you from buying the book.

“More than ever, business is a game of ideas in which companies and individuals compete on the strength of what they know.

This fact is reflected in the rise of business schools, the increased number of MBAs, and the latest professional perk—the executive bookshelf. I have observed this change myself as I have wandered through the hallways and offices of some of the world’s greatest companies.

Thought Leaders

When I began my career, it was rare to see books in the offices of corporate leaders. Shelves were stuffed with reports, coffee tables were piled with printouts, and desks were covered with papers.

Although papers still make their home on desktops (even with the advent of computers), the shelves are now filled with books, and the coffee tables sport copies of the Harvard Business Review, Strategy & Business, and the Sloan Management Review. Executives are buying books, attending conferences, reading specialized periodicals, and surfing the internet to discover new insights before the competition does.

What I get out of this short introduction is that the business of ideas is still relatively young. This was written in the 90s and business as a discipline only started picking up steam when people like Peter Drucker and Michael Porter as well as organizations like the Boston Consulting Group began introducing new ways of doing business over the last 75 years.

Some other reviews:

“This volume offers a rich mine of insights, ideas, and philosophies on leadership by business and leadership insiders. A distinguished assembly of executive and academic thought leaders addresses in their own words a wide range of issues affecting corporate conduct and success in today’s changing times.” — Stephen A. Greyser, Richard P. Chapman, Professor of Marketing and Communications, Harvard Business School

“Thought Leaders provides a comprehensive, up-to-date collection of success factors for managing global industries, as seen from various perspectives and enriched with personal experiences. It’s an inspiring read, one that encourages reflection.

I strongly recommend this book to those who want to open their minds to the variety of forces involved in reshaping and realigning business for the future.” — Jurgen Dormann, chairman, and CEO, Hoechst AG

Thought Leaders sets out insightful views on the future of business by renowned business leaders and academic experts. For example, the president of Mitsubishi shares his thoughts on managing one of the world’s largest general trading companies, touching on the function of the corporate center, the emphasis on ROE, the issue of corporate governance, and the nature of the ‘keiretsu’ system.

Innovative business leaders will greatly benefit from the varied experiences of other leaders in different cultures and divergent fields.” — Yoshio Okawara, President, Institute for International Policy Studies

Thought Leaders

Table of contents

Foreword / Brian N. Dickie

1. Charles Handy (Professor, London Business School, and Author of The Age of Unreason and The Age of Paradox)

2. Minoru Makihara (President, Mitsubishi Corporation)

3. Keshub Mahindra (Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra)

4. C.K. Prahalad (Professor, University of Michigan, and Coauthor of Competing for the Future)

5. John Kao (Professor, Harvard Business School, and Author of Jamming)

6. Paul M. Romer (Professor, Stanford Business School)

7. Stan Shih (Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Acer Group)

8. Norbert Walter (Chief Economist, Deutsche Bank)

9. John T. Chambers (CEO, Cisco Systems)

10. Warren Bennis (Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business)

11. Gary Hamel (Visiting Professor, London Business School, and Coauthor of Competing for the Future)

12. Jean-Rene Fourtou (Chairman and CEO, Rhone-Poulenc).

Title: Thought leaders: insights on the future of business

Author: Kurtzman, Joel.

Subject: Management, Businesspeople

Genre: Interviews.

Publisher: San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass Publishers

Creation Date: 1998

ISBN: 078793903X

Source: SMU Libraries

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