Twitter has become one of the most important communication channels for strategy thinkers and practitioners. From tips on strategy development and implementation to innovation and market trends – pretty much everything is tweeted, shared, and discussed. Here is a list of the top business strategy thought leaders to follow on Twitter:
- Rita Gunther McGrath
The Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath is currently one of the world's most successful and popular strategy and innovation experts. She became famous within the strategy community with her international bestseller The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business (2013). In the book, she criticized the long-held notion of sustainable competitive advantage which she believes is simply impossible to achieve in today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive business environment. Instead, she embraces the idea of what she calls “transient competitive advantage,” that is the ability to exploit short-lived opportunities with speed and decisiveness. For the book she received the Thinkers50 Strategy Award. On Twitter, McGrath posts regularly on issues such as the merging of strategy and innovation, competitive advantage, the blurring of industry boundaries, diversity, and work-life balance.
- Roger L. Martin
Another true strategy enthusiast and active Twitter user is Roger L. Martin, professor at Rotman School of Management, business consultant, and author of numerous books and Harvard Business Review articles. According to Martin, strategy is all about making clear-cut decisions. Where do we want to play? How do we want to play? What skills do we need to develop in order to win? These are core questions he also discusses in his latest book Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (2013), which he co-authored with A.G. Lafley and for which they received various awards. Martin always aims to make strategy simple, yet effective. His writings tend to be provocative sometimes as he admits himself with a healthy dose of self-irony:
- Jeroen De Flander
Dutchman Jeroen De Flander is a widely acclaimed thought leader in the field of strategy execution. He frequently serves as a keynote speaker at major events like the recently held Strategy Execution Summit in Washington D.C., teaches as guest lecturer at renowned international business schools, and has coached countless managers and executives. He is also the author of the two highly recommendable books Strategy Execution Heros (2010) and The Execution Shortcut (2013). In the latter, he explains what he believes are the three key prerequisites for successful strategy implementation: 1) People need to be aware of the strategy (“head connection”); 2) People need to care about the strategy (“heart connection”), 3) People need the energy to push the strategy forward (“hands connection”). In addition, he advocates that strategy execution should be the responsibility of the senior management: “Strategy Execution isn’t something other people should worry about while you are doing something far more important,” he says. Besides Twitter, De Flander also uses LinkedIn to spread his message.
- Hermann Simon
Still relatively new on Twitter, but already very active is Hermann Simon. The German economics professor and business consultant is one of the world's most recognized and influential experts on strategic price management. In his research, he has repeatedly dealt with the strategies of lesser-known, mid-sized world market leaders, for which he coined the term hidden champions. On Twitter he now regularly shares his vast knowledge from his many years of consulting and research activities.
- Gary Hamel
Another strategy heavyweight is the management thinker, business consultant, and visiting professor of strategic management at London Business School Gary Hamel. In his publications—many of which international bestsellers like his latest book What Matters Now (2012)—Hamel has added important new terms and concepts to the strategy dictionary. In addition to "strategic indent" and "strategic stretch,” particularly the concept of "core competencies," which he developed together with co-author C.K. Prahalad in the early 90s, has become a fixed part of today's strategy vocabulary. On Twitter, Hamel deals with various aspects of strategy work, such as business model and management model innovation, leadership styles, employee participation, change management, core competencies, and innovation leadership.
- Michael E. Porter
Although some concepts of strategy pioneer Michael E. Porter, such as the idea of sustainable competitive advantage, have been criticized lately by some experts as being outdated (see Rita Gunther McGrath), it is certainly worthwhile to follow Porter on Twitter. Here, he discusses important current strategy issues like value-based competition, shared value, or disruptive technologies like the Internet of Things. In addition, one of his current key research areas is the improvement of the competitiveness of the healthcare and energy sectors making his tweets particularly interesting to representatives of these industries.
- Sydney Finkelstein
Sydney Finkelstein's passion is strategic leadership. For many years, his research activities at Tuck School of Business have focused on the strengths and weaknesses of executive talent and the question why capable leaders make bad decisions and, ultimately, fail. He identified four circumstances in which strategic planning failure is most likely to occur: launching new ventures, promoting innovation and change, managing M&As, and responding to new environmental pressures. Finkelstein became known to a wider audience with his book Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes (2004), which was a #1 bestseller in the United States and Japan. Since then, he became a regular contributor to Forbes magazine and the BBC. His annual list of the best and worst CEOs is legendary.
- Henry Mintzberg
Last but not least, the honorable, albeit contentious management guru Henry Mintzberg. Ever since the publication of his book The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning (1994) in which he harshly criticized the formal strategic planning process for discouraging strategic thinking, personal vision, creativity, flexibility, learning, and commitment to change, he has not only made friends in the strategy community. Nevertheless, the book has became one of the greatest strategy classics to date. Mintzberg never spears with criticism, is not afraid to express inconvenient truths, and always points out weak spots. Although people may not like to hear it, he is often right with what he says and writes. So get your regular dose of Mintzberg’s advice and know-it-all attitude and follow him on Twitter!
… and you may want to pay us a visit on Twitter as well. We would be happy to have you as followers!