Thinkers50 Awards Gala: Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
The ultimate accoldade which the Thinkers50 bestows is the Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award. This is awarded to an individual who has had a profound long-term impact on our understanding of and the practice of management. Previous recipinets include Michael Porter, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Charles Handy, Tom Peters, Richard D’Aveni and Ikujiro Nonaka.
The 2023 recipient was Zhang Ruimin, chairman emeritus of the Haier Group and previously the company’s long-term CEO. Mr Zhang helped create the world’s biggest white goods company from what was, when he took over, an almost bankrupt organization. Central to this achievement was an innovative management philosophy and also an abiding commitment ot the importance of management ideas. Haier’s management philosophy is encapsulated in the Chinese word Rendanheyi which can be translated as customer plus employee equals value. In practice this is supported by a constant willingness to change, the use of micro-enterprises to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, a belief in business ecosystems and a commitment to achoieving zero distance between the employee and the end-user.