A social MBA: the business gurus sharing their insight on Twitter
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A social MBA: the business gurus sharing their insight on Twitter

Clare Simmons — February 2014

Twitter provides a live feed of what’s on the minds of some of the world’s most influential management thinkers. Below we offer a snapshot of thought leaders that CXOs should be following — and why.
Management big thinkers who tweet


Rita Gunther McGrath
Columbia Business School professor, author (End of Competitive Advantage)
Handle: @rgmcgrath
Followers: 12,000 followers
Style: Responsive, fact-finding, empathetic
Tweet example: Davos session: Future of International e-tailing http://wp.me/p3UFR8-17k
Why follow: Pointers to some of the most-informed content on ecommerce and business strategy
Frequency: Bi-hourly


Erik Brynjolfsson
MIT Sloan School of Management professor, director of MIT Center for Digital Business and author (The Second Machine Age)
Handle: @erikbryn
Followers: 16,000 followers
Style: Highly conversational
Tweet example: Right: Technology creates scale, productivity, productivity, wealth, not necessarily jobs: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-whatsapp-inequality-2014-2 ...
Why follow: Expertly curated content and conversations with business, technology and academic leaders
Frequency: Hourly

Hiroshi Mikitani

CEO, Rakuten, Japan’s largest ecommerce business with a fast-rising international presence
Handle: @hmikitani_e
Followers: 4,000 followers
Style: Observations on business best practice
Tweet example: How do you differentiate your business? http://linkd.in/1fYObAm
Why follow: Astute management insight from one of Japan’s most progressive business thinkers
Frequency: Daily

Clay Shirky
New York University professor, consultant and writer
Handle: @cshirky
Followers: 300,000
Style: Political, provocative, humorous
Tweet example: “What should I do for my birthday?” My 9 y.o. daughter: “Have some nerds over and talk about the Internet. Like always.”
Why follow: Pick up on conversations with elite influencers about the social and economic effects of Internet technologies.
Frequency: Daily

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Jeff Immelt

Chairman and CEO of General Electric
Handle: @JeffImmelt
Followers: 19,100 followers
Style: Focus on innovation
Tweet example: New report on how #IndustrialInternet can save industries up to $20B a year & minimize unplanned downtime http://ow.ly/pBEPN
Why follow: GE focused, but compelling as the engineering giant embraces the ‘industrial Internet,’ as it terms the Internet of Things.
Frequency: Bi-weekly


Geoffrey Moore

Business author (Crossing the Chasm) and consultant
Handle: @geoffreyamoore
Followers: 5,600 followers
Style: Big questions in IT, acronyms, axioms
Example tweet: Executive reminder: Data driven decision-making is a must, but facts are like iron fillings—underlying forces shape them to their ends.
Why follow: Focus on how technology companies achieve greatness.
Frequency: Daily

Don Tapscott
Business school professor, consultant and business author (Growing Up Digital, Wikinomics)
Handle: @dtapscott
Followers: 53,100 followers
Style: News and views commentary, zero conversations
Example tweet: Here’s my latest post from @davos: Tech Giants Square Off over Online Privacy http://ow.ly/sUlcO
Why follow: Couples his own insight with an expertly curated guide at all things digital
Frequency: Daily

Clayton Christensen
Harvard business school professor and author (The Innovator’s Dilemma)
Handle: @claychristensen
Followers: 86,700 followers
Style: More matter-of-fact and informative than conversational
Tweet example: Innovation Imperative: Change Everything http://nyti.ms/1iE6uuW
Why follow: Provides insight into his thinking by retweeting more than he tweets
Frequency: Weekly

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Gary Hamel

London Business School professor, consultant and business author (What Matters Now)
Handle: @profHamel
Followers: 16,000 followers
Style: Management aphorisms and epiphanies
Tweet example: What drives success? Over next 12 mos: execution. Over next 2 yrs: strategy. Over next 5 yrs: Competencies + platforms. Beyond that: Values.
Why follow: Not much interaction, but given he only follows four people that’s hardly surprising.
Frequency: Weekly


Sheena Iyengar

Columbia Business School Professor, author and founder of the Global Leadership Matrix
Handle: @Sheena_Iyengar
Followers: 11,200 followers
Style: Inspirational, new thinking, occasional poetry
Tweet example: The Global Leadership Matrix website has launched in Japanese- http://gleam.org
Why follow: Highly networked, international perspective
Frequency: Daily

Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Harvard Business School professor and management guru
Handle: @RosabethKanter
Followers: 50,000 followers
Style: Motivational
Tweet example: Ignore perfection myths with a do-it-yourself flavor. Good work-life balance requires delegating. http://ow.ly/lGWn1
Why follow: Insight into work/family/life balance
Frequency: Daily

Tom Peters
Management practices guru and business author (In Search of Excellence, Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age)
Handle: @tom_peters
Followers: 104,000 followers
Style: Strong-willed, frank, effusive
Tweet example: If you don’t help some one out in some little way every day (at work) you are only half a human.
Why follow: View insider conversations between management gurus
Frequency: Hourly

Lynda Gratton
London Business School professor of management practice, consultant and business author (The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here, The Key: How Corporations Succeed by Solving the World's Toughest Problems) and psychologist
Handle: @lyndagratton
Followers: 7,600 followers
Style: Professorial, guided content
Tweet example: It’s Time for Business to Earn a License to Lead - Nice piece by @Unilever CEO Paul Polman http://huff.to/1eBEh8v
Why follow: Expertly curated links on the subject of management best practice
Frequency: Bi-weekly

The list above features a selection of the more active business big thinkers but far from all. In fact, some of the best known names in management practice largely eschew social media, preferring to disseminate ideas and insights through more traditional media such as business books and management and academic journals.

First published February 2014
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