2024 Management Classic Booklist by Thinkers50

Thinkers50, the global authority on management thinking, has unveiled its 2024 Management Classics Booklist. This annual curation honours management and business books that have withstood the test of time and remain powerfully relevant today.

What are the books every manager should read?

Every year Thinkers50 announces 10 more classic titles to create the ultimate management library, books which have stood the test of time and remain powerfully relevant today.

‘The classic management books are the ones that have had and continue to have a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management,’ explains Thinkers50 co-founder Stuart Crainer. ‘They are the coping stones for modern management and remain essential reading for managers everywhere.’


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1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006) by Carol Dweck
“The psychologist Carol Dweck has had a profound influence on our understanding of motivation, learning, intelligence, and self-belief. She can be largely credited with introducing the word mindset into the management lexicon. Our understanding of the power of mindsets is largely down to her work.”

— Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Co-founders, Thinkers50


2. High Output Management (1983) by Andy Grove
“High Output Management is a bible that every entrepreneur and every manager in the country should look at, read and understand.”

Bill Campbell, Former Apple board member

High Output
3. Wilful Blindness (2022) by Margaret Heffernan
“Wilful Blindness” is an engaging read, packed with cautionary tales ripped from today’s headlines as well as a trove of research on why we often stick our head in the sand. With deft prose and page after page of keen insights, Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image — and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness.”

Dan Pink, Thinkers50 Ranked, author of Drive

Wilful Blindness
4. Working Identity (2002) by Herminia Ibarra
“Whether you’re mid-career or just starting out, Herminia Ibarra’s masterpiece provides wise advice and compelling stories to help you find and change your path for greater fulfilment in work and in life. Well ahead of its time when first published, Working Identity now finds its sweet spot of ultra-relevance in our tumultuous era of career searching and pivoting.”

Amy C. Edmondson, Thinkers50 #1 Ranked, HBS Professor

Working Identity

5. Business Model Generation (2010) by Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
“This book has literally changed the way we think about business models, and innovation. It is now 14 years old, and has such wide-influence that it deserves the appellation ‘classic’.”

Bill Fischer, Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, IMD Professor

Business Model Generation6. Competitive Advantage (1985 by Michael Porter
“Michael Porter’s Five Forces model is still being used throughout the world. That is all you need to know!”

— Shane Cragun, Author of The Employee Engagement Mindset

Competitive Advantage

7. Maverick (1993) by Ricardo Semler
“It transformed Happy from micromanaging to a company based on trust and freedom where everybody can make their own decisions.”

— Henry Stewart, CEO, Happy


8. Riding The Waves Of Culture (1994) by Fons Trompenaars & Charles Hampden-Turner
“Managing across different cultures was a new thing for many people when this book first appeared.  Now it is reality for hundreds of millions of people working in global organizations. Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner laid out the practical issues faced in managing globally with humanity and insight.”

— Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Co-founders, Thinkers50

Riding the waves of culture

9. The First 90 Days (2003) by Michael Watkins
“It has become the classic reference for leaders in transition. First published in 2003, it outlines basic principles to help leaders transition quickly and efficiently to new professional roles and identifies the most common traps and provides the tools and strategies to avoid them. It is practical and inspiring.”

— Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Co-founders, Thinkers50

The first 90 days10. Multipliers (2010) by Liz Wiseman
“It’s a fantastic concept, and it really seems like the sort of book that, when it comes up in conversation, everyone agrees that it’s a must-read.”

— Kate O’Neill, Thinkers50 Radar, author of Tech Humanist