A new decade for recognition, engagement and motivation: 20 influencers to follow in 2020

uploaded on 2 April 2020

Blog - A new decade for recognition, engagement and motivation: 20 influencers to follow in 2020

A new decade for recognition, engagement and motivation: 20 influencers to follow in 2020

In 2020 there’s definitely no shortage of influencers who focus on people, management and the factors that drive organisational success.

What separates the good from the great however, is the ability to consistently advance new ideas, challenge the accepted ways of doing things and shine a light on the emerging areas of best practice. 

Staying across this debate not only keeps you at the top of your professional game but can also give your organisation a competitive edge. To ensure you stay out in front, here is our guide to the 20 influencers who can inspire you with their ideas about how to recognise, engage and inspire your people in the year ahead.

Adam GrantProfessor of Organisational Psychology, Wharton School 

Podcaster, book-writer and TED-talker extraordinaire, Adam Grant’s talent is to deliver fresh thinking about culture, people and motivation in the most accessible of ways which is easy to digest. If you don’t have time for his TED talks (which have had millions of views), then his Twitter feed is a valuable signpost of emerging research and trends in employee recognition, motivation and engagement. @AdamMGrant

Rita McGrathProfessor of Management at Columbia Business School 

In volatile times like these you need someone who can help you understand how to guide your people and business through rocky waters. Enter Rita McGrath, expert on strategy, innovation and growth in uncertain conditions. She consistently brings new ideas about the actions organisations, leaders and managers should take to succeed. Her book ‘Seeing Around Corners’ and the video channel on her website are excellent resources for anyone who wants to understand the challenging context of business today. @rgmcgrath /

Rob BrinerProfessor of Organisational Psychology, Queen Mary University of London 

Rob Briner’s view of management practice and the workplace is that we would all be better served if we challenged ideas with healthy scepticism. His view that managers should focus less on new fads (table football and slides in the office anyone?!) and more on evidence, provides some unexpected perspectives on everything from the value of focussing on employee recognition, engagement and everyday management speak. @Rob_Briner

Amy EdmundsonProfessor of Leadership, Harvard Business School

If you want to know how to manage and recognise your people in a way that stands apart from the competition, then look no further than Amy Edmundson. Her book “The Fearless Organisation” was one of the standout business books of 2019 in the talent and leadership space. It evaluates the impact of fear-based organisational cultures and ideas about how organisations can engender a culture which fosters better employee performance. A must-read for any manager or leader. @AmyCEdmondson

Megan ReitzProfessor of Leadership, Ashridge Executive Education 

Author of ‘Speak Up’, a book which discusses the value of helping people speak up and leaders to listen, Megan Reitz believes that organisations need to re-evaluate the way we communicate with each other in the workplace to sustainably improve performance, reduce risk and create a better culture. Her extensive media profile means her ideas are always accessible and relate to the issues of the moment. @MeganReitz1

Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, London Business School 

Through her Future of Work Research Consortium, her regular public speaking and her writing, Lynda Gratton identifies the key issues which will challenge organisations today and in the future, provoking us to think about the changes organisations must make in order to thrive. Her website is a fountain of knowledge with links to books, podcasts and blogs around this subject.

Josh Bersin, Founder of Bersin by Deloitte and Bersin Academy 

Whether you go to his blog, LinkedIn  or Twitter feed, there are few resources that can compete with Josh Bersin’s insight and research on the future of HR and the workplace. If you are looking for a spotlight and analysis on the latest trends in everything from reward to employee engagement, L&D and leadership, bookmark his blog and visit regularly to stay informed. @Josh_Bersin

Pilita Clark, Business Columnist, Financial Times 

Pilita Clark’s weekly column is a must-read for anyone who values a challenging take on corporate life. Tackling everything from long hours culture to swearing at work and women in the workplace, her columns provide a valuable critique of the management ideas and business practice which dominate the way we work. @pilitaclark

Jon Ingham,Independent People Strategist 

Consistently appears on who’s who lists of HR influencers thanks to his influential blog Strategic HCM. Seek him out for forensic analysis of emerging trends in HR strategy and shares on twitter from other HR influencers. @joningham

Sir Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Manchester Business School 

Recognising the critical role that support for employee wellbeing has in business performance is critical for any manager. As the pre-eminent authority in this area, Cary Cooper has long been a leading voice in the debate on how stress, bullying and poor health impacts negatively on individuals and the organisations they work for. @ProfCaryCooper

Andrew HillManagement Editor, Financial Times 

His monthly review of business books would merit a place on our list in its own right, but putting that to one side - his contributions to the work tribes series capturing the character and discourse of our diverse workplace are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what makes people tick at work. @andrewtghill

Stephen Bevan, Head of HR Research Development, The Institute for Employment Studies 

The IES has long been a trusted provider of research and evidence into the key workplace challenges and trends. Stephen Bevan is responsible for the HR output and regularly blogs on the workforce issues of the day and what they mean for managers. Follow him on Twitter for links and shares to IES research output. @StephenBevan

Charles Cotton, Performance and Reward Adviser, Chartered Institute for People and Development 

As the lead on public policy and HR practice development in pay, benefits and performance for the professional association for HR practitioners, Charles Cotton is a prolific commentator who regularly flags research and trends worth watching in the recognition, reward and pay space. @CharlesMCotton

Perry TimmsFounder and Chief Energy Officer, People and Transformational HR

The indefatigable love of HR and workplace issues and his willingness to share his opinions on speaker platforms and social media make Perry Timms one of the top HR influencers in the UK. Follow him for provocation and passion around the future of people at work. @PerryTimms

Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business, Ross School of Business 

Few people can claim to have such a profound effect on the way HR teams work as Dave Ulrich. In the last decade, his HR business partner model was adopted by organisations around the world and he continues to provide ideas about how HR teams can better serve their organisations. @dave_ulrich

Too busy to read? Here are five podcasts and video channels to follow when on the go... 

HBR ideacast

The weekly podcast from Harvard Business Review has over 700 episodes and counting. The contributors are a who’s who of the leading thinkers in business and management. At around 25 minutes per show, it’s easy to find time to listen in. Available on Apple, Google, Spotify and other platforms.

CIPD Podcast 

This long-running podcast looks at issues as diverse as the psychology of motivation and trust with a different expert in the hot seat each month. The back catalogue is easy to search and there are transcripts of each episode for those who prefer to skim read the content.

That HR Podcast 

A relative newcomer, the monthly podcast from People Management focusses on the issue of the moment whether that is Brexit, IR 35 or the potential for a four-day week. Features a bigger panel than some other podcasts and typically 40 minutes long. Available on soundcloud, Apple, Google, Spotify and other platforms.

The Future Talent Podcast

Changeboard talks to a different HR leader, academic or consultant for each edition. Its attraction is the diversity of voices it brings to the table and their own take on issues like mental health, business agility, the impact of technology and diversity. Changeboard also has its own video channel. Available on soundcloud, Apple and other platforms. 

The TED HR Channel

Given the wealth of speakers who have done TED talks on HR, management and careers it would be surprising if they didn’t have anything other than a superlative collection of videos on workplace issues. The TED HR playlist is a good starting point but searches on leadership, management and other inspiring talks turn up a wealth of gems. 

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