2021 Book Recommendations

I love reading. As a fellow innovator, I’ll bet you do too. I’ve found that the right book can fundamentally change your understanding of things. Shape your mind in new ways. Every week, I feature a book I found interesting in my weekly newsletter. The topics ranged from innovation to creativity, to design thinking, to customer experience, to business modeling, to brainstorming, as well as recommendations on envisioning the future: predicting, embracing, and surviving change.

Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success

Drawing on fascinating stories of ventures that failed to fulfill their early promise—from a home-furnishings retailer to a concierge dog-walking service, from a dating app to the inventor of a sophisticated social robot, from a fashion brand to a startup deploying a vast network of charging stations for electric vehicles—Eisenmann offers frameworks for detecting when a venture is vulnerable to these patterns, along with a wealth of strategies and tactics for avoiding them.

The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World

The Click Moment is about two very simple but highly provocative ideas. The first is that success is random—far more random than we would like to believe. The second is that there are a number of specific actions that we, as individuals and organizations, can take to cap­ture this randomness and focus it in our favor.

Skip the Line: The 10,000 Experiments Rule and Other Surprising Advice for Reaching Your Goals

The entrepreneur, angel investor, and bestselling author of Choose Yourself busts the 10,000-hour rule of achieving mastery, offering a new mindset and dozens of techniques that will inspire any professional—no matter their age or managerial level—to pursue their passions and quickly acquire the skills they need to succeed and achieve their dreams.

Present Future: Business, Science, and the Deep Tech Revolution

Present Future is a fascinating, expert look at the history of the key technological advances affecting life today, and preparation for the exponential leaps yet to come

Rituals for Work: 50 Ways to Create Engagement, Shared Purpose, and a Culture that Can Adapt to Change

Rituals for Work shows us how creative rituals can make our personal and business lives more meaningful and rewarding.

The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail

Many companies make disruption their goal. They believe that if they develop the right innovation, they will disrupt their markets forever and drive the kind of growth worthy of a magazine cover story. Disruption doesn’t create growth; instead, growth creates disruption.

Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results

Unleash the Power of Storytelling offers a practical roadmap to crafting and delivering more powerful, persuasive stories that you can use to get more of what you want out of your career and your life.

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

A habit expert from Stanford University shares his breakthrough method for building habits quickly and easily. With Tiny Habits you’ll increase productivity by tapping into positive emotions to create a happier and healthier life.

A Mindful Approach to Team Creativity and Collaboration in Organizations: Creating a Culture of Innovation

This book examines how contemplative arts practice and a mindful approach to creativity, can be used to offer new possibilities for facilitating team creativity and collaboration in organizational settings. The author employs a qualitative, action research paradigm, using arts‐based and ethnographic methods, to explore the perceived effects of a contemplative arts workshop process on team creativity and collaboration within an organization

Lean Impact: How to Innovate for Radically Greater Social Good

Despite enormous investments of time and money, are we making a dent on the social and environmental challenges of our time? What if we could exponentially increase our impact?

Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight

Contains 115 guidelines organized into six sequential categories that mirror the phases of a strategic foresight activity: Framing, Scanning, Forecasting, Visioning, Planning, and Acting.

The Social Singularity: How decentralization will allow us to transcend politics, create global prosperity, and avoid the robot apocalypse

In this decentralization manifesto, futurist Max Borders shows that humanity is already building systems that will “underthrow” great centers of power.

Exploring the promise of a decentralized world, Borders says we will:

– Reorganize to collaborate and compete with AI;
– Operate within networks of superior collective intelligence;
– Rediscover our humanity and embrace values for an age of connection.

The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses, and Ecosystems

The Design Thinking Playbook is an actionable guide to the future of business. By stepping back and questioning the current mindset, the status quo faults stand out in stark relief―and this guide gives you the tools and frameworks you need to kick off a digital transformation. Design Thinking is about approaching things differently with strong user orientation and fast iterations with multidisciplinary teams to solve wicked problems. It is equally applicable to (re-)design products, services, processes, business models, and ecosystems. It inspires radical innovation as a matter of course and ignites capabilities beyond mere potential. Unmatched as a competitive advantage source, Design Thinking is the driving force behind those who will lead industries through transformations and evolutions.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

Competitive Strategy has filled a void in management thinking. It provides an enduring foundation and grounding point on which all subsequent work can be built. By bringing a disciplined structure to the question of how firms achieve superior profitability, Porter’s rich frameworks and deep insights comprise a sophisticated view of competition unsurpassed in the last quarter-century.

The Oxford Handbook of Social Networks

In The Oxford Handbook of Social Networks, Ryan Light and James Moody have gathered forty leading scholars in sociology, archaeology, economics, statistics, and information science, among others, to provide an overview of the theory, methods, and contributions in the field of social networks. Each of the thirty-three chapters in this Handbook moves through the basics of social network analysis aimed at those seeking an introduction to advanced and novel approaches to modeling social networks statistically.

BIG. Formgiving. An Architectural Future History

Formgiving. An Architectural Future History, the new book by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), is a visionary attempt to look at the horizon of time. The Danish word for “design” is “formgivning,” which literally means to give form to that which has not yet taken shape. In other words, to give form to the future. Using our power to give form, rather than allowing the future to take shape, is more important now than ever, as humankind’s impact on the planet continues to increase and pose ever greater challenges to all life forms. Architecture plays a special role by proposing spaces for our lives that are fragments of the future in the making. William Gibson’s words embody architecture’s role perfectly: “The future is already here―it’s just not evenly distributed.”

Pin It on Pinterest