Feature of week March 14, 2017
Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind
Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity? Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration – to show that it is by embracing our own contradictions that we are able to tap into our deepest creativity. Each chapter explores one of the ten attributes and habits of highly creative people:
Imaginative Play * Passion * Daydreaming * Solitude * Intuition * Openness to Experience * Mindfulness * Sensitivity * Turning Adversity into Advantage * Thinking Differently
Feature of week March 7, 2017
The Spark and the Grind: Ignite the Power of Disciplined Creativity
by Erik Wahl
We’ve been conditioned to think about creative genius as a dichotomy: dreamers versus doers, creativity versus discipline, the spark versus the grind.
But what if we’re wrong?
What if it’s the spark and the grind?
We love people whose creative genius arrives in sudden sparks of inspiration. Think of Archimedes in his bathtub or Newton under his apple tree.
But we also admire people who work incredibly hard and long for their creative breakthroughs. Think of Edison in his lab, grinding through hundreds of failed variations on the lightbulb. We remember his words in tough times: “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.”
Now Erik Wahl, a visual artist, speaker, and entrepreneur, helps us unite the yin and yang of creativity— the dynamic new ideas with the dogged effort. He shows why we won’t get far if we rely on the spark without the grind, or the grind without the spark. What the world really needs are the creators who can hold the two in balance.
This book offers surprising insights and practical advice about how to fan the sparks and make the grind more productive. Wahl deftly synthesizes the wisdom of other artists, philosophers, scientists, and business visionaries throughout history, along with his own views. Here’s how he sums up his approach:
Feature of week February 21, 2017
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance
In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.
Feature of week February 7, 2017
Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Way
by Bill Taylor
Far away from Silicon Valley, in familiar, traditional, even unglamorous fields, ordinary people are unleashing extraordinary advances that amaze customers, energize employees, and create huge economic value. Their secret? They understand that the work of inventing the future doesn’t just belong to geeks designing mobile apps and virtual-reality headsets, or to social-media entrepreneurs hoping to launch the next Facebook. Some of today’s most compelling organizations are doing brilliant things in simple settings such as retail banks, office cleaning companies, department stores, small hospitals, and auto dealerships.
William C. Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company and best-selling author of Practically Radical, traveled thousands of miles to visit these hotbeds of simple brilliance and unearth the principles and practices behind their success. He offers fascinating case studies and powerful lessons that you can apply to do ordinary things in extraordinary ways, regardless of your industry or profession.
As Taylor writes: “The story of this book, its message for leaders who aim to do something important and build something great, is both simple and subversive: In a time of wrenching disruptions and exhilarating advances, of unrelenting turmoil and unlimited promise, the future is open to everybody. The thrill of breakthrough creativity and breakaway performance . . . can be summoned in all sorts of industries and all walks of life, if leaders can reimagine what’s possible in their fields.” Simply Brilliant shows you how.
Feature of week January 31, 2017
The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream
Amy Webb is a noted futurist who combines curiosity, skepticism, colorful storytelling, and deeply reported, real-world analysis in this essential book for understanding the future. The Signals Are Talking reveals a systemic way of evaluating new ideas bubbling up on the horizon—distinguishing what is a real trend from the merely trendy. This book helps us hear which signals are talking sense, and which are simply nonsense, so that we might know today what developments—especially those seemingly random ideas at the fringe as they converge and begin to move toward the mainstream—that have long-term consequence for tomorrow.
With the methodology developed in The Signals Are Talking, we learn how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology—like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things—affect us personally? How will it impact our businesses and workplaces? How will it eventually change the way we live, work, play, and think—and how should we prepare for it now?
Most importantly, Webb persuasively shows that the future isn’t something that happens to us passively. Instead, she allows us to see ahead so that we may forecast what’s to come—challenging us to create our own preferred futures.
Feature of week January 3, 2017
The Power of Little Ideas: A Low-Risk, High-Reward Approach to Innovation
by Innovation Navigation host David Robertson
Conventional wisdom today says that to survive, companies must move beyond incremental, sustaining innovation and invest in some form of radical innovation. “Disrupt yourself or be disrupted!” is the relentless message company leaders hear. The Power of Little Ideas argues there’s a “third way” that is neither sustaining nor disruptive. This low-risk, high-reward strategy is an approach to innovation that all company leaders should understand so that they recognize it when their competitors practice it, and apply it when it will give them a competitive advantage.
For more on the book, and to get a free chapter, click here.
Feature of week December 20, 2016
Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills
by Jim Gilmore
Inspired by Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats method, Jim Gilmore has created a unique and useful tool to help our ability to perceive. In his latest book, Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills, Gilmore introduces the metaphor of ”six looking glasses.” Each looking glass represents a particular skill to master in order to enhance the way we look at the world. The six skills include binoculars, bifocals, magnifying glass, microscope, rose-colored glasses, and blindfold looking. Each looking glass provides an observational lens through which to see the world differently.
Feature of week November 29, 2016
America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World
by: Kevin Baker
What are the origins of the electric guitar? How did the whaling ship work? Why was the invention of the electric motor so crucial for the New York City subway? The incredible stories behind these strokes of genius and more, told by author Kevin Baker, fill the pages of America the Ingenious.
Here are 76 of the most intriguing, important, and ingenious inventions realized in America, from the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to the oil rig, the electric sewing machine, and the telephone. Who came up with these ideas? How long did they take to realize? What were the complications? How, exactly, do these things work? And how have they affected who we are today? This book will satisfy the curiosity of history and miscellany buffs alike. Readers will walk away with a new appreciation for these world-changing inventions, as well as a newfound understanding of what makes America the perfect breeding ground for ingenuity.
Feature of week November 8, 2016
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
by David Sax
A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We’ve begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog.
David Sax has uncovered story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas.
Sax’s work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life—and the robust future of the real world outside it.
Feature of week October 10, 2016
Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
by Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, David S. Duncan
The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for.
How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.
After years of research, Christensen and his co-authors have come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim–that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation–is wrong. Customers don’t buy products or services; they “hire” them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The “Jobs to Be Done” approach can be seen in some of the world’s most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes–it’s about predicting new ones.
Christensen, Hall, Dillon, and Duncan contend that by understanding what causes customers to “hire” a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they’ll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.
Feature of week September 20, 2016
We CAN Fix Healthcare – The Future is NOW
by Stephen K. Klasko MD/MBA, Gregory P. Shea PhD, and Michael Hoad MA
Dr. Stephen K. Klasko proposes an extraordinary, even science fiction, event where a no-blaming conversation about the healthcare system leads to an optimistic new future. As a result of this bending of the time-space continuum, even Democrats and Republicans find they can collaborate on 12 disruptive transformations. Built on 100 interviews from every part of the system, Steve Klasko, Greg Shea, and Michael Hoad find extraordinary solutions from medical education to reimbursement to health disparities. The book argues that if we stop blaming each other, trends we now see as disruptive will actually be solutions to healthcare in America.
Feature of week August 23, 2016
Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses
by Amy Whitaker
An indispensable and inspiring guide to creativity in the workplace and beyond, drawing on art, psychology, science, sports, law, business, and technology to help you land big ideas in the practical world. Anyone from CEO to freelancer knows how hard it is to think big, let alone follow up, while under pressure to get things done. Art Thinking offers practical principles, inspiration, and a healthy dose of pragmatism to help you navigate the difficulties of balancing creative thinking with driving toward results.
Feature of week July 19, 2016
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
by: Kevin Kelly
Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends—interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning—and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits.
Feature of week June 14, 2016
Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking
by Matthew E. May
Feature of week March 29, 2016
The Disruption Dilemma
by Joshua Gans
Feature of week January 26, 2016
The Eureka Factor: Aha Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain
The Eureka Factor
by John Kounios and Mark Beeman
Feature of week
What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services
What Customers Want
By Tony Ulwick
Feature of week September 1, 2015
Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal
by Robbie Bach
Feature of week July 14, 2015
No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends
No Ordinary Disruption
by Jonathan Woetzel, Richard Dobbs, and James Manyika
Feature of week June 16, 2015
Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money
by Nathaniel Popper
Feature of week June 2, 2015
Design Like Apple: Seven Principles For Creating Insanely Great Products, Services, and Experiences
Design Like Apple
by John Edson
Feature of week May 26, 2015
Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility
Design to Grow
By: David Butler and Linda Tischler
Feature of week 4/21/2015
The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value
The Self-Made Billionaire Effect
By: John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen
Feature of week 4/14/2015
Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done
Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done
By: Mick Ebeling
Feature of week 3/31/2015
The 4 Lenses of Innovation
The 4 Lenses of Innovation
By Rowan Gibson
Feature of week 3/24/2015
Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future
Winning the Long Game by Steven Krupp
By Steven Krupp and Paul Schoemaker
Feature of week 3/10/2015
American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness
American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness
By: Dan DiMicco
Dan is the former CEO of Nucor.
Feature of week 2/24/2015
A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages and Why It’s Everyone’s Business
A Beautiful Constraint
By: Adam Morgan and Mark Barden
Feature of week 2/3/2015
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day
By: Todd Henry
Feature of week 1/20/2015
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
By: Nir Eyal
Author’s Website: http://www.nirandfar.com/
Feature of week 1/6/2015
The End of Competitive Advantage
Feature of week
How Stella Saved the Farm
Rated one of Innovation Navigation’s best innovation books, How Stella Saved the Farm is a fable about innovation management. Read it together with its companion volume, Beyond the Idea.
Feature of week
The First Mile
The First Mile
The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas to Market, by Scott Anthony. This book brings the research and work of Innosight, Scott Anthony’s firm, to everyone, specifically with respect to succeeding as an entrepreneur in an uncertain marketplace.
Feature of week
A Day at el Bulli
A Day at el Bulli
This book by the acclaimed best chef in the world discusses his time running a restaurant called el Bulli in Spain. So population that only 1% of those requesting a reservation were able to secure a table in any given year, el Bulli was closed during the winter so that the chef and his team could innovate and create wholly new cuisines and dishes to delight and amaze customers. Now closed, read about the groundbreaking restaurant experience here. Recommended by Mikkel Rasmussen for those interested in a different type of innovation book.
Feature of week 9/9/2014
Creative People Must Be Stopped
By David Owens
While most organizations give lip service to promoting innovation and creative ideas, they all too often sabotage “outside the box” thinking among the rank and file. In this book, David Owens has identified the six dominant types of constraints (individual, group, organizational, industry-wide, societal, or technological) that can keep creative new ideas from being formulated, developed into marketable products and services, or adopted by the intended users. Creative People Must Be Stopped organizes these innovation killers into a conceptual framework that demystifies what innovation is, how it happens, and how we stop it without even trying. This proven framework has been used to diagnose the primary causes of innovation failure within hundreds of organizations that have gone on to develop strategies that foster innovation rather than stopping it in its tracks.
Filled with illustrative examples from real-world organizations, the book explores each type of constraint in detail and shows how it operates and why. This analysis is followed by a discussion of ways that particular constraint can be overcome. Every chapter concludes with a “Constraints Analysis Assessment”; these assessments are based on Owens’ research and consulting work and provide a pointer to the most urgent and potentially limiting constraints an organization may be facing. In addition, Creative People Must Be Stopped contains an exercise tool designed to help move leaders toward action to overcome the constraints that have been identified. Owens also explores the big-picture issues that can arise when spearheading an innovation team and discusses the steps needed to help organizations become more strategic about innovation.
Creative People Must Be Stopped gives leaders the tools they need to foster an atmosphere of creativity and innovation.
For more on the book, see the book’s web site.
Feature of week
Creativity on Demand
Feature of week
Today most organizations are aggressively seeking new growth opportunities, as well as improvements from current offerings. The demand for innovation has never been higher. But who should lead the pursuit of innovation? Many companies are appointing a Chief Innovation Officer (CINO). But and how should a CEO pinpoint the right CINO? Should that person come from within or outside the company? What characteristics should he or she have? It’s a serious issue facing most CEOs and their Boards. Innovation Alchemist provides a timely, helpful resource for any CINO, or any CEO looking to choose a CINO. For more on the book, see here.
Feature of week
Feature of week 6/10/2014
The Business Model Innovation Factory
Tools and methods for creating new business models
Business models just don’t last as long as they used to. Today, CEOs must be capable of designing, prototyping, and experimenting with new business models. The Business Model Innovation Factory provides leaders with the survival skills to create a pipeline of new business models in the face of disruptive markets and competition.
Feature of week 4/1/2014
The Moment of Clarity
Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems
The Moment of Clarity explains the process of sensemaking and how you can use it to develop those few key insights that will reframe the innovation challenge and lead to significant breakthroughs. Madsbjerg and Rasmussen describe a step-by-step process, and illustrate it with a few very rich and diverse case studies to show how to restructure innovation and get game-changing results.
Feature of week 03/18/2014
BOOK: The Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs
Yukari Iwatani Kane
Former Wall Street Journal technology reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane delves deep inside Apple in the two years since Steve Jobs’s death, revealing the tensions and challenges CEO Tim Cook and his team face as they try to sustain Jobs’s vision and keep the company moving forward.
Steve Jobs’s death raised one of the most pressing questions in the tech and business worlds: Could Apple stay great without its iconic leader? Many inside the company were eager to prove that Apple could be just as innovative as it had been under Jobs. Others were painfully aware of the immense challenge ahead. As its business has become more complex and global, Apple has been subject to intense scrutiny, much of it critical. Maintaining market leadership is crucial as it tries to conquer new frontiers and satisfy the public’s insatiable appetite for “insanely great” products.
Based on more than two hundred interviews with current and former executives, business partners, Apple watchers, and others, Haunted Empire is an illuminating portrait of Apple today that offers clues to its future. With nuanced insights and colorful details that only a seasoned journalist could glean, Kane goes beyond the myths and headlines. She explores Tim Cook’s leadership and its impact on Jobs’s loyal lieutenants, new product development, and Apple’s relationships with Wall Street, the government, tech rivals, suppliers, the media, and consumers.
Hard-hitting yet fair, Haunted Empire reveals the perils and opportunities an iconic company faces when it loses its visionary leader.
Feature of week 03/04/2014
BOOK: Disrupt! Think Epic. Be Epic.
Survival fact: The people who will succeed today are those who figure out how to benefit from, or take advantage of, continuous disarray, disorder and disruption.
Welcome to the age of continuous personal disruption. When even the most basic daily routines get swept up in a storm of ambiguity. When nothing is certain. When there is no perfect decision to be made.
That’s why author Bill Jensen identified the 25 habits most necessary for success in today’s crazy world.
Disrupt! is for everyone trying to do extraordinary things while driving through a shitstorm of relentless disruptions. Jensen uncovered these habits by going direct
to the source — the very people causing those disruptions.