Summer is a time for relaxing on the beach with a good book. Perhaps a romance or a detective thriller. But, the workaholics out there may still be looking for some good business books. Here is the Change Logic team’s recommendations for the best of summer business reading.
Wendy Smith and Marianne Lewis
It is tempting to making everything in the world binary – good/bad, right/wrong, core/explore. This sort of either/or thinking reduces the world to a set of false binary opposites. Smith and Lewis offer a refreshingly different view that has profound implication for leaders in every walk of life from business to politics. Drawing from more than twenty years of pioneering research, they provide tools and lessons for turning either/or options into opportunities for innovation and personal growth.
In the digital age nothing is as important as building and scaling sustainable ecosystems and networks. This book offers useful guidance on how to manage these complex issues. Starting ecosystems creates a dilemma because ecosystems’ value depends on networks, but users will not join the networks without the ecosystems (hence called, “cold start”). The book clarifies the process of building and scaling ecosystems by proposing a process of acquiring customers, encouraging engagement, and then economically monetizing the network. The book also states that ecosystem designers should focus on the “hard side” of the ecosystems–the part of the ecosystems that are necessary but harder to recruit or increase in size. Finally, the book provides four strategies that firms can use to scale networks.
Ridley reviews major milestones that form the knowledge base of many of today’s industries: energy, public health, transport, food, etc. He also touches upon some aspects of corporate innovation that are close to our hearts: the essentials of innovation, its economics, fake innovation, and resistance to innovation.
There are two themes we found especially interesting. First, Ridley compares innovation to evolution, a process of constantly rearranging things into inventions that are unlikely to arise by chance. Second, innovation is created by people who’re free to experiment. That’s why the most innovative countries are most likely established democracies.
Jason Jay and Gabriel Grant
This enlightening book aims to helps us become aware of the role we unwittingly play in getting conversations stuck. It empowers us to share what really matters – with anyone at any time– so that together we can create positive change we want to see in our world.
Henry Kressel, Norman Winarsky et. al
This is a guide by innovators for innovators, with approaches that are practical and timeless. This is for those who wish to create a market-leading company that will have a real impact: a disciplined and staged approach they have used to launch, invest in, and develop scores of highly successful companies. It leads entrepreneurs through the critical stages of venture development, from concept to acquisition or public offering to maintaining a rich culture of innovation in the company.
Peter Fader and Sarah Toms
This book will help you see your customers as individuals rather than a monolith, so you can stop wasting resources by chasing down product sales to each and every consumer. It offers a 360-degree analysis of all the elements that support customer centricity within an organization.
Luc de Brabandere
In this time of Big Data and algorithms, we refer to “virtual reality” and “augmented reality”! What is left of our ways of modeling and experimenting? Thinking is clearly no longer what it used to be! This essay takes us back to ancient Greece where logical and critical thinking were first formalized. It also reminds us of more recent developments in cognitive sciences that include creative thinking. With these benchmarks, the authors introduce the reader to information technology using a philosophical approach, connecting necessary clarifications and useful questioning.
Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro
We must understand and use our power to have impact and this book provides the playbook for doing so. It offers a “necessary and “invaluable” vision of power: the ability to influence someone else’s behavior. This influence is derived from having access to valued resources, and once you understand what those are, you can take action to improve life for yourself and others. With proven strategies of agitating, innovating, and orchestrating change, Power, for All shows how those with less power can challenge established structures to make them more balanced.
To succeed in this world, you need to change your perspective on competition, growth, and leadership. For today’s leaders the difference between success and failure is no longer simply winning, but rather being sure that you are winning the right game. This book introduces the concepts, tools, and frameworks necessary to confront the threat of ecosystem disruption and to develop the strategies that will let your organization play ecosystem offense.