We recently reached out to our network of leaders, executives and business acquaintances to put together a new list of recommended reading.
The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation, Frans Johansson
“The idea behind this book is simple: When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary new ideas. The name I have given this phenomenon, the Medici Effect, comes from a remarkable burst of creativity in fifteenth-century Italy.”
This is a great read for those looking to ignite innovation within their company. The Medici Effect explains why so many discoveries come from people working outside their field of expertise (e.g. Darwin was a geologist yet he is considered the father of modern evolution theory). While not necessarily directly applicable to the corporate setting, it provides creative thinking on how to harness the power of diversity to solve problems. This is not a teamwork book; instead it is focused more on goal setting for the individual. An easy read that I found personally satisfying.
Review by Vince Ellison, Chief Operating Officer at Bergan Paulsen
The Success Principles, Jack Canfield
I’m a task person—a human doing. Sometimes I get so caught up in being busy, that I don’t remember why I’m busy. When I need to stop, breathe and refill the tank, I love to read this book. I haven’t ever read it from front to back. I just open it at random and there is always something valuable waiting. Jack is one of the well-known Chicken Soup for the Soul collaborators, but this book isn’t a squishy, sappy cheerleader. It’s a loving and knowing coach – a mentor – and a checklist for professional and personal life. Canfield provides real life anecdotes, advice and strategies mixed with quotes from sports, political, cultural and business leaders. It’s long, but I haven’t found a part that isn’t valuable. If you find yourself going through the motions and losing your purpose, this is a great place to find it.
Review by Julie Hein, General Manager at KZIA
The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni
As a leader over the years, I’ve become increasingly passionate about building high performing teams, transforming cultures, and leaving a lasting legacy wherever I am. When I picked up this book I didn’t know that I’d be essentially getting a guidebook for any Sr. Level Leader on how to do exactly that.
I consistently grab this book off of my shelf, as it includes practical information, real life stories and even checklists to help me. I can take the learning and apply it in a practical, measurable way using the tools included within the book and by using the online toolkit.
As a busy person, the thing that attracted me to buy this book was the simple model for creating strong organizational health. It’s a 4 step process that will not leave my mind: 1 – Build a Cohesive Leadership Team. 2 – Create Clarity. 3 – Reinforce Clarity. 4 – Over Communicate Clarity. The inner workings of the model combine all of the hot topics in organizational development from the past decade: emotional intelligence, employee engagement and operational excellence. It really brought them all together for me. I’d recommend The Advantage for anyone with direct leader reports, up to C Level Executives.
Review by Josh Streets, Operations and Culture Leader at TrueNorth