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Everyone should read. But changemakers and entrepreneurs should read just a bit more. Imagine reading like an investment you do in your business or organizations - from new ideas, business models to that feeling of ”Hey, I'm not the only lunatic". We asked some changemakers and entrepreneurs what are the books everyone should read to be better prepared for 2020 and beyond. New books, old books, great books. Here is a 40 non-exhaustive book list for 2020 (in alphabetical order). To add titles to the list, drop us a line at hello@innovationsolutions.eu

 

“Predictably Irrational” - Dan Ariely

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In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

”Loonshots” - Safi Bahcall

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What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water? In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs. Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice.

”Transitions” - William Bridges

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Whether you choose it or it is thrust upon you, change brings both opportunities and turmoil. Since Transitions was first published, this supportive guide has helped hundreds of thousands of readers cope with these issues by providing an elegantly simple yet profoundly insightful roadmap of the transition process. With the understanding born of both personal and professional experience, William Bridges takes readers step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, eventually, The New Beginning. Bridges explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future.

“Positive Intelligence” - Shirzad Chamine

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Shirzad Chamine reveals how to achieve one's true potential for both professional success and personal fulfillment.  His groundbreaking research exposes ten well-disguised mental Saboteurs.  Nearly 95 percent of the executives in his Stanford lectures conclude that these Saboteurs cause "significant harm" to achieving their full potential.  With Positive Intelligence, you can learn the secret to defeating these internal foes.

”The innovator’s dilemma” - Clay Christensen

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A Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller. Named by Fast Company as one of the most influential leadership books in its Leadership Hall of Fame. An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen’s work continues to underpin today’s most innovative leaders and organizations.

”7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen Covey

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The book presents a principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity - principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. Habit 1: Be Proactive. Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Habit 3: Put First Things First. Habit 4: Think Win/Win. Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. Habit 6: Synergize. Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw.

”Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization?” Aaron Dignan

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When fast-scaling startups and global organizations get stuck, they call Aaron Dignan. In this book, he reveals his proven approach for eliminating red tape, dissolving bureaucracy, and doing the best work of your life. He’s found that nearly everyone, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, points to the same frustrations: lack of trust, bottlenecks in decision making, siloed functions and teams, meeting and email overload, tiresome budgeting, short-term thinking, and more.

”Becoming supernatural” - Joe Dispenza  

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The author of the New York Times bestseller You Are the Placebo, as well as Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and Evolve Your Brain, draws on research conducted at his advanced workshops since 2012 to explore how common people are doing the uncommon to transform themselves and their lives. Becoming Supernatural marries the some of the most profound scientific information with ancient wisdom to show how people like you and me can experience a more mystical life.

”Measure what matters” - John Doerr

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Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth—and how it can help any organization thrive.

”Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” - Angela Duckworth

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In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

 

”The Power of Habit” - Charles Duhigg

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In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential.

”Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” - Carol Dweck

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After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.

“Rework” - Jason Fried and David Hansson

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Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you're looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

 

”Indie Brands” - Anneloes van Gaalen

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Indie Brands is both a visual feast and an inspiration to branding professionals and young entrepreneurs. Each indie brand reveals its unique story of smart design and marketing. The book’s scrapbook-style format and indie look and feel fit the subject matter.

 

”Outliers: The Story of Success” - Malcolm Gladwell

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In this stunning book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

”Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” - Seth Godin

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The old checklist of P's used by marketers - Pricing, Promotion, Publicity - aren't working anymore. The golden age of advertising is over. It's time to add a new P - the Purple Cow."Purple Cow" describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat-out unbelievable. In his new bestseller, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for anyone who wants to help create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.

”The Goal” - Eliyahu M. Goldratt

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Written in a fast-paced thriller style, The Goal, a gripping novel, is transforming management thinking throughout the world. It is a book to recommend to your friends in industry - even to your bosses - but not to your competitors.

 

”The Righteous Mind” - Jonathan Haidt

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In this “landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself” (The New York Times Book Review) social psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to conservatives and liberals alike. Drawing on his twenty five years of ground-breaking research on moral psychology, Haidt shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings.

“Switch” - Chip & Dan Heath

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Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that’s built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems—the rational mind and the emotional mind—that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort—but if it is overcome, change can come quickly.

”The hard thing about the hard things” – Ben Horowitz

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Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog. While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies.

”Exponential organizations” - Salim Ismail

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“Exponential Organizations” is the most pivotal book in its class. Salim examines the future of organizations and offers readers his insights on the concept of Exponential Organizations, because he himself embodies the strategy, structure, culture, processes, and systems of this new breed of company.”—John Hagel, The Center for the Edge

”Thinking fast and slow” - Daniel Kahneman

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In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

“An Everyone Culture” - Robert Kegan

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An Everyone Culture dives deep into the worlds of three leading companies that embody this breakthrough approach. It reveals the design principles, concrete practices, and underlying science at the heart of DDOs—from their disciplined approach to giving feedback, to how they use meetings, to the distinctive way that managers and leaders define their roles. The authors then show readers how to build this developmental culture in their own organizations. This book demonstrates a whole new way of being at work. It suggests that the culture you create is your strategy—and that the key to success is developing everyone.

”Getting to plan B” - Randy Komisar

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You have a new venture in mind. And you've crafted a business plan so detailed it's a work of art. Don't get too attached to it. As John Mullins and Randy Komisar explain in Getting to Plan B, new businesses are fraught with uncertainty. To succeed, you must change the plan in real time as the inevitable challenges arise. In fact, studies show that entrepreneurs who stick slavishly to their Plan A stand a greater chance of failing-and that many successful businesses barely resemble their founders' original idea.

”Reinventing Organizations” - Frederic Laloux

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In this groundbreaking book, the author shows that every time humanity has shifted to a new stage of consciousness in the past, it has invented a whole new way to structure and run organizations, each time bringing extraordinary breakthroughs in collaboration. A new shift in consciousness is currently underway. Could it help us invent a radically more soulful and purposeful way to run our businesses and nonprofits, schools and hospitals?

”The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” - Patrick Lencioni

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In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.

”Powerful” - Patty McCord

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When it comes to recruiting, motivating, and creating great teams, Patty McCord says most companies have it all wrong. McCord helped create the unique and high-performing culture at Netflix, where she was chief talent officer. In her new book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility, she shares what she learned there and elsewhere in Silicon Valley. McCord advocates practicing radical honesty in the workplace, saying good-bye to employees who don’t fit the company’s emerging needs, and motivating with challenging work, not promises, perks, and bonus plans.

“Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd” - Youngme Moon

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Youngme Moon identifies the outliers, the mavericks, the iconoclasts—the players who have thoughtfully rejected orthodoxy in favor of an approach that is more adventurous. Some are even “hostile,” almost daring you to buy what they are selling. Using her original research on companies such as IKEA and Google, Moon will inspire you to be counterintuitive and meaningfully different—to rethink your business strategy, to stop conforming and start deviating, to stop emulating and start innovating. Because to stand out you must become the exception, not the rule.

“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”- Dan Pink

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Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life.

“Your Brain at Work” - David Rock

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The book explores issues such as: why our brains feel so taxed, and how to maximize our mental resources, why it's so hard to focus, and how to better manage distractions, how to maximize your chance of finding insights that can solve seemingly insurmountable problems, how to keep your cool in any situation, so that you can make the best decisions possible or how to collaborate more effectively with others.

”The halo effect and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers” - Phil Rosenzweig

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The award-winning book The Halo Effect continues to unmask the delusions found in the corporate world and provides a sharp understanding of what drives business success and failure. The Halo Effect not only identifies these delusions that keep us from understanding business performance, but also suggests a more accurate way to think about leading a company. This approach—focusing on strategic choice and execution, while recognizing the inherent riskiness of both—clarifies the priorities that managers face.

”Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World” - Hans Rosling

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When asked simple questions about global trends―what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school―we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness, Hans Rosling, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective―from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

”Good strategy, bad strategy” - Richard Rumelt

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Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a government official. Richard Rumelt shows that there has been a growing and unfortunate tendency to equate Mom-and-apple-pie values, fluffy packages of buzzwords, motivational slogans, and financial goals with “strategy.” He debunks these elements of “bad strategy” and awakens an understanding of the power of a “good strategy.”

”The Essentials of Theory U” - Otto Scharmer

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This book offers a concise, accessible guide to the key concepts and applications in Otto Scharmer's classic Theory U. Scharmer argues that our capacity to pay attention coshapes the world. What prevents us from attending to situations more effectively is that we aren't fully aware of that interior condition from which our attention and actions originate. Scharmer calls this lack of awareness our blind spot. He illuminates the blind spot in leadership today and offers hands-on methods to help change makers overcome it through the process, principles, and practices of Theory U.

“Anything you Want. 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur” - Derek Sivers

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Sivers started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million. Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with what you have, care about your customers more than yourself, and run your business like you don’t need the money.

”Antifragile. Things That Gain from Disorder” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world. Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

”Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” - Richard H. Thaler

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Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions.

”From zero to one. Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” - Peter Thiel

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The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.

”World After capital” - Albert Wenger
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Technological progress has shifted scarcity for humanity. When we were foragers, food was scarce. During the agrarian age, it was land. Following the industrial revolution, capital became scarce. With digital technologies scarcity is shifting once more. We need to figure out how to live in a World After Capital in which the only scarcity is our attention.

”Building Social Business” - Muhammad Yunus

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Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a new dimension for capitalism which he calls "social business." The social business model has been adopted by corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists across the globe. Its goal is to create self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth as they produce goods and services to fulfill human needs. In Building Social Business, Yunus shows how social business can be put into practice and explains why it holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.