Today is my chance to stop and think through the books that have engaged my brain in the last 12 months.  There are others, but these are the five best.  Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  No matter what field you normally read in, any of these will help you begin to think in some new ways.  Just be sure and keep a highlighter or pen handy.  You’ll need one!  And be sure and let me know what you think!

MavericksMavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win will have an immediate impact on your thinking in a number of key areas.  If you don’t end up high-lighting, underlining and marking it up…well I don’t know how that could even happen.  It has massive implications.

Ten_faces The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization.  This is another book that you’ll find yourself coming back to later.  Great ideas on building an innovative organization.

Hard_facts Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense Pfeffer and Sutton’s book is a great thinking book.  If you are in a business where there are a lot of assumptions and presuppositions…and all of us are…this is a book that has great application.  Learning how to unpack the real issues behind why you’re doing things the way you are is a key step in developing a strategic organization.

Turning_the_future_1Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Business and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures.  Don’t be scared off by the title.  The second half of this book is a fantastic resource for strategic planning.  The diagram in chapter five has become a standard operating procedure for every planning discussion I have.

Blue_ocean If you’re wondering how to develop a winning strategy for your organization that isn’t just cookie cutter or copycat…Blue Ocean Strategy is the ticket.  This is a book that has had a huge impact in the last 18 months.

5 Books That Will Engage Your Brain