You’ve heard plenty of experts telling you that you need to be reading broadly. You certainly don’t need anyone else telling you the same thing, but you might need a little guidance.
I should probably tell you that I’ve been blogging at StrategyCentral since 2005. I find so much that ought to be helping the leaders of the Church and non-profits in the writings of Jim Collins, Peter Drucker, Patrick Lencioni, and many others about the intersection of strategy, vision and mission, change and innovation, marketing and design.
Every year I read 20 to 25 books in this cross section of disciplines. These are the top 5 that I read this year.
Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From kept my attention to the very end. A great collection of innovation stories spun by a great story teller, Johnson connects the innovation process (i.e., where good ideas come from) to natural history and Charles Darwin’s research.
Adding breadth to the topics in your reading stack will go a long way towards expanding the way you think. You can read my review right here.
If your organization is about customer service (and if it’s not is should be), this is a book that ought to be on your stack. Delivering Happiness is the story of Zappos.com as told by Tony Hsieh, its enthusiastic CEO. You’ll come away inspired and challenged to up the ante on the way your organization approaches customer service. In addition, I think you’ll find yourself thinking about ways to develop your other customers…your employees.
I loved The Orange Code. If you didn’t pick this book up when it published in 2009, you’ve got to make time to read this one. You’ll definitely come away with a genuine appreciation for the ING Direct organization and its founder and CEO, Arkadi Kuhlmann.
For me, the supreme test of a book’s value is often the way it looks after I’m finished reading it. If it’s marked up, starred, underlined and dogeared…I know I really got my money’s worth. You should see my copy of The Orange Code!
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Harvard Business School’s award winning Professor Youngme Moon is well worth a read. If you find yourself drawn to the idea of adopting the model of another organization, you’ll find Different helpfully challenging.
You can read my full review right here. I loved this book!
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky will probably turn out to be the book of the year for many organizations. If you find it hard to execute on the great ideas you come up with or if you find yourself frustrated by a lack of a process that leads to implementation…this is a book you need to pick up.
You can read my review right here.