Summer 2021 - Reading tips for innovative (and new ways of) thinking

June 24, 2021
Innovation

Summer is in full swing and for many, summer vacation is just around the corner. Regardless of whether you are planning to spend your holidays at the beach, in a cabin by a lake, or in the mountains, summer vacation is the time to relax and recharge. What better way to decompress, than grab a book and dive into the inspiring world of innovation?

To help you pick some books for your summer holidays or weekends, I put together a list of great reads around innovative thinking. These helped me challenge my mind and open up to new ways of working and thinking. Here are a few must-reads:


Think Again by Adam Grant

This book encouraged me to unlearn and rethink my previous beliefs, through interesting stories that we can all relate to. I realized that being stuck in my opinions often keeps me from seeing other alternatives, and blocks my curiosity for new ways of doing things. Curiosity serves as a spark for innovation and learning to question our opinions. Think Again teaches us to think differently and helps to uncover new approaches. I found this a great read and an invitation to let go of views that I was stuck on — opening my mind up for innovative thinking. Though the book is packed with information and stories, Grant makes it an easy read that can be read between summer sun activities.


Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux

Laloux brings a new perspective on business through Teal organization. He introduces examples of organizations that have transformed into more purposeful and productive ways of working. I enjoyed learning about how this working style enables employees to do more meaningful work and develop their potential.

I know that the change towards Teal organization does not happen overnight, but this book inspired me to think about how we can foster innovation through self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose. While Laloux dives deep into Teal organizations, the story is presented in a practical and insightful way that makes this a great read while relaxing on a hammock.


Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann

This book took me on a tour of the mind. It introduces two systems that shape our decisions and judgments: System 1 – an automatic and impulsive way of thinking – and System 2 – a more conscious, slower and more deliberate way of thinking. A successful innovation process requires both. Fast and intuitive thinking to come up with and execute ideas, but also slower, more logical thinking to carefully consider what actions to take. In this book, Kahnemann explains when you can and can’t trust your gut feeling and how you can make considerate decisions in your personal and business life. The way he talks about psychology and his experiences is entertaining and makes it a good activity for a read by the pool.


Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All by Tom and David Kelley

This book helped me rediscover my imagination, and the confidence to act on new ideas. Too often innovation is thought to be the job of the “creative types”. But we all have creativity, and like any muscle in the body, it needs to be exercised regularly. Being innovative does not only mean being creative but also moving from fear to courage to act on one’s ideas. Reading this book inspired me to apply my rediscovered creativity at work and implement those new ideas, putting aside the fear of the unknown that I might have previously had.

The authors provide practical examples from their work at Stanford d.School and IDEO that enable you to find your creative potential and apply it in your everyday life and work. A great read that encourages you to use your imagination and gain the courage to pursue new ideas, while sipping on a summery drink. 

Some extra tips for books on innovation: 
  • Sprint by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz
  • Running Lean by Ash Maurya
  • Playing to Win by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin


Enjoy your read!

Daniel Kunz
Product Manager

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