Ready to innovate?
Sadly there’s not a simple button to press if your answer is "yes."
However, there might be a few hacks to shorten the distance from where you are to where you want your company to be. And the ideal place to begin your innovation journey is from inside your company—leveraging the skills and resources you and your team have to offer to ultimately disrupt the way you think, do business, evolve and thrive.
To amp up your quest for innovation, have a look at the business books below. Each one has a unique approach to solving your innovation-related conundrums by assessing how you do business inside your company. And while no single book is a silver bullet, these books just might contain the ideas you need to spark the next great thing your company puts into the world.
Attention Pays by Neen James
World-class businesses understand if they want to innovate from the inside out they need to build an organization that pays attention to their colleagues, their company, their community and the environment. If you want attention to pay, you must first give attention to get attention.
Neen James believes that when businesses give intentional attention to their employees and customers, it’s an unparalleled transformational practice. If you’re a leader wondering how you can use attention as an innovative tool, Attention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity and Accountability is a guidebook to help unplug from the daily stressors and distractors that prevent innovation and drive us crazy.
Once those barriers are removed, you can plug into the tools, strategies and mindset paths that have the power to harness attention and reach your highest potential.
From the book: “Intentional attention is a marketing strategy. Intentional attention is a profit strategy. To drive bottom-line results for your organization, take notice, make changes, listen more intently and develop systems that will make your attention pay, every time.”
Iconic by Scott McKain
If you’re exhausted with tales of innovation from the same companies that have upended traditional industries like computing and online retail, Scott McKain’s book might be the breath of fresh air you need.
In Iconic: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain and Regain the Highest Level of Distinction, McKain wanted to discover how smaller businesses innovated to sustain and retain the highest level of distinction. Inside, you’ll discover what he found and learn about innovation through the eyes of several everyday businesses that might hit closer to home: a Midwestern restaurant with higher revenues than a New York staple, a multi-millionaire chimney sweep and one of the highest-rated resorts in the world.
McKain’s distilled their success into five factors of iconic innovation. The book explains them and charts a path for other businesses and entrepreneurs to do the same.
From the book: “Every moment you are playing defense against the competition wastes a moment you could be innovating to make them irrelevant.”
Invisible Solutions by Stephen Shapiro
Hitting your head trying to brainstorm solutions? Stephen Shapiro wants you to stop immediately. In fact, he wants you to stop focusing on solutions. Instead, he wants you to ask better (and more important) questions.
Invisible Solutions: 25 Lenses that Reframe and Help Solve Difficult Business provides 25 different ways to take any opportunity and reframe it to find better—and often hidden—solutions. It's a tool Shapiro has been using with his clients for a decade. By tapping into the advice within this book, you might be able to solve intractable problems in a matter of minutes like Shapiro’s clients. You might also be able to unload your addiction to solutions and become a fan of asking bigger and better questions on your road to becoming an innovative company.
From the book: “The process for driving better results doesn’t start with great ideas…it starts with better questions.”
Non-Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
Rohit Bhargava believes the smartest people in the world read things they have no interest in. That’s why he’s been writing and teaching the art of what he calls "non-obvious" thinking for the past 10 years. It's a term he uses to describe how some people are able to constantly innovate, see what others miss and sometimes even predict trends that shape the future.
In Non-Obvious Megatrends, Bhargava encourages businesses to seek inspiration from unusual sources. Inside this Wall Street Journal bestseller, you’ll explore Bhargava’s unique pathway to help businesses transcend the norm and consistently stay one step ahead of the competition.
From the book: "What if you could collect ideas the way most people collect frequent flier miles?"
The Disruption Mindset by Charlene Li
For businesses looking to innovate through market disruption, The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organizations Transform While Others Fail is a solid guidebook. Inside, Charlene Li explores how disruptive organizations achieve disruption, that is, when they drive exponential growth and upset the power structure of the status quo.
But how do you drive that kind of disruption? Li says leaders have to get out of their own way. Li charts out a three-step process to help guide companies toward a disruptive, innovative mindset. The book also lays out how to approach these three elements with a clear eye so organizations can move forward on their disruption journey, rather than fall back to the status quo when the inevitable obstacles appear in your path.
From the book: "Many other established companies make disruption their goal and hope that growth will follow. They believe their innovation will disrupt their market and drive growth. But that’s not how it works: disruption doesn’t create growth; growth creates disruption."
The Remix by Lindsey Pollak
Within any organization, team, meeting or marketing opportunity, you’ll likely find any combination of generations. Each of those generations comes complete with its own attitudes, expectations and professional styles, which can create a whole host of challenges for a business with an eye on innovation.
The process for driving better results doesn’t start with great ideas…it starts with better questions.
—Stephen Shapiro, author
If you’re a business facing the challenge of how to innovate in the most diverse age of the American workforce, The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace by Lindsey Pollak stands poised to shake up your status quo and help you make the shift to an innovative company that leverages its generationally-diverse workforce to the max.
From the book: “We develop our attitudes about leadership, and how we want to be led, in many other realms before we set foot into a professional environment. When you as a leader understand how your expectations and experiences align with or differ from the people you lead, you can better anticipate what challenges might occur and how you can overcome them.”
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