9 Radical Books Guaranteed to Spark Your Inner Genius in 2017

Radical isn’t just “a power word” it can spark a revolution.

by Michael Glock Ph.D.

If you combine radical with creativity and design you get inner Genius and that will be your strategic advantage. Whether it’s product design, a marketing campaign or a service you offer, designing it well and imbuing it with creativity will set you apart from other businesses. It allows you as an entrepreneur or a business to design the future instead of focusing on what present-day competitors are making or talking about.

Developing a design attitude and maintaining creativity isn’t something that comes naturally to many small business owners. But, by being focused on design, nourishing creativity and rapidly putting your ideas into the marketplace to test them out is a key to growth. It is a strategic advantage, use foresight to forecast the future, what do does your target market want, want to read, do buy and enjoy.

One way to get started in thinking differently is reading differently. That’s why you can find a list of 7 books selected to help you do just that.

The Art of Opportunity

by Marc Sniukas (Author), Parker Lee (Author), Matt Morasky (Author)

Innovate your way toward growth using practical, research-backed frameworks

The Art of Opportunity offers a path toward new growth, providing the perspective and methods you need to make innovation happen.  Written by a team of experts with both academic and industry experience—and a client roster composed of some of the world’s leading companies—this book provides you with the necessary tools to help you capture growth instead of chasing it.

The visual frameworks and research-based methodology presented in The Art of Opportunity merge business design thinking and strategic innovation to help you change your growth paradigm.  You’ll learn creative and practical methods for exploring growth opportunities and employ a new approach for identifying what “opportunity” looks like in the first place.  Put aside the old school way of focusing on new products and new markets, to instead applying value creation to find your new opportunity, craft your offering, design your strategy and build new growth ventures.

Liminal Thinking

by Dave Gray (Author), Richard Saul Wurman (foreword) (Author)

Where does creativity start? What if  “you get out of your own head?” This is the key issue and it is that is the focus of Liminal Thinking with a forward by Richard Soul Wurman, he created the TED conferences. (Technology Entertainment and Design, and wrote the influential book Information Anxiety in 1989. I have been following Richards work for over 20 years. In anthropology it was Victor Turner taking up the earlier Arnold van Gennep‘s research in limanality as found in ritual spaces. Now the theories have broadened out into political and cultural change. It is during periods of liminality that hierarchies may be temporarily reversed or dissolved, continuity of tradition may be temporarily suspended and future outcomes that would have been taken for granted are thrown into doubt.

The term “liminal” is related to the Latin term meaning “threshold” and it is Dave Gray’s intention to get readers to cross the threshold of their assumptions.

Why do some people succeed at change while others fail? It’s the way they think! Liminal thinking is a way to create change by understanding, shaping, and reframing beliefs. What beliefs are stopping you right now? You have a choice. You can create the world you want to live in, or live in a world created by others. If you are ready to start making changes, read this book.

Reviews

In the best sense of the word, this is popularization of the obvious, of the space between things, of seeing things you’ve always seen but never seen and pulling them into your own personal library, for getting through the morass, the flotsam and jetsam of all the stuff that s around us. –Richard Saul Wurman, founder, TED conference, and author of Information Anxiety

Liminal Thinking is a book about how to be mentally healthy, how to be present, and how to be a positive force in the world. But more simply, and more importantly, it’s a book about how to be. –Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell Is Human

In a time of increasing complexity and change, Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking provides a much needed blueprint to help us clarify our own thinking, make connections with others, and communicate powerfully our ideas in a way that is both deeply human and profoundly impactful. –Lisa Kay Solomon, co-author, Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change

Simply Brilliant

by Bernhard Schroeder

The book brillantly points out that we live in accelerated social and business environments where we have no time to develop new products or strategies. Now businesses need to creatively innovate on the fly and bring ideas to market rapidly. How to do this using creative design is answered in Simply Brilliant written by Bernhard Schroeder, a branding expert, and professor at San Diego State University.

I highly recommend you adding this book to your “Thought Library”

What if you could brainstorm innovative solutions to your company’s challenges? What if you could dream up new businesses that capture markets? What if you could tap the creative genius driving Silicon Valley’s success stories?The truth is you can! Analytical thinkers, numbers people, non-artists–everyone can generate imaginative ideas. All it takes is letting go of the “I’m not creative” mindset and employing a proven process.Using his CreativityWorks framework, creativity and innovation expert Bernhard Schroeder explains how to break out of your mental box, reignite natural curiosity, and move step by step through a set of exercises that help individuals and teams:Fuel creativity through tight deadlines – Create more ideas in brainstorming sessions – Radically improve products – Find inspired solutions using IdeaGen, SCAMPER, Observation Lab, Tempero, the Phoenix List, and other tools.From surroundings that spur interaction to culture that promotes creativity, Simply Brilliant opens the door to imagination and limitless opportunity.

Review

“Aren’t there truly enough ‘how to be creative’ workbooks on the market?…Schroeder proves that there’s more than enough room for a how-to-brainstorm tome, especially when he defines the right circumstances to encourage innovation.” —Booklist

My DestinyOS (Launching January 2017)

Discovering your Inner Genius

by Michael Glock Ph.D.

If strategic creativity is vital for entrepreneurs and business growth and innovation, why aren’t businesses dropping everything to hire the most creative people they can find?  My DestinyOS is the only psychological orientation on creativity in this selection and it provides a set of tools and technologies that blend together Jungian theory, indigenous wisdom, the process of journaling and drawing with Descarte’s scientific method. Dr. Glock provides a depth psychological reading on creativity and the opportunity to craft your own destiny.

The book delves into how we can break free of the “life as usual” mindset and into the habit of creativity, of futures thinking and envisioning future conditions by writing scenarios. These scenarios become the blueprints for future life.  Without a “creative habit”, design, creativity and forward thinking takes a backseat to the short-term goals of beating the next quarter’s financial report or some other metric. This short-sighted focus keeps entrepreneurs and businesses out of the “innovation loop” until it’s too late. If you, or your business is focused exclusively on own internal goals or your focus is on doing competitive research by following the trends – you will miss the disruptive idea, or trend that snatches your life or your customers from under you. “My DestinyOS ” reinforces to readers why and how blending disciplines and designing your future is crucial to a life well lived and how sustainable wisdom may be achieved as a long-term strategy. The book using examples and detailed methods shows  how to use the “creativity habit” to reach a new level of personal and business performance and execution.

Who is this for? Young adults, college age adults, young professionals, entrepreneurs & the creative class. People of all ages in search of their inner genius and those in a liminal transition, those experiencing career,  life stage change & people with dreams about who they may become.

Reviews

“A brilliant book for today’s legion of soul-seekers! Jungian psychology can sometimes seem like a sleeping giant, made by the old for the old. This book, with its well-informed yet witty approach, wakes the giant up. If you see yourself as creative, then this is for you. Do not expect soppy and sentimental – for Glock doesn’t let you get away with much.” ~ Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University Of Essex; Author, Jung And The Post-Jungians, London ,United Kingdom

“ This is a wonderful book for all of us who are searching for greater direction, purpose and meaning in our inner and outer lives and the required congruence between the two. I highly recommend it.” ~ Rabbi Stan Levy, Counsel Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Los Angeles, California USA

The Designing for Growth Field Book

by Jeanne Liedtka, Tim Ogilvie and Rachel Brozenske

In Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers (D4G), Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie showed how design can boost innovation and drive growth. In this companion guide, also suitable as a stand-alone project workbook, the authors provide a step-by-step framework for applying the D4G toolkit and process to a particular project, systematically explaining how to address the four key questions of their design thinking approach.

The field book maps the flow of the design process within the context of a specific project and reminds readers of key D4G takeaways as they work. The text helps readers identify an opportunity, draft a design brief, conduct research, establish design criteria, brainstorm, develop concepts, create napkin pitches, make prototypes, solicit feedback from stakeholders, and run learning launches. The workbook demystifies tools that have traditionally been the domain of designers―from direct observation to journey mapping, storytelling, and storyboarding―that power the design thinking process and help businesses align around a project to realize its full potential.

Review

In a clear and simple style, this book shows how designing thinking has been applied successfully to address complex and very different problems in a variety of organizations, both for- and not-for-profit. The ten cases in the book provide creative and innovative applications of the design principles, providing sufficient detail to be of use to readers in their own planning processes. The book provides sufficient depth to be of value to the graduate professional classroom while being simple and clear for immediate use by managers. ~Toni Ungaretti, Johns Hopkins University

Everyone’s An Artist (or At Least They Should Be)

by Ron Tite, Scott Kavanagh and Christopher Novais

Can a Canali-clad million-dollar banker learn anything from a paint-stained artist? Definitely. Especially now.

Clearly, succeeding in business is an art form. We ve informally labelled activities and pursuits as the art of management, the art of marketing or even the art of doing more with less, but we ve rarely made the direct connection between the two worlds.

With a rapidly changing digital economy, new and emerging technologies, increased clutter and a drastically altered media landscape, successful companies are those that are original, creative and innovative. Defining business as art is now a credible school of thought, and the lessons are far more practical than philosophical. Everyone s an Artist shows how and why the most successful executives and entrepreneurs think like artists.”

The reason I recommend Everyone is an Artist  is because of the authors, a Second City trained comedian, and two authors from a leading media, training and events company.

RON TITE was trained at Second City and has been a comedian, speaker, host and award-winning advertising writer and executive creative director. He has also written for a number of television series. Named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing magazine, Ron is the president of The Tite Group, a content marketing agency based in Toronto. Ron speaks at over forty events every year and hosts The Art Of conferences across Canada.

SCOTT KAVANAGH and CHRISTOPHER NOVAIS are co-founders of The Art Of, a leading media, training and events company focused on providing business professionals with the tools, techniques and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s changing marketplace. Its national conferences, magazine and online content are expertly curated to bring together insights from the world’s most prominent business leaders, internationally renowned speakers and bestselling authors, including Jack Welch, Malcolm Gladwell, General Colin Powell, Seth Godin and Arianna Huffington.

Design a Better Business

by Patrick Van Der PijlJustin Lokitz and Lisa Kay Solomon

Design a Better Business stitches together a complete design journey from beginning to end in a way that you’ve likely never seen before, guiding readers (you) step-by-step in a practical way from the initial spark of an idea all the way to scaling it into a better business. Design a Better Business includes a comprehensive set of tools (over 20 total!) and skills that will help you harness opportunity from uncertainty by building the right team(s) and balancing your point of view against new findings from the outside world.

This book also features over 50 case studies and real life examples from large corporations such as ING Bank, Audi, Autodesk, and Toyota Financial Services, to small startups, incubators, and social impact organizations, providing a behind the scenes look at the best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Also included are personal insights from thought leaders such as Steve Blank on innovation, Alex Osterwalder on business models, Nancy Duarte on storytelling, and Rob Fitzpatrick on questioning, among others.

Reviews

“The beauty of taking a design approach is that everything starts with the human factor. You base your entire discovery process on a real need about real people. If you try to build a business that’s not grounded on that, you’re building the business on sand.”
~Corey Ford, Founder and Managing Director, Matter Ventures

“Designers learn that you don’t have to wait for someone else to make changes. In the context of sustainability and resource scarcity, we need 6 billion more people that think like this to make positive change. Let’s introduce the design process to education, in kindergarten and on up. Somewhere between kindergarten and twelfth grade, we tell them that they can’t do this anymore.”
~Nathan Shedroff, Founding Director, Design MBA Program

Draw to Win

by Dan Roam

I had to include this book, inevitable a list about design and creative thinking must include a book about visual communication.

Draw to Win will fit that purpose nicely. Dan Roam’s book is about more than just making cute or quirky drawings to present your data in an engaging way.

Get ready for the ultimate crash course in communicating and solving problems through simple pictures.

Thirty-two thousand years ago, your many-times-great-grandparents Oog and Aag drew pictures on the wall of a cave. They had an innate need to communicate, but no written language. So they found an easy and natural way to share their thoughts and stories.

Today, after so many years when speaking and writing dominated, we’re back in another highly visual age. About 90 percent of everything shared online is now visual—selfies, GIFs, smartphone videos, and more. This explosion of communication through pictures isn’t a millenial-driven fad; it’s as natural as those lines first drawn by Oog and Aag. Just turbo-charged by the latest technology.

And yet over the past twenty years, as I’ve taught people from Fortune 500 CE0s to White House staffers how to harness the power of imagery, the biggest objection I’ve always heard is, “But I can’t draw!” Trust me, you can. You don’t need to be da Vinci to be an outstanding visual thinker and communicator. The most effective drawings are the simplest, and you can get good at those in three minutes. In this little book, I’ll teach you how to use seven basic shapes to explain just about anything to just about anyone.

If you’ve read my previous books, you’ll see one or two familiar tools here, along with a bunch of new tools you can start using right away.

If you’re new to my approach—welcome! Get ready to work smarter, communicate more clearly, and get better at whatever you do, just by picking up a pen.

Your Creative Mind

by Scott Cochrane

Too many companies limit their strategic thinking by focusing on what they already know how to do. Executives are expected to set concrete objectives and create detailed, step-by-step plans to reach them. This approach may satisfy short-term considerations like quarterly earnings reports, but it produces modest innovation and evolutionary development at best. As a result, the business can find itself in a performance plateau that it cannot seem to break out of.

In Your Creative Mind, you will discover an entirely different approach to the creative process. You will learn:

  • How to catapult your company out of a performance plateau and into dynamic growth, expansion, and market leadership.
  • How to move beyond classic groupthink and unleash your true creative power.
  • How to become a trend leader and paradigm shifter by harnessing the secrets of the power of creation.
  • How to innovate your way into the most beneficial business relationships you can imagine.Using the practical techniques and steps described in Your Creative Mind will infuse your company with creative power and drive innovation. Break free of business as usual and create the dynamic growth you deserve!

These are the 9 important books I recommend adding to your thought library to feed your inner genius.  If you want tomorrow to show up differently, then buy one, or three or more of these books and make a commitment to reading them simultaneously. Why just read one book after another? One of the secrets of change common to all of the books suggested – is to do things differently, this is how you become…

Radical! You become “a power word” you spark a revolution.

Cheers

 

 

 

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