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Where do you go for inspiration? Fact is if you think laterally enough you can go anywhere and get inspired.

I’ve listed some inspiring reading, with an innovation bias, in no particular order, designed to give you something to think about and inspire. Enjoy.


Seth Godin

A manifesto about doing work that matters. It’s about adding extraordinarily unique value, or as Seth calls it, “creating art.” This book will push you to make decisions on how you want to go about your work, and more importantly your life. It challenges you to be brave, fight the fear of resistance and go and make a difference.

Where Good Ideas Come From

Steven Johnson

The natural history of innovation; Why are cities historically the hubs of innovation? This book explores the importance of the cultivation of hunches, connectivity and the use new technology to develop inspirational ideas

Switch – How to change things when change is hard

Chip and Dan Heath

‘Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?’ Because our minds are ruled by two different systems, the rational mind and the emotional mind, if you can make them work together great change can be accomplished.

Good to Great

Jim Collins

A study of why some companies make the leap from Good to great and others don’t. Get the right people on the bus, develop your Hedgehog Concept and keep the flywheel turning in the right direction. If this makes no sense I suggest you get yourself a copy today!

Business beyond the box

John O’Keeffe

Practical strategies to drive step change in business. Tired of incrementalism and want to make a difference – this is a read of you. It will give you an alternative mindset with which to work and live. In my opinion a must read.

How to be a brilliant thinkerHow to be a brilliant thinker

Paul Sloane

Great book that covers a range of thinking techniques, including mathematical thinking and probability as well as tried and tested lateral thinking techniques. There is also good content on evaluation and analysis. Well written and easy to read either as a refresher for already brilliant thinkers or an introduction for aspiring brilliant thinkers.

The Failure Files edited by David Hillson

This book raises intelligent arguments on the broad topic of failure and is a must read for anyone interested in innovation, entrepreneurship or their own ability to learn from failure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Innovation Matters


A comprehensive and well written road map for innovation in the third sector: a practical guide to the why, the what and the how of innovation. It offers a challenge to assess how innovative an organisation is and finishes with guidance of where to go next.

Sticky Wisdom – How to start a creative revolution at work

?WHATIF! The Innovation Company

A simple practical guide to creativity with real stories to show how creativity has driven business. If you have any interest in how creativity can help your workplace you will read this.

Create – A toolkit for creative problem solving for the not-for-profit sector

Mark Butcher

Practical tips to identify problems, generating ideas, choosing the best ideas and creating a creativity culture.

Blink: The power of thinking without thinking

Malcolm Gladwell

How you can hone your instinctive abilities to become better decision makers in the home, office and everyday life

The Myths of Innovation

Scott Berkun

An honest and practical look at how innovation happens with lots of real examples. A good background read.

Breakthrough thinking for non-profit organisations

Bernard Ross, Clare Segal

Packed with examples from the profit and not for profit worlds, a mixture of case studies and practical advice to help you think about working in new and creative ways.

The leader’s guide to lateral thinking skills: unlocking the creativity and innovation in you and your team

Paul Sloane

Practical tips on how to think creatively and encourage creative thinking in teams.

The Mind Gym

Time Warner Books

Your brain is a muscle and to get the best out of it you need to work at it. A book of practical tips and techniques based on applied psychology.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Susan Jeffers

Perhaps the best self help book of all time. Dynamic and inspirational, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway is filled with concrete techniques for turning passivity into action. Surely thats exactly what innovation is about.

The Fred Factor

Mark Sanborn

How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Key is how we all can make a difference, that everything is built on relationships and how to create value for others.

The World Cafe

Juanita Brown

Shaping our futures through conversations that matter; World Cafe is a flexible, easy to use process for fostering collaborative dialogue, sharing mutual knowledge and discovering new opportunities for action. Check out the World Cafe website too.

Stephen C Lundin, Harry Paul, John Christensen

FISH is a philosophy on boosting morale and improving operational results. Four pillars of the FISH philosophy are, playfulness, make the customers day, be present and choose your attitude.

The Go-Giver

Bob Burg and John David Mann

Changing your focus from getting to giving, putting others interests first and continually adding value to their lives ultimately leads to unexpected results. The Go-Giver is the story of Joe, a go-getter who learns the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and opens up to the power of giving.

Making Ideas Happen

Scott Belsky

Having ideas is easy. Making them happen is hard. This book provides practical advice to help you take action and inspire others to take action to make ideas happen.


2 responses to “read more

  1. Lucy, I just saw your list on my twitter feed. Its amazing that I’ve only heard 2 of the ones you’re recommending considering it seems like we’re both interested in similar things.

    Looks like I’ll have to renew my library card – or maybe just buy a copy on my iPad

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