One thing noticeable amongst corporate innovation leaders is that they are constantly reading and discussing new concepts, models, and ideas.
Duncan Logan, Founder & CEO of RocketSpace, is a classic example of a voracious reader. He can be overheard passionately discussing innovation practically anywhere and anytime, whether in meetings, strategy sessions, on runs, or while grabbing coffee. His purpose of bringing innovation to the world is self-evident, and he works toward this first by spreading awareness of these books and learnings within his own company and network. Here are his top reads that have had the largest impact on his innovative thinking .
[Quotes below are by Duncan Logan, Founder & CEO, RocketSpace]
Top 4 Books on Innovative Thinking
1. Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World (2018)
By John Chambers
320 pages; Audiobook 8h:28m
Duncan’s Rating: 10 / 10
In 1991, John Chambers joined a little known startup named Cisco Systems, and in 1995 he became CEO. Ten years later, he had grown revenues from $70 million to $47 billion. A master of corporate innovation, Chambers spells out exactly how he did it. This is a deep dive into how to grow a business.
“The book is organized into four major sections; it is exceptional."
- The Connected Leaders - Describes the mindset for leadership success
- The Connected Company - Describes the playbook for corporate success
- Connecting with Customers - Describes the playbook for shared success
- Connecting Beyond Borders - Describes the playbook for a startup world
2. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (2012)
By Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler
400 pages; Audiobook 10h:22m
Duncan’s Rating: 9 / 10
One hurdle faced by RocketSpace innovation consultants is that clients initially bring their old paradigms of thinking to their innovation initiatives. One essential component of becoming more innovative in your thinking is to expose yourself to the bleeding edge of what is or will become possible, and acclimate to that as your new frame of mind from which you then make decisions.
“The book itself goes through the various problems facing our world today be it overpopulation, water shortages, etc., and provides examples of how technology could save humanity and improve the quality of life for human beings everywhere.”
“The number of ideas, projects, and advancements listed inside the book are too many to name, but it was amazing to see how far humanity could potentially advance thanks to new technology.”
3. Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Updated 2017)
By Thomas Friedman
560 pages; Audiobook 19h:47m
Duncan’s Rating: 8 / 10
“Another Thomas Friedman great on where the world is heading. Friedman identifies the exponential development of technology, the forces of globalization and concomitant interdependence, and severe climate change, all of which have altered forever the complacent stability to which we have become accustomed.”
Thomas Friedman spells out in detail the forces that brought us to where we are today, and what this means for the future of technology, communication, work, education, and the future of business.
4. Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper than Yours (and what to do about it) (2014)
By Salim Ismael, Michael S Malone, and Yuri Van Geest
326 pages; Audiobook 11h:11m
Duncan’s Rating: 8 / 10
“What is the biggest threat to your organization, right now? Many would answer “our competition.” In the race for sales, customer loyalty, and market share, it’s easy to look over your shoulder at the other lanes and feel like your biggest threats are external.”
“This leads many organizations to ignore a deadly internal threat: resisting disruptive innovation. This hinders them from adopting the attributes needed to achieve exponential growth. The book calls this the corporate “immune system.” Ismail's book shows you how to disable the corporate immune system so that disruptive innovation can take root and grow your company exponentially.”
Big companies are wired for efficiency at scale and standardization of their processes, as this is essential to deliver consistent results in a cost-conscious environment. This predisposition also works aggressively to counter innovation, as the last thing a business unit wants is for their carefully controlled and streamlined processes to be disrupted in order to go through the pain of iteratively creating new and unfamiliar systems and processes. But being willing to take this leap, and knowing how to execute it, is essential to the sustainable, rapid growth of an organization.
From Innovation Thinking to Innovation Doing
Learning to think and execute innovatively emerges from a combination of exposure to revolutionary paradigm shifts as well as adhering to the specific unconventional tactics learned by those who recently blazed the trail to the hyper-growth model of business management.
Are you a leading corporate innovator looking to transform your business?
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