My 14 must read innovation books (updated in 2016)

2016 — what a year it was for innovation. I will remember 2016 as a year when corporate innovation became less of a “buzzword” and began to transition to “innovation in action”. More and more throughout the year I spoke to senior leaders and teams that were embedding innovation within their organisations. Words like experimentation, prototyping, “test and learn” and human centred design were practiced and not just preached.

Innovation isn’t a buzzword if you are actually doing it — MIT Sloan

I will also remember 2016 as a highlight as an innovation professional stepping into a role at MetLife Insurance Australia as Head of Innovation. Now, I am kicking off 2017 in an executive role in the world of Fintech, as Chief Commercial Officer with Flamingo Ventures Pty Ltd, an ASX listed enterprise SaaS company delivering a cognitive virtual assistance for financial services companies.

2016 was also a year of continued reading for me. And with that in mind, I continue to follow the advice of an old colleague to ‘read broad and read weird.’ I added some new books to my must read innovation books in 2016 and hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late — Reid Hoffman, Founder LinkedIn

Practical innovation tools and methods for embedding innovation

  • Lean enterprise: How high performance organizations innovate at scale — Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky & Barry O’reily
  • The Innovators Method: Bringing the lean startup into your organisation — Nathan Furr & Jeff Dyer
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses — Eric Ries
  • Pretotype it: Make sure you are building the right it, before building it right — Alberto Savoia
  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days — Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz

Ideas, leadership and startups

  • Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the way of True Inspirstion — Ed Catmull
  • Zero to one: Notes on startups, or how to build the future — Peter Thiel
  • Made to stick: Why some good ideas take hold and others come unstuck — Chip and Dan Heath
  • Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action — Simon Sinek
  • Orbiting the giant hairball: A corporate fool’s guide to surviving with grace — Gordon Mackenzie

Innovation and management first principles

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