Need some motivational and inspirational reading for 2019? Look no further. The team at G2 Innovation share their top picks.

JENNA’S PICk

Dare to Lead
By Brene Brown

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

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What’s the gist? 

Great leadership takes courage. It means leaning into dis-comfort, digging deeply into human challenges, challenging your own actions and behaviours and learning, learning, learning. The book could easily have been called 'Dare to Innovate’ as many of the ideas and concepts work in relation to creating change and valuable impact. Brown writes from the heart, with lots of honest, personal experience which everyone will relate to regardless of job role or experience.  

Key ideas

  • Creating connection is vital to leadership, which means being empathic, caring and leaning in to difficult conversations (as it is to innovation - organisations must connect with end-users to achieve meaningful experiences.)

  • We must be willing to be vulnerable to grow as individuals and to gain trust and respect. This means showing up as our whole selves, not the version of ourselves we want people to see. (Again, organisations that lean into uncertainty, taking risks with honesty about mistakes and learning, are more innovative as a result.)

  • As humans we have a natural negativity bias. A large percentage of us move from celebrating a success to immediately thinking about the worse-case scenario.

  • To lead and grow successfully, we need to shift our negativity bias, smell the roses, and share achievements with colleagues, however small we perceive them to be. 

Who is this for?

Anyone who is a leader, dreams of being a leader, or wants to support leaders. Expect to take notes in the margins, it is equally challenging and implementable. 


SIAN’S PICK

Alive: Digital Humans and Their Organisations
by Paul Ashcroft and Garrick Jones

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

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What’s the gist? 
How do we make the most of digital and all it offers for business while learning from the successes and pitfalls of the massive transformations of the past.  

Key ideas? 

  • We are undergoing global digital transformation, the most successful organisation’s are those that understand and design for humans.

  • The importance of Design Thinking as a framework for transformation.

  • What we are experiencing is not new, we can learn from incredible examples in history, right back to ancient times.

  • To implement digital effectively - think modular. Don’t expect to build a system that works forever. Instead build systems that can be updated with apps and plug-ins as you change and technology advances to give them greater longevity.

Who would it suit?

Innovation and digital transformation nerds. 
If you’re interested in innovation and history, this is for you. It’s a little lacking in useful practical advice and tools (e.g. The authors speak about using various types of apps, but fail to give any names). Nevertheless, the overarching concepts raised are thought-provoking. 


MIKE’S CHOICE

This Changes Everything
By Naomi Klein

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

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What’s the gist?
It’s about how capitalism has led to an extractive relationship with the environment, and instead needs to be one of harmony. 

Key points

  • We need to divest from unsustainable organisations and reinvest into eco-innovations. 

  • Raises awareness of the urgency to change our habits and lifestyles and keep the global temperate under a 2°C rise (compared to pre-industrial levels).

  • We are capable of creating a positive and sustainable future.

Who is this for?

It would suit forward thinkers, who are eager to prepare for the future.


ANDREW’S CHOICE

The Service Startup: Design Thinking Gets Lean
By Tenny Pinheiro

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

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What’s the gist?

This is a pragmatic, well-informed guide exploring how start-up entrepreneurs and business leaders with no design experience can take a human-centred approach to designing and delivering better user-focused services.  

It includes practical steps and tools to create sustainable and profitable new services by building a user-centric service mindset and using service design tools to deliver greater value to users.

Key points

  • Start-ups and organisations need to move away from the ‘make and sell’ industrial logic that has served us for the last century.

  • A new service-orientated mindset with the idea of ‘learn, use and remember’ user’s journeys shows how we can create greater value for our users.

  • The Minimum Valuable Service (MVS) model integrates Service Design into Lean Start-up and Agile development cycles.

  • Includes tools, methods and practices that will help you deep dive into design thinking and better Service Design.

Who is this for? 

Entrepreneurs, business leaders or anyone whose work affects other people.


KATE’S CHOICE

Shoe Dog: A Memoir of the Creator of NIKE
By Phil Knight

Image: Book Depository

Image: Book Depository

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What’s the gist?

An entertaining and easy-to-read memoir of Phil Knight’s setbacks, successes and triumphs in creating one of the world’s most recognised brands. I really loved the strong core purpose and the tribe-like essence the group had through to the very end.  

Key points

  • You only get a few opportunities to start something crazy, just do it!

  • Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

  • Find a team who believe in you and your vision who bring valuable skills to be your mentors and partners. 

Who is this for?

Entrepreneurs, leaders, anyone with a crazy business idea looking for motivation, lovers of autobiographies about self-made success stories.


MERRYN’S CHOICE

An Ordinary Day
By Leigh Sales

Image: Amazon

Image: Amazon

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What’s the gist?

A thought-provoking read as Leigh Sales embarks on a journey to discover how people cope with sudden, unpredictable and often tragic human events. She speaks with people who have lived through well-known events to understand the effect of being a ‘survivor’ and how it has shaped their lives and mindset since. She also considers closely and personally the role and impact of journalists and media.  

Key points

  • My key take-away was the importance of empathy in all aspects of our lives. We talk about it often as the springboard for innovation and improving customer experiences but it was revealing to see how crucial empathy is at a very personal level and a skill that we must build and develop.

Who’s is this for?
For everyone! Lots of great insight on how to support and accompany friends, family, colleagues and customers. Tip: have a box of tissues close by!


Do you have any top picks for books that have motivated you? We’d love to hear about them.

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