The best books on innovation and creativity to read in 202111 min read

Innovation is essential for companies to survive. Hence, it is imperative, particularly for young innovators, to learn more about innovation and understand what it takes to carry it out successfully.

Here are some of the best books on innovation and creativity to read in 2021:

1. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Elon Musk is one of the world’s greatest inventors to date. In this book, the author has comprehensively written about Musk’s life, personality, and journey to success in transforming the way things are done in the business world.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

It’s a good read for innovators who wish to have a glimpse of how and why Tesla has achieved its rightful status in the vehicle and energy market. His other investments also reflect why innovation is important in ensuring long-term survival.

Reading this book establishes what drives inventive minds in developing products that are truly beneficial for mankind.

Though it largely revolves around Elon Musk’s biography, Tesla, SpaceX, and his quest for a fantastic future, the book tells how even the most difficult circumstances can result in game-changing ideas. It also describes how one carefully-made investment can lead to another.

For most companies, setting ambitious goals to the point of being unrealistic may sound like a waste of time. But in this book, the continuous drive in literally going beyond the limits will inspire organizations in rethinking conventional norms and creating an era of the impossible.

2. Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

Clayton Christensen is a Harvard Business School Professor known for coining the term “disruptive innovation”. His book is a publication that focuses on creating products and services that customers are willing to pay premium prices for.

Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

It emphasizes the value of innovation as an income-generating process that breeds viable solutions for organizational growth. The insights written in this book are products of his experiences, knowledge, and critical study of customers in relation to innovation success.

Highlighting how businesses can spot innovation opportunities, he introduces the jobs theory as a technique in understanding what customers want in a product or service. Knowing more about this theory will surely strengthen every innovator’s strategy arsenal.

In this book, Christensen defines customer jobs to be an essential component of buying behavior. In addition, issues commonly met by innovative organizations are written from an expert’s point of view, where solutions are given and backed by proven scientific data.

Moreover, this publication will prove why determining and understanding customer jobs are vital in ensuring long-term success and identifying new markets — providing a golden pool of information for companies that are eager to improve their innovation performance.

3. Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

This is a book written by X Prize founder Peter H. Diamandis and entrepreneur Steven Kotler.

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

Commended by various professionals, this book is considered a blueprint for every creative genius out there who believes in their capacity to change the world. It stresses the value of integrating technologies and innovation skills in achieving desired outcomes.

This three-part book teaches people about the importance of using emerging technologies and crowd-sourced tools in responding to enormous problems and devising radical solutions to solve them.

The first part concentrates on using exponential technologies that can help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, like AI, synthetic biology, 3D printing, robotics, and the like.

Part two delves into the entrepreneurial secrets of billionaire innovators like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Elon Musk, while part three examines the finest innovation practices that enable organizations to connect with their audience in unprecedented ways.

This publication guides readers in creating and designing incentive competitions, initiating multimillion-dollar campaigns for immense funding, and establishing a workforce that’s willing and capable of helping them realize their most ambitious goals.

4. The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

Without innovation, businesses will perish. Most companies, on the other hand, place more emphasis on developing broad ideas than putting them into action — that is, converting these ideas into breakthrough products, services, and process improvements.

The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge

For some, the process of ideation might sound motivating and fun. Execution, on the other hand, appears to be mundane and requires a lot of hard work. However, big ideas are worthless if they aren’t put into practice.

This is why the authors of this book explain how to carry out innovation activities regardless of their size using famous innovators like BMW, Nucor, Timberland, and Allstate as examples.

In addition, the book shares some pointers about the importance of building the right teams and conducting experiments in pursuing initiatives.

As such, hiring knowledgeable and dedicated employees will have a huge impact on innovation success while testing assumptions and converting results into actionable data will measure progress and assess innovation performance.

5. The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

Despite thriving for years, some of the world’s most popular brands today also had their own share of struggles in the past.

However, according to Suman Sukar, the author of The Supply Chain Revolution, the key in solving these issues rests on whether the management sees their supply chain as a cost-cutting tool or as a secret weapon for outsmarting competitors.

The Supply Chain Revolution: Innovative Sourcing and Logistics for a Fiercely Competitive World

The book details several instances in which paying attention to the supply chain has resulted in substantial organizational changes. Two of the most significant ones were:

  • The return of Steve Jobs to Apple in 1997 and how he restructured the company’s supply chain by hiring Tim Cook and accelerating their product creation — which in effect, gave the company the opportunity to reach new users relatively faster than before
  • Zara’s rise to prominence in the market as one of the most valuable firms in the retail industry because of its extremely responsive supply chain (while others were shutting outlets already)

With actual solutions acquired from authentic success stories like the ones written above, The Supply Chain Revolution shows business executives how to win in a disruptive environment.

Reading this book will guide entrepreneurs in creating effective alliances, streamlining and resolving issues involving the supply chain, and increasing retail success via innovation management, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced revenue.

6. Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Business Transformation Through Technology

Nowadays, firms make preparations to update and refine their goods, technology, and business procedures.

However, for a twenty-first-century business, this is no longer sufficient. Most companies are now interested in operating digitally. The pressure is on for those in charge of driving their company’s technology-driven transition, but the best way ahead remains a mystery.

Driving Digital: The Leader's Guide to Business Transformation Through Technology

This is why in his book called Driving Digital, author Isaac Sacolick reveals the insights he has acquired over time after successfully heading several transitions and helping various digital businesses shape their finest practices for success.

Furthermore, readers will no longer have to navigate the minefield digital transformation on their own. In this well-researched one-stop guide, you will discover how to:

  • Cultivate business and IT practices
  • Integrate the development and operational processes
  • Change the culture
  • Invest in digital talent
  • Calculate and track your return on investment
  • Develop cutting-edge digital strategies
  • Investigate new technology

7. The Total Inventor’s Manual: Transform Your Idea into a Top-Selling Product (Popular Science)

From getting started to operating a business, this extensive handbook from Sean Michael Ragan includes everything an innovator needs to learn about starting out.

The Total Inventor's Manual: Transform Your Idea into a Top-Selling Product (Popular Science)

Innovation isn’t easy. But sometimes, all you need is a sense of wonder, the drive to address problems, and the tenacity to carry your ideas through. This book compiles essential techniques, skills, and strategies that will sharpen your innovative side.

You might have heard about Elon Musk a dozen times, or even Steve Jobs, but in The Total Inventor’s Manual, you will also discover other pioneering innovators who brought different items that are useful today, like digital cameras and pregnancy tests.

This book also contains several lessons in brainstorming, prototyping, and experimenting in coding, robotics, 3D printing, and more.

You will also learn all the vital strategies required in effectively raising money, from launching Kickstarter campaigns and pitching for capital,  as well as marketing, and selling products, and managing supply chains and manufacturing processes.

8. Seeing What’s Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change

Individuals make decisions every day depending on how they think innovation will transform companies. These assumptions, however, are primarily based on inadequate facts, and can often lead to expensive errors in innovation activities.

Seeing What's Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change

This is why Clayton M. Christensen, an internationally known innovation specialist, together with his research colleagues Scott D. Anthony and Erik A. Roth, decided to develop a game-changing paradigm for forecasting outcomes in the growth of any enterprise.

With the theories outlined in Christensen’s groundbreaking books like The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution, Seeing What’s Next provides a functional, three-part structure that allows decision-makers to:

  • Predict the outcome of competitive conflicts
  • Recognize cues of industry change
  • Examine whether a company’s activities will guarantee or jeopardize profitability and growth

Moreover, in this publication, the authors have cited real-life situations that various industries have encountered to demonstrate the potential of innovation theory in action in relation to identifying outcomes.

9. Innovation Ebook: A Simple Guide to Organize Innovation

This innovation ebook, created by a group of innovation consultancy experts from Accept Mission, is more than just another book about innovation.

It encapsulates the purposes, methodologies, instruments, and techniques that are imperative in managing innovation initiatives — not from a scientific perspective, but from a pool of knowledge and experience in handling innovation for so many years.

This handbook also offers a novel perspective on innovation in theory and a guide in adapting innovative attitudes in the workplace. It also provides insights regarding innovation framework, culture, and strategy in running innovation activities.

It’s like a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about innovation. Discover more about innovation by downloading the innovation ebook — get it here entirely for free.

Published On: September 13th, 2021Categories: Innovation strategy

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