Books to Catch Up On in 2016

My end of year schedule was a bit thrown off this year (all good things!), so I’m looking to the future with these book recommendations rather than looking back. I've split my selections into Communication & Leadership and Innovation categories. It was a very good year on these topics and here they are in title alphabetic order. (I did do a few reviews in 2015, and I have links to them at the bottom of this post.)

Communication & Leadership (Because you can’t lead if you can’t communicate)

Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action by Ben Decker and Kelly Decker. I’ve had the pleasure of attending several Decker executive sessions as a student and hosting the Decker guru’s in my classes. It’s wonderful to have the book to use as a motivator as I prep the next talk.


Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer. Jeff Peffer is a rare scholar who can both conduct the most rigorous research and then effectively share those results with the world. I have used Leadership BS as a kind of a for leadership concepts.


Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It by Phil Simon. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it in 2016, this book should trigger a movement. Business Communication (much of all communication?) is broken and Message Not Received is an opportunity to set things right. Bring this book to your book club!


Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock. You know you want to know how Google is managed. This isn’t high level strategy, but down in the dirt sharing of how they understand their employees and build an organization to match.




Elon Musk by Ashley Vance. I’m very glad I read this. Great background Elon Musk, the commercial space industry, and the world of high capital-cost entrepreneurship. Also helpful as my colleague Ann Majchrzak and I prepped for our meeting with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (more on that later).


How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson. Watch Steven Johnson’s TED talk on Where good ideas come from and you’ll know you want to read this book.


Traversing the Valley of Death: A practical guide for corporate innovation leaders by Stephen K. Markham and Paul C. Mugge. I’m happy to know both the authors and the Center for Innovation Management Studies at North Carolina State University. Keynoting their conference was one of the “good things” keeping me from blogging here. This book is a great summary what they’ve learned about innovation and how you can use those results in your own organization.


From Earlier in the Year

Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life by by Margaret A. Neale and Thomas Z. Lys. Here is my full review from August. I’ve gone back to the book multiple times since then. 


My post: Summer Reading List on the Future of Work. Over 25 books on the mindmap when I started, and I keep adding to it. Amazon list of all the books for your one-stop shopping pleasure.