Put These Top Innovation Books of 2017 in Your CEO’s Holiday Bag

Innovation drives our economy, revolutionizes industries, and provides an avenue to radically rethink existing ways of conducting business. But how do companies and entrepreneurs make sure they’re on the winning side of the innovation battle? Strategy+Business magazine has released its list of the top new books on innovation in 2017, and we are pleased to announce that all the chosen books were authored or co-authored by our clients. This holiday season, give the gift of innovation with these winning titles.

 Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice (HarperBusiness, 2016)

Two decades ago, Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen coined the term “disruptive innovation” to describe what has become the 21st century’s guiding force in business and economics. Now, Christensen has determined the best way that companies can cope with the disruptive forces of innovation is with his revolutionary “Jobs to Be Done Theory.” Innovators must focus not on products, but on the outcomes that consumers want, or what “job” they are seeking to get done. Only by doing so will companies stay ahead of the curve, coming up with new ideas rather than merely attempting to improve existing products. In “Competing Against Luck,” Christensen and co-authors Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David Duncan explain how Jobs Theory can lead to predictable, successful innovation in rapidly changing industries.

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” (Viking, 2016)

Many books on business and innovation focus on how innovators can shape their own future and those of their companies and industries. In “The Inevitable,” Wired editor Kevin Kelly says something different: the technological wave of the future is here, it’s relentless, and it’s taking you along with it whether you like it or not. A New York Times bestseller, “The Inevitable” describes the dozen tech trends, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, that are transforming daily life and how humanity views itself and the world. But Kelly’s conclusions are no grounds for complacency. While the forces of the technological revolution may be unstoppable and inevitable, at every turn there is opportunity for innovators to make their mark.

 Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future (Norton, 2017)

A massive shift has occurred in how services are designed, marketed, and delivered. That shift has been from humans to machines, from products to platforms, and from the core of a company to the “crowd” – the digitally empowered consumers. Co-authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT Sloan School of Management describe how machine learning and digitalization are rendering the old way companies do business obsolete, even while the old practices largely continue. What becomes of the companies that make products once products are “shared” via digital platforms? What becomes of company executives when ideas can be sourced directly from customers? And most importantly, what becomes of human work in an age when machines can not only be programmed to perform tasks, but to learn them as well? These urgent questions make “Machine, Platform, Crowd” the possible magnum opus of the new digital age, and an absolute must-read for any innovator or businessperson.

Brian Sherry: