2015 Favorites: Business Books

There is only one thing I love more than reading a good book – sharing book recommendations near and far!

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more of my favorite reads of 2015 in the literature, children’s, adventure genres and more.

I’m kicking it off with my favorite business reads over the last year. I started off the year with #GIRLBOSS and Work Rules! when I was deep in a “building-things-out” cycle at work. Later in the year, when I was crawling out of the trenches, my book selections tended towards the innovation side. This, again, was deeply influenced by work happenings. There was a lot of chatter on the topic among my colleagues, and their book recommendations rubbed off on me.

In no particular order…

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso – I know about negative zero about the fashion industry, but I cannot resist a business memoir written by a woman (because there are about negative zero business memoirs written by women). Awesome read even if you aren’t a woman or into fashion.

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Lazlo Block – We all know Google is an employer of choice. But how did they get there? Google’s HR Lead spills the secrets in this must-read for anyone involved with the people side of business.

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson- Despite growing up in the tech industry, I was woefully ignorant of much of its history. This primer on tech movers and shakers starts with Lady Lovelace & Co and ends with today’s modern innovators (i.e., Jobs & Co). Should be on the required reading syllabus for anyone in tech.

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation by David Roberston – This was a suggestion by one of my Centric colleagues at our recent Innovation workshop. As a mother of two boys, I spend exorbitant amounts of money on Legos. (Not to mention exorbitant amount of time stepping on Legos).  I appreciated that the author focused on both the successes and failures of the ubiquitous block maker.

How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble – Larry English, Centric’s President, suggested this fable about how innovation evolves in companies. It has solid storytelling, made better by a plot line that involves alpacas. I grew up on a llama farm, so I’m partial to tales that put camelids in the spotlight.

How does this worker-bee/soccer-mom/rickety-runner find time to read 50 books a year? This is my secret.