10 books about innovation I recommend you read

innovation books

Like other people who write about, consult on , and do innovation, I get asked about books a lot. There are the basics you want to read like Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker, The Innovator’s Solution, Crossing the Chasm and others. I tend to want to read books that have more unconventional ideas in them, as well as some practicality.

With that said, here are a few books about innovation that I recommend you read:

The Innovator's DNA

1. The Innovator’s DNAread my interview with the authors

The Innovation Killer

2. The Innovation Killer read my review

Practically Radical

3. Practically Radical by William C. Taylor

Mavericks at Work

4. Mavericks at Work by William C. Taylor


5. Disrupt by Luke Williams – read my review

Little Bets

6. Little Bets by Peter Sims – read my review


7. Demand by Adrian Slywotzky

Think Better

8. Think Better by Tim Hurson

The Little Black Book of Innovation

9 . The Little Black Book of Innovation by Scott D. Anthony

Innovation to the Core

10. Innovation to the Core by Rowan Gibson

Look beyond the obvious

The process of creating new value through innovation is a system of knowledge, and there isn’t a book that covers everything. There’s decision making, there’s human behavior, there’s communication, there’s workplace environment, there’s the external environment, and a whole other factors that you need to understand if you really want to get deep into this. Not to mention getting down in the trenches!

As added value to the books above, also read biographies about innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as books/articles about how innovative companies work.

My list could very well change in the coming year, so think of these books as ones you would keep as a reference. Next year I’ll publish other books that have influenced my thinking that don’t have innovation in the title.

One more thing: everything is connected in some way, so read about anything and everything. Not just books that have “innovation” in the title.

What books about innovation do you have on your list?


Enhanced by Zemanta
  • Pingback: Don’t Set Goals, Make New Habits Instead | The Discipline of Innovation()

  • Pingback: 10 books about innovation I recommend you read ...()

  • Pingback: 10 books about innovation I recommend you read ...()

  • Pavel Bogdashov

    Hi Jorge,

    Thank you for this post – I am reading Clayton Christensen at the moment and it is great from theoretical standpoint.

    I would add Lean Startup (2011) by Eric Reis – a fantastic book (wish it had more visuals, but the examples are brilliant!)

    What are your thoughts on Vijay Govindarajan’s books around innovation?

    These are the ones I am considering:

    – Beyond the Idea: How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization (2013)
    – The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (2010)
    – Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere (2012)
    – Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution (2005)

    • @PavelBogdashov,

      Christensen’s book is good. It’s a different lens to look through. If that intrigues you, make sure to also read “What customers want” by Anthony Ulwick of Strategyn, which puts Christensen’s ideas to practice.

      I didn’t put Lean Startup in there because to me it’s just a lot of old ideas wrapped in a nice sounding title. I haven’t read it, but I know what it’s about since it comes packaged with Startup Weekend, which I founded in my hometown.

      Another one to consider is “Designing for Growth”, which is practice oriented.

      Regarding Vijay Govindarajan, have only read “Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators”, which I liked. He is more of an Academic than anything else, so I don’t pay much attention since I believe his ideas are more oriented towards fitting innovation into management, as opposed to rethinking it.

      Truth is, I look for unconventional ideas. That’s why I added Maverick’s at Work and Practically Radical. There’s also The Future of Management by Hamel, Strategic Intuition by Duggan, and Different by Youngme Moon. Anything that breaks the mold, I’m reading!

      Hope this helps!

      • Pavel Bogdashov

        It does help – thank you! I will use your recommendations to form a to-read list.

        I noticed you had a book on Execution as well – Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burck.

        What are you thoughts on it?

        Thank you,


  • Pavel Bogdashov

    Also, another question! I loved the new generation of Visual Books, like “Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and “Back of the Napkin”, “Unfolding the Napkin” and “Blah, Blah, Blah” by Dan Roam.

    What are the best Visual innovation books you have seen out there?

    • Hi @PavelBogdashov,

      Yes I like those too. The following don’t have the word innovation written anywhere, but I’ve used them to improve my communication/storytelling skills:

      > “The Art of Explanation”. It was written by one of the founders of Common Craft: http://www.commoncraft.com/art-explanation

      > “The Sketchnote Handbook”: http://rohdesign.com/book/

      • Pavel Bogdashov

        They look great – will check them out!

  • Pingback: 10 books about innovation I recommend you read ...()

  • Pingback: Innovation Book Review: Disruption Revolution | Game-Changer()

  • Pavel Bogdashov

    Hwy Jorge, I know this is an old post, but wanted to check if you come across more great books on innovation?