Our Top 7 Reads of 2017

December 1st, 2017

Saying we’re big readers (and audiobook listeners) is an understatement. And when our team was asked about their favorite books of 2017, barely anyone could respond without mentioning The Startup Way by Eric Ries.

If you read about innovation and lean startup it should come as no surprise that this was at the top of our list, and it should definitely be at the top of yours. 

“This sequel gives practical insight into how to leverage entrepreneurship within a big company. Seeing Eric’s original theory applied in so many ways and with such clear results was very inspiring to our team, and we’re intrigued by how we might use Lean Startup for organizational transformation as much as product innovation.” – Keri 

One topic from this book we’re especially leaning in on is Innovation Accounting. There are lots of connections and implications for “market research” as we know it, in fact, we’d argue that Innovation Accounting is a framework of thinking about activating and applying market research. We’re tracking with #InnovationAccounting on Twitter, scouring the internet for related blog posts, and getting our hands on any emerging books on this topic as we jump into 2018.

“Love Eric Ries’ vision for entrepreneurship as a function in the modern corporation…couldn’t agree more. His updated thinking on innovation accounting is very strong as well. Do yourself and your organization a favor and start hustling.” – Jason 

Here are some of the other favorites we read this year:

Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks – Dave Asprey

“While not overtly a business book, Head Strong is all about optimizing the brain and thought ability, which definitely connects to the work we do every day. I implemented hacks like getting blue light filter glasses lenses, removed junk LED light from my workspace, added a dose of healthy fat to my coffee and upped my glutathione (the master antioxidant!) intake to ensure that I’m maximizing my brain function. Ultimately, though, this book unearthed a slew of emerging trends and analogs in the food/bev/wellness space.”  – Renee

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

“When Ann strongly recommended this book, I immediately put it on my must-read list. I invite Jessica & Molly to join me. The book is loaded with great leadership insight. We’ve enjoyed discussing it over lunch and finding ways to directly apply some of the points to The Garage Group.” – Megan

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success- Carol Dweck

“I enjoyed this book because of the personal perspective and evaluating your own mindset, but also from others perspectives and gaining understanding in being able to identify what kind of mindset others have.“ – Danielle

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne

“This was a very compelling read about determining the root of why you procrastinate or don’t follow through with your ideas. This is a must-read for creatives or anyone trying to ship a new idea, project, or business. While reading, all of the ideas I’d had came flooding back and I remembered why not all of them came to fruition – fear. A very self-reflective read, one that I’ll likely re-read to continue to improve my ability to break through any creative roadblocks.” – Justine

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action – Simon Sinek

“This was of my favorite books this year because it forces you to take a look inward to understand what drives you, why you do what you do. It is a principle that when effectively communicated & acted upon, lends itself as a way to build trust and authenticity for your career and personal relationships.” – Jessica

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact – Chip Heath and Dan Heath

“This was all about how to make experiences more memorable and it was completely applicable in a business sense, but also everyday life moments as well.” – Taylor

The Founder’s Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth– Chris Zook and James Allen 

“Great read on keeping the founder level mindset alive even as your company grows, or for leaders of established companies, how to catalyze growth by bringing back the mindsets and practices of a founder. Inspiring and practical, as all of Zook’s work is!” – Ann

Here are a few that are already on our 2018 reading list:

Need more book recommendations as you embark on your holiday vacation? Check out one of these two lists: 6 INNOVATIVE END-OF-SUMMER READS and/or INNOVATE LIKE A STARTUP: READ THESE 3 BOOKS.

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