Innovation, growth and fresh management thinking? Here’s a handful of books to begin with

Over the last few days I’ve met with several clients to help them re:think, re:imagine and expand their business models. While business model innovation is incredibly challenging, it is fully possible and has been across industries, time and time again.

Step one is to challenge your existing mental models. These invisible schemas or thinking modes are the number one reason why business model innovation is often seen to be so challenging. Like Gary Hamel writes, “Within any industry, mental models tend to converge over time. Executives read the same trade magazines, go to the same conferences and talk to the same consultants. As the years pass, the intellectual gene pool becomes stagnant pond” (Hamel, What Matters Now, 2012). Or, to use our language, they become Dinosaurs. While at the same time, Pirates are applying Pirate thinking to not only steal away existing customers, but to completely redesign the industry and the norm of what is a valid business model.

This, of course, is what is happening to Nokia (selling handsets) vs. Apple (mobile eco-system), SAS (flag carrier) vs. Norwegian (low-price aggressor) and Sony (gaming platforms) vs. Smartphones (always on, always there and radically different mode of usage).

So ask yourself, are you slowly becoming a dinosaur or are you being the pirate you can be…? And while you think of it, here’s a few books to get you started to challenge and reinvent your existing business model.

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries

What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation

Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business


Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself

The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal

Happy reading.


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