There are a lot of business books published every year, some 11,000 new tomes of advice hit bookstores this year. That's a lot of reading if you're looking to consume all of them, but what if you're just looking for a few good ideas? What if you just want to know how to have more great ideas yourself?
If that's the case, there are only a few you need to check out. As the author of a book on creativity myself, I can tell you a lot of new books have the same old advice. But a few each year stand out. And each year, the folks at 800-CEO-Read sort through the rough to find the diamonds. (Full disclosure: my newest book was chosen for their long-list in an unrelated category.)
This year, their picks for the best books on innovation and creativity are stellar. Here are their choices (all of which I thoroughly agree with):
- Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses by Amy Whitaker (Harper Business). An MFA with an MBA brilliantly blends business tactics with artistic technique.
- Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Random House). The single biggest influencer this year on my ability to think better...and quicker.
- Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr (W.W. Norton). A series of fascinating essays on why technology won't save us (not exactly) and how it might affect our creativity and our work lives.
- Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson (Riverhead Books). An examination of how innovations in technology get their origins in the pursuit of novelty and amusement.
- You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn (North Star Way). The teenage entrepreneur of TEDWomen fame shares her story and its lessons for creativity at any age.
So that's 2016's contributions to creativity in a nutshell. Now, you've got some reading to do.