If you have a great idea or business proposal to pitch, or if you just want to learn to be better in business situations generally, read Good in a Room. Stephanie Palmer spent years as an executive at MGM studios listening to movie pitches. Somewhere along the line she started taking notes on what worked and what didn’t. This book explains it all.
Read this thing and you will be better in meetings, pitch sessions, and on the phone. Heck, she even tells you how to write an effective email. A must read. (Referenced in this DailyKev post)
Disrupt is a short and clever book written by Luke Williams, a fellow at the famous Frog Design. Williams explains how his team at Frog shatter established patterns of thought and reassemble them to make new things, like TVs with Mickey Mouse ears or an innovative Apple Mac design or a new remote control. Disrupt is written like a how-to guide, complete with exercises and examples. Very practical, very effective, very worth reading. (Referenced in this DailyKev post)
The mother of all idea books, Lateral Thinking will challenge your thought patterns and equip you with a truly new way of thinking. Both theoretical and practical, Edward DeBono makes changing the way you see the world easy, enlightening, and useful. Want to know how the “Next Big Thing” first comes into being? Your manual awaits.
Outliers, probably the most well known of Malcolm Gladwell’s unbelievably well known catalog, is a concise and elegant demolition of popular notions about what it takes to become a successful human being. It is one of those rare books that makes you want to read every footnote and look up every reference. Many publishers say they have a book that will change your world view, but ask anyone who has read Outliers, and they will readily tell you this one delivers on the promise. (Referenced in this DailyKev post)
Okay, Aristotle is clearly not for the faint of heart. But if you want to learn how to persuade from the man who literally wrote the book on the subject, at least make a pass at On Rhetoric. It has been said that since the Greeks, everything else has been commentary, and that is the case here. On Rhetoric covers everything from the types of persuasive speech to the various contexts of public discourse to the very tools of persuasion — ethos, logos and pathos. Understanding the art of persuasion at it’s deepest levels is a practical and very valuable asset when it comes to marketing and sales. After all, as a professor of mine said, “selling is simply persuasion with the implication that an exchange of money is involved.” (Referenced in this DailyKev post)
Where Good Ideas Come From, by Stephen Johnson, describes innovation in a very, well, innovative way. Instead of assuming innovative people are some rare breed who come by it naturally, Johnson examines the contextual surroundings of innovation people and times to find commonalities. The results are intriguing and enlightening. With chapter titles like “The Adjacent Possible”, “Liquid Networks”, and “The Slow Hunch”, you will walk away from this book with a new view of what it actually takes to innovate, and a sense that you can do it too.
Brainstorming doesn’t work. At least that’s what Edward de Bono believes. That is just one of the revolutionary ideas in Six Thinking Hats, de Bono’s instructional book of problem solving techniques. This short volume will transform the way you think about how to attack issues in your life and business, and provide a clear, effective process for quickly tackling them and generating new ideas and procedures. Using the Six Thinking Hats method has saved scores of businesses hundreds of hours and millions of dollars in wasted meetings trying to solve problems. Check it out. (Referenced in this DailyKev post)
One of the hardest tasks to do well in all of business is personal selling. Not order taking, like in retail sales. This is cold calling, in the trenches sales persuasion. Few people do it well, but if you want to get there, read Persuasion, Proposals and Public Speaking by Stan Lindsay, PhD. A hall of fame salesman and university communications professor, Dr. Lindsay details the 21 steps involved in every sale and shows readers how to master each one. This is a practical manual for successful selling, and if you are serious about sharpening this valuable skill, you would do well to acquire this book.