The 2017 Awesome Business Book Advent Calendar

The Unicornsulting advent calendar of 2017 consisted of 24 of my all-time favorite business books which was posted daily on Instagram and LinkedIn. For you who asked for the complete list of books; here it is.

I have edited the posts slightly (i.e. removing a bunch of unicorns, rainbowes and hashtags). Every photo is linked to the original Instagram post (in case you miss the hashtags, unicorns and rainbows). For each book you will find a link to the Goodreads with in depth reviews if you want to find out more about the book. Unicornsulting proudly presents: The complete list of the awesome business book calendar

Day 1: How to lead a quest by Dr. Jason Fox.
Goodreads (3.89)
Day 2: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown #leadership
This is the book that I recommend leaders that _really_ want to work with #innovation. The journey starts with thelmselves and not their employees. It requires courage and embracing vulnerability. This book was one of many pieces of inspiration that lead me to start Unicornsulting.
Goodreads (4.24)
Day 3:Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux #leadership #organization
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the evolution of organizations and is interested in moving beyond the traditional, hierchical, strict result oriented way of organizing.
Goodreads (4.36)
Day 4: Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Drumelt is a really interesting and fun read for anyone interested in #strategy. One of few business books that has made me laugh out loud when reading.
Goodreads (4.15)
Day 5: Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christiansen.
This is a true innovation classic. In this book Christensen coins the term disruptive innovation. This is really innovation 101 and an interesting read. Christiansen has said that what he missed back then was customer/user understanding. Good news for all Design thinking geeks
Goodreads (4.06)
Day 6: The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge is a is a true classic which was released 27 years ago. If you are interested in #systemsthinking #orgculture #leadership etc then this might be right up your alley.
Goodreads (3.92)
Day 7: Change by Design by Tim Brown
I was a systems thinker before being introduced and transformed to a Design Thinker in 2012 supported by brilliant #IDEO peeps. Now, I really enjoy the synthesis of Design Thinking and Systems Thinking.
I don’t believe that books or one, two or three day workshops can magically ”turn” you into a Design Thinker. That said, what I like about Tim Browns’s book is that it carries the mindset of Design Thinking instead of focusing on methods, processes and tools.
Goodreads (3.91)
Day 8:The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Of course this book deserves a spot on this list. It is the book about innovation when it comes to #techstartups. I see lean startup as a bridge between #designthinking and #agilesoftwaredevelopment
Day 9: Theory U by Otto Scharmer
I must admit that I love and hate this book at the same time (so #metamodern of me). I’ve found some really profound stuff in the book, but I feel that words themselves sometimes blocks the message. I’m not sure if I feel that it’s too dense or too wordy. ⠀
Anyhow, this is a very interesting book and therefore belongs on the awesome list. If you like the book, you might already know that there is also an MIT class (u.lab) based on the book.
Goodreads (4.13)
Day 10: How to fail at almost everything and still win big by Scott Adams.
Personal, funny with some really good, hands-on advice. A pleasant and joyful read that will plant seeds in your mind while you’re laughing.
Day 11: The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki.#pitch #entrepreneurship #leadership
This book is a weapon of mass construction =D. It is filled with great, no-nonsense advice and has been a great influence in defining what kind of beast Unicornsulting is.
Goodreads (4.15)
Day 12: Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley
A very nice read about….well…creative confidence. A must read for anyone who don’t believe that they are creative.
Goodreads (4.04)
Day 13: To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink.
This is a brilliant book that made me re-think sales as an #intrapreneur as well as #entrepreneur I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t think that selling applies to you =D.
Goodreads (3.88)
Day 14: Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail.
Are you working in a large corporation where it’s business as usual? Then this book is a much needed wake-up call. I’d say this is a good inspiration to understand why it is necessary to #transform your organization and business. This development is part of why I don’t see #innovation as nice to have. I see it as a necessity for survival!
Goodreads (4.2)
Day 15: Quantum Psychology by Robert Anton Wilson
Let’s go a little bit crazy. Hey! Is this really a business book?! Well, it is a business book of the more profound kind, also known as philosophy. This book will most likely give you a new perspective on how you see the world⠀
or at least give it a good poke…or as in my case when I read it for the first time twenty years ago; it put new labels on the way that I see the world. =D
Goodreads (4.23)
Day 16: Slidology by Nancy Duarte.
This is my favorite presentation design book. I love designing presentations and it is a skill that I am always trying to improve. Regardless of your skill, Slide:ology will most likely help you become even better at designing presentations.
Goodreads (4.08)
Day 17: The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley (#IDEO) #team #teamleadership #innovation
This book helped me redefine how I looked at roles in innovation teams. These thoughts are applicable for all types of teams, especially ones that are self-organizing to a high degree.
Goodreads (3.96)
Day 18: The Three Box Solution by Vijay Govindarajan.
This book presents a surprisingly simple framework which address #ambidexterity in established organizations (which is often very hard for most orgs to achieve). It is so straight forward that I’m surprised that I haven’t seen this strategy implemented more. A must read for #innovationleaders.
Goodreads (3.94)
Day 19: The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson.
This book was a true pleasure to read. It is filled with interesting stories about how different fields interconnect which leads to interesting ideas and concepts.Goodreads (3.92)
Day 20: The Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton Christensen
From their HBR article about this book: ”Our research led us to identify five “discovery skills” that distinguish the most creative executives: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking. We found that innovative entrepreneurs (who are also CEOs) spend 50% more time on these discovery activities than do CEOs with no track record for innovation. ”.
I’ve found their framework of discovery and delivery skills very useful. When self-assessing delivery and discovery skills I’ve been blessed to find myself in the upper right corner of that Boston Matrix / 2×2
Goodreads (4.01)
Day 21: Value Proposition Design by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigeneur, Patricia Papadakos, Gregory Bernarda and Alan Smith.
When I started using The Business Model Canvas five years ago, I found myself struggling with the Value Proposition and Customer Segment. I was delighted when this book was released to see that not only did it address those aspects of the #BMC but also connect them to Design Thinking that I had much more hands-on experience in. (Bonus book: Business Model Generation)Goodreads (4.25)
Day 22: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hanson. #entrepreneurship
I love how this book challenges a lot of conventions. This book probably planted one of the first seeds that sprouted Unicornsulting.
Goodreads (3.93)
Day 23: Grabbing Lightning by Gina C O’Connor
There are soo many books left that I wan’t to share and only two days left. Grabbing lightning is a great book as an introduction to innovation capabilities and understand some of the deeper challenges with breakthrough innovation.
Goodreads (4.09)
Day 24: Codex Seaphinianus by Luigi Serafini
Is this really a business book, you might ask?! Yes it is if your business is inspiration! This is the book that I pick up if I’m stuck in a rut. Three minutes later, I have a strange smile stuck on my face instead :). It is also a business book if you consider your business to be a form of art ;). This book also has a Goodreads score of 4,52! So just imagine how awesome it is 🙂
Goodreads (4.52!)

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