In no particular order, here are five books you need to read to challenge yourself to think differently in your personal and professional lives…
1. Change By Design, Tim Brown
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, will get you thinking about the experiences you provide for others, regardless of the profession in which you work.
Rather than assuming we know what’s best for others, design thinking has us put our opinions aside and involve consumers in the design process.
This book is my favourite in this list. It challenged me to think differently and to seek input from others.
2. Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind, Biz Stone
I knew nothing about Biz Stone prior to reading this book. I rarely even read autobiographies, but decided to give it a try because I was curious to know more about how Twitter came to be.
This book is so much more.
Yes, you’ll read about why tweets are only 140 characters and where the idea of hashtags came from. But what makes this book, is getting to know Biz Stone and how he sees the world.
This book is inspiring. Read it.
3. A Beautiful Constraint: How to Transform Your Limitations into Advantages and Why It’s Everyone’s Business, Adam Morgan & Mark Barden
I had to read this book. When we often hear things like, “Yes but…” “We can’t because…” in our workplaces, it’s pretty refreshing to read a book that views constraints as beautiful.
This book is full of real life stories of clever people who were able to adapt and think differently to provide great experiences for others, all using constraints to help imagine something new.
This book will leave you thinking about your current challenges in new ways – personal and / or professional. The prompts and questions they share will stick with you and you’ll start to find yourself trying to approach your own problems with a more open mind. At least, it has for me.
4. Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, from Stanford’s Design Program, remind us all that there isn’t just one path for us in life. At any time, we can create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.
The writers encourage us to stop worrying about making “the right decision” and to get out there to experience new things – as that’s when we come closer to finding what we truly enjoy and were meant to do.
Whether you’re someone who is in a job or career that doesn’t feel like a right fit or someone who strives for work-life balance, this book is a must read for you.
It’s one that I looked forward to reading at night and has encouraged me to think about my own life and possible pathways.
5. Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential in All of Us, David and Tom Kelley
David and Tom Kelley, co-founders of the global design company IDEO, describe how design thinking can change the way we work in our organizations.
Rather than spending a lot of time trying to envision the perfect end product/service, design thinking has us taking action rather than having another meeting to discuss options.
I read this book three years ago when I was a web designer and e-learning consultant. It inspired me to get out of the office and actually talk to those who would be using the resources I was creating.
Creative Confidence is still one of my favourite reads and continues to inform the way I think and work.
If there’s another great book you’ve read that you think I might like, please share it in the comments section!