The best books showing how diversity creates amazing teams and societies

Who am I?

Frans Johansson is the Co-Founder and CEO at The Medici Group, an enterprise solutions firm that helps organizations build and sustain high-performing teams through our revolutionary team coaching platform: Renaissance. Our firm's ethos--diversity and inclusion drive innovation--is informed by our work with over 4,000 teams in virtually every sector and by his two books The Medici Effect and The Click Moment.

My book is...

The Medici Effect

Innovation today is less about expertise and more about how you can rapidly combine insights and ideas, often widely disparate, to create surprising and unique breakthroughs. The Medici Effect is an innovation classic that explores why the most powerful innovation happens at the “Intersection,” where ideas and concepts from diverse industries, cultures, and disciplines collide.

To see how your team can create the Medici Effect, check out the video below! Frans shares how organizations can activate diversity and inclusion to drive innovation and growth.

The books I picked & why

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Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams

By Stefanie K. Johnson,

Book cover of Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams

Why this book?

This is the most complete take on how to bring diversity, inclusion, and belonging into your team. This is a very practical guide that shows you how to implement this process step by step. Not only does she explain how to respond to the negative tropes, but she also lays out detailed approaches to make sure your allies and angels do maximum good. A must-read if you want to avoid the common mistakes that bog down this process.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

By David Epstein,

Book cover of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Why this book?

I love this book! It is a great book to share with individuals who might not be fully on board with the advantages of diversity and inclusion. David shows how generalists, not specialists, are more creative and agile with numerous examples from the sports world. And, how this is a trend in society as a whole. The stories are super accessible and it is an easy read.

Yes, Chef

By Marcus Samuelsson, Veronica Chambers,

Book cover of Yes, Chef

Why this book?

Marcus is a world-renowned chef and I have the pleasure of working with him at The Medici Group. This is an incredibly honest take of his life and how he got here. He shares his story of what it means to be a Black chef in a non-black chef world. After finding a lack of acceptance in Europe’s kitchens he made his way to New York. There, he built the restaurant and team that reflected his dream of a diverse and multi-ethnic dining room. This is a "boots on the ground" story of the diverse world we live in and the power of embracing that. I also found his thoughts on what it means to be F.O.D. to be powerful (First Only Different).

Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

By Amy C. Edmondson,

Book cover of Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy

Why this book?

Amy coined the term psychological safety, and in this book, she tells you how to create that environment in order to build high-performance teams. This book walks you through every step needed and how to respond to the most common speed bumps when building an inclusive culture. She connects a diversity of every dimension to the process, and her work is a must-read.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

By Malcolm Gladwell,

Book cover of Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

Why this book?

This book is a fantastic gateway into the power of diversity and inclusion in society. With each book, Malcolm is becoming more comfortable talking about race and the differences between people. I loved this book as it not only confronts our fears of the “other” but shows us why these interactions are so vital for the health of our society. Malcolm has a unique ability to connect stories like Sandra Bland and other tragedies to the larger picture, that something is deeply wrong with a society that can’t simply talk to each other.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in project management, the human brain, and groupthink?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about project management, the human brain, and groupthink.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Big Magic, The Organized Mind, and The Art of Quiet Influence if you like this list.