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.

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love 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.

By Stefanie K. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inclusify as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wall Street Journal Bestseller

In this groundbreaking guide, a management expert outlines the transformative leadership skill of tomorrow-one that can make it possible to build truly diverse and inclusive teams which value employees' need to belong while being themselves.

Humans have two basic desires: to stand out and to fit in. Companies respond by creating groups that tend to the extreme-where everyone fits in and no one stands out, or where everyone stands out and no one fits in. How do we find that happy medium where workers can demonstrate their individuality while also feeling they belong?

The answer, according…

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

Why did I love 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.

By David Epstein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Range as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Fascinating . . . If you're a generalist who has ever felt overshadowed by your specialist colleagues, this book is for you' - Bill Gates

The instant Sunday Times Top Ten and New York Times bestseller
Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
A Financial Times Essential Reads

A powerful argument for how to succeed in any field: develop broad interests and skills while everyone around you is rushing to specialize.

From the '10,000 hours rule' to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many…

Yes, Chef

By Marcus Samuelsson, Veronica Chambers,

Book cover of Yes, Chef

Why did I love 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).

By Marcus Samuelsson, Veronica Chambers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yes, Chef as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travel to Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem and you will find a truly diverse, multiracial dining room - where presidents and prime ministers rub elbows with jazz musicians, aspiring artists, bus drivers and nurses. It is also a place where an orphan from Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, living in America, can finally feel at home. Samuelsson was only three years old when he, his mother, and his sister, all battling tuberculosis, walked seventy-five miles to a hospital in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Adaba. Tragically, his mother succumbed to the disease shortly after she arrived, but Marcus…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Amy C. Edmondson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Teaming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The next level of breakthrough thinking in organizational learning, leadership, and change Harvard professor Amy Edmondson shows how leaders can make organizational learning happen by building teams that learn. Based on years of research and case studies from Verizon, Bank of America, and Children's Hospital, Edmondson outlines the factors that typically prevent groups from learning, such as the fear of failure, groupthink, power structures, and information hording. She shows how leaders can control these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive routines that inhibit the sharing of ideas, among others. Leaders can use practical management strategies to…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Malcolm Gladwell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Talking to Strangers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brought to you by Penguin.

The highly anticipated new book from Malcom Gladwell, host of the chart-topping podcast Revisionist History.

With original archival interviews and musical scoring, this enhanced audiobook edition of Talking to Strangers brings Gladwell's renowned storytelling to life in his unparalleled narrating style.

The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face or judge a stranger's motives?


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