100 books like The Innovator's Solution

By Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor,

Here are 100 books that The Innovator's Solution fans have personally recommended if you like The Innovator's Solution. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

J.W. Huebner Author Of The Irrelevant Old Brand: A Business Fable about Taking Your Brand from Mediocre to Must-Have

From my list on improving your relevancy in business and in life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my career helping companies figure out how to become more relevant to their customers. And the more time I spent understanding what makes a brand relevant, the more I realized it was the same thing that makes a life relevant. Just as a brand needs to uniquely give something to its customers, human beings also need to give in some way to be relevant in this world. So if what I write—and the books I recommend—can even in the smallest way guide some company or individual toward a more important, more meaningful, more relevant life…well then, I guess my job here will be done.

J.W.'s book list on improving your relevancy in business and in life

J.W. Huebner Why did J.W. love this book?

The message is simple: Offer something meaningfully different than anyone else to your prospective customers...clearly communicate that difference...and you’ll be on the path to greater relevance.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred back to this book for guidance on category creation, naming, brand leadership, and more.

Positioning teaches you how to create a unique position for your brand in the minds of your target audience, and how to communicate that position effectively. It's all about standing out, being different, and showing your customers why they should choose you over your competitors.

Published more than 40 years ago, I find Positioning to be incredibly relevant and insightful even today. It continues to be a must-read for anyone looking to take their brand to the next level!

By Al Ries, Jack Trout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:

Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader Avoid letting…


Book cover of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

Marc Lesser Author Of Finding Clarity: How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces and Meaningful Lives

From my list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I sometimes describe myself as a stealth Zen teacher working in the business world. I've founded and been CEO of three companies, including the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, a company I helped create and launch inside of Google's headquarters. I'm an executive coach and consultant to CEOs and leaders in the corporate and non-profit worlds. Prior to my business career I was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. I'm the author of 5 books.

Marc's book list on helping you live a meaningful and successful life

Marc Lesser Why did Marc love this book?

Though written more than 30 years ago, I continue to return to it for solid business, entrepreneurial, and life advice.

Peter Senge's theories can help businesses to clarify their goals, to better understand threats, and to recognize new opportunities. He introduces leaders and managers to a new source of competitive advantage, and offers an empowering approach to work.

Mastery of Senge's five disciplines enables managers to overcome their obstacles to growth and creates new futures for them and their companies. The five disciplines are drawn from science, spiritual wisdom, psychology, cutting-edge management thought, and Senge's own work with top corporations that employ his methods.

By Peter M. Senge,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Fifth Discipline as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the seminal management books of the past 75 years, The Fifth Discipline is an international multi-million-copy bestseller. Written in an engaging and accessible way, with diagrams and illustrations, it will change the way you think and therefore way you and your team grows and develop. In the long run, the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is your organisation's ability to learn faster than its competitors....

'Senge explains why the learning organization matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practicing it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system.…


Book cover of Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?

Marty Neumeier Author Of The Brand Gap

From my list on brand strategy.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my younger days I was a graphic designer and copywriter, approaching brands largely from a creative viewpoint. Over the years I’ve discovered that creative work is much more powerful when harnessed to business strategy, and business strategy is much more powerful when combined with exceptional creative work. I’ve characterized the gulf between strategy and creativity as the “brand gap,” which has led to eight books on branding and a school for professional mastery called Level C.

Marty's book list on brand strategy

Marty Neumeier Why did Marty love this book?

It’s a startling question, especially for companies that focus on their own success instead of the success of their customers. But if you’re out to build a lasting brand, it’s the right question to ask. Schrage shows why the goal of innovation should not be to invent a great product but to create a great customer.

By Michael Schrage,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who do you want your customers to become?

According to MIT innovation expert and thought leader Michael Schrage, if you aren’t asking this question, your strategic marketing and innovation efforts will fail.

In this latest HBR Single, Schrage provides a powerful new lens for getting more value out of innovation investment. He argues that asking customers to do something different doesn’t go far enough—serious marketers and innovators must ask them to become something different instead. Even more, you must invest in their capabilities and competencies to help them become better customers.

Schrage’s primary insight is that innovation is an investment…


Book cover of Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy

Marty Neumeier Author Of The Brand Gap

From my list on brand strategy.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my younger days I was a graphic designer and copywriter, approaching brands largely from a creative viewpoint. Over the years I’ve discovered that creative work is much more powerful when harnessed to business strategy, and business strategy is much more powerful when combined with exceptional creative work. I’ve characterized the gulf between strategy and creativity as the “brand gap,” which has led to eight books on branding and a school for professional mastery called Level C.

Marty's book list on brand strategy

Marty Neumeier Why did Marty love this book?

Marketing psychologist Kit Yarrow explains how technology has rewired our brains, making us more individualistic, isolated, emotional, and distrustful. This is not a pessimistic book—it’s a practical guide to addressing customers’ desires and insecurities in a time of deep cultural shifts. Not only has she done her homework, but she also presents the results with lightness and clarity.

By Kit Yarrow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Decoding the New Consumer Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Take a glimpse into the mind of the modern consumer A decade of swift and stunning change has profoundly affected the psychology of how, when, and why we shop and buy. In Decoding the New Consumer Mind, award-winning consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow shares surprising insights about the new motivations and behaviors of shoppers, taking marketers where they need to be today: into the deeply psychological and often unconscious relationships that people have with products, retailers, marketing communications, and brands. Drawing on hundreds of consumer interviews and shop-alongs, Yarrow reveals the trends that define our transformed behavior. For example, when we…


Book cover of The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Jonathan R. Copulsky Author Of The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization Through Uncertain Times

From my list on responding to disruption and uncertainty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Responding to disruption and uncertainty has increasingly dominated my thinking. Ten years ago, while a senior partner at a global professional services firm, I sponsored a major research project on digital transformation. The most surprising finding was that the organizations that are effective in responding to disruption figure out how to learn fast and scale fast. In my encore career of university teaching, I have dived deeper into how organizations and functions (such as marketing) respond to disruption. An improbable consequences of COVID-19 is an abundance of real-time examples of how organizations cope with acute disruptions vs. the chronic disruptions resulting from new technologies. 

Jonathan's book list on responding to disruption and uncertainty

Jonathan R. Copulsky Why did Jonathan love this book?

I hate the way people toss around the term, disruption, to describe everything under the sun, neutering the value of the term in describing why disruption matters. Christensen’s book relies on empirical research, not hyperbole, to describe what makes innovations disruptive and why many companies fail to respond to disruptive innovations. I use the book and a series of Harvard Business Review articles co-authored by Christensen in one of my classes as a way to help my students understand the unique challenges of marketing disruptive innovations. Inevitably, the students who resist the concepts the most are the ones who write several years after graduation about how they are seeing Christensen’s concepts playing out in their markets. 

By Clayton M. Christensen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Innovator's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named one of 100 Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon Editors A Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller. Named by Fast Company as one of the most influential leadership books in its Leadership Hall of Fame. An innovation classic. From Steve Jobs to Jeff Bezos, Clay Christensen's work continues to underpin today's most innovative leaders and organizations. The bestselling classic on disruptive innovation, by renowned author Clayton M. Christensen. His work is cited by the world's best-known thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to Malcolm Gladwell. In this classic bestseller--one of the most influential business books…


Book cover of Reaching the Goal: How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints

Uwe Techt Author Of Projects That Flow

From my list on speed for multiple projects.

Why am I passionate about this?

Business development and projects have fascinated me since my studies and my first experiences in companies. Time and again, I think I have understood what it's really all about... and shortly thereafter, completely new insights emerge that challenge previously perceived assumptions and thus enable leaps in performance. This is sometimes exhausting, but I wouldn't want to miss this path of development! Today I help management teams to improve their business results quickly and sustainably by guiding them to question assumptions, find new perspectives and thereby enable performance leaps.

Uwe's book list on speed for multiple projects

Uwe Techt Why did Uwe love this book?

Of course, when I started to apply the insights from "Critical Chain" over and over again in different companies, not everything always went smoothly. That was frustrating—for me and the people I worked with. Every company—or rather, every business—has its own idiosyncrasies. Understanding that and being able to take it into account when accelerating an entire project portfolio was crucial. Reading Reaching the Goal helped me a lot in this. Ricketts writes from his many years of experience at IBM.

By John Arthur Ricketts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"There is no doubt that this is a truly original and groundbreaking work in applying the Theory of Constraints. I run a services company and learned some things about the services business. Anyone involved in large services companies needs to look at what John is proposing. I will definitely quote this material frequently."

ChadSmith, Managing Partner, Constraints Management Group

"The information presented in this book is badly needed by service providers who struggle to balance supply and demand with their resources."

Carol A. Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM

"The techniques that John brings to light in this book are the bridge from…


Book cover of The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary

Joseph A. Michelli Author Of The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

From my list on customer service and customer experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a New York Times #1 bestselling author of more than 10 customer experience and leadership books. When I am not reading and writing, I help leaders and entrepreneurs drive employee engagement, customer loyalty, and referrals. 

Joseph's book list on customer service and customer experience

Joseph A. Michelli Why did Joseph love this book?

If only my mail carrier were like Fred… but that’s the point. All of us can “up our game” when it comes to caring for and about others. Mark Sanborn crafted a highly accessible and engaging book that shows how everyone can “be a Fred.” The line between ordinary and extraordinary is less about resources and more about focus and effort.

By Mark Sanborn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mark Sanborn met his postman, Fred, just after he moved to Denver. Fred knocked on his door, introduced himself, and welcomed him to the neighborhood. He also asked Sanborn about himself and how he wanted his mail handled while he was away. Needless to say, Sanborn was shocked. He asked Fred more about his job and how he approached it. Fred's answers inspired him to develop motivational seminars promoting Fred's attitude and approach to life.

To embody the Fred philosophy is to realise and practise that:--Everyone can make a difference--Success is built on good relationships--You must continually create value for…


Book cover of I'll Be Back

Steven Van Belleghem Author Of A diamond in the rough: Over a 100 specific tips to build a strong customer culture

From my list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in a Belgian retail store, exceptional customer service was a daily conversation topic with my parents. This upbringing made customer experience a natural part of who I am. Realizing the rarity of such service in the broader world, I delved into studying consumer behavior and how companies can respond effectively. Now, I'm deeply involved in the customer experience field, having authored six books and co-founded Nexxworks, an inspiration agency. I share all my insights freely on social channels, driven by a life goal to help everyone become more customer-centric starting tomorrow.

Steven's book list on From Steven's list on acheiving an awesome customer experience

Steven Van Belleghem Why did Steven love this book?

I am big fan of Shep Hyken and his work. Shep is an incredibly enthusiastic customer experience storyteller, possessing a knack for providing very practical advice to businesses. In this book, he zooms in on one of the most crucial aspects of customer relationships: loyalty.

I fully agree with Shep's viewpoint that many organizations overly concentrate on acquisition, overlooking the fact that cultivating loyal fans and even ambassadors is essential for long-term success.

By Shep Hyken,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I'll Be Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you build a business that thrives during good times and bad? Is there a strategy that can set up  your company up for success, no matter what curveballs the world may throw your way? There is: Turn customers into repeat customers, and turn repeat customers into loyal customers.
 
Renowned customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken maintains that delivering an amazing customer service experience that keeps customers coming back for more is everyone’s job. Customer service is not a department. It’s not just for people on the front lines. It’s the responsibility of everyone in the organization, from…


Book cover of Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise

Hermann Simon Author Of Many Worlds, One Life: A Remarkable Journey from Farmhouse to the Global Stage

From my list on becoming a global business leader.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hermann Simon grew up on a small, remote farm and became a world-renowned marketing professor, including stints at MIT, Stanford, and Harvard. But academic fame didn’t satisfy him. He had the ambition to achieve an impact on practice and founded Simon-Kucher & Partners, today with 41 offices and 1600 employees the world's leading price consultancy. He also detected the secrets of the "hidden champions", unknown mid-sized global market leaders (more than 1.5 million Google entries). In China a business school is named in his honor.

Hermann's book list on becoming a global business leader

Hermann Simon Why did Hermann love this book?

Horst Schulze started as a bellboy and became the best hotelier in the world. He is the one who created the leading hotel chain Ritz Carlton. He won the Baldridge Quality Award twice. No one else has achieved that. But what's really interesting about this book is not the result, but the way he got there: how did he achieve this great goal? 

Anyone involved in service can learn extremely valuable lessons from this book. And in the process, you will also get to know Horst Schulze as a person. Because at the core of him lies the secret of success; he is a role model and leader.

By Horst Schulze, Dean Merrill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Horst Schulze knows what it takes to win. In Excellence Wins, the cofounder and former president of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company lays out a blueprint for becoming the very best in a world of compromise. In his characteristic no-nonsense approach, Schulze shares the visionary and disruptive principles that have led to immense global success over the course of his still-prolific fifty-year career in the hospitality industry.

For over twenty years, Schulze fearlessly led the company to unprecedented multibillion dollar growth, setting the business vision and people-focused standards that made the Ritz-Carlton brand world renowned. In Excellence Wins, Schulze shares his…


Book cover of Raving Fans

Bruno Hilgart Author Of French Fry Leadership: How to Attain Profits Through Serving People

From my list on creating highly motivated, self-sufficient teams.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been blessed in my career, beginning as a 16-year-old, being an assistant manager at 17, a general manager at 20, and the face of the franchise at the age of 30 for over 16 years. This has led to me learning how to get people more motivated to perform their work than they ever thought possible when they accepted the position. I spent over 30 years literally “growing up” with this company and in this business, having been exposed to some of the best companies within their respective industries, learning how they source, on-board, train, and retain their team members, as well as some of the most influential motivational speakers throughout the world.

Bruno's book list on creating highly motivated, self-sufficient teams

Bruno Hilgart Why did Bruno love this book?

This book took our customer service performance in our company to levels we had never seen before. All of our leaders read this book and then the magic began.

The premise is that satisfied customers just are not good enough. They need to be “raving fans’ of us meaning, they actually become advocates of your business! This led to sales and traffic that exceeded our peers in all measurable ways while truly making our work more fun than we ever thought.

By Ken Blanchard, Sheldon Bowles,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Raving Fans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a new foreword by Ken Blanchard

A straightforward and snappy guide to successful customer service from the author of the bestselling The One Minute Manager.

Raving Fans, in a nutshell, is the advice given to a new Area Manager on his first day - in an extraordinary business book that will help everyone, in every kind of organisation or business, deliver stunning customer service and achieve miraculous bottom-line results.

Raving Fans is written in the parable style of The One Minute Manager and uses a brilliantly simple and charming story to teach how to define a vision, learn what…


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