Recommended reading list by Stanford Design School

Stanford D. School pitches in with their beautiful list of books that map across innovation process, empathy, the process of innovation and design in education.
The Achievement Habit
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The Achievement Habit

by Bernard Roth

About the book:  The co-founder of the Stanford d.School introduces the power of design thinking to help you achieve goals you never thought possible. Achievement can be learned. It’s a muscle, and once you learn how to flex it, you’ll be able to meet life’s challenges and fulfill your goals, Bernard Roth, Academic Director at the Stanford d.school contends. In The Achievement Habit, Roth applies the remarkable insights that stem from design thinking—previously used to solve large scale projects—to help us realize the power for positive change we all have within us. Roth leads us through a series of discussions, stories, recommendations, and exercises designed to help us create a different experience in our lives. He shares invaluable insights we can use to gain confidence to do what we’ve always wanted and overcome obstacles that hamper us from reaching our potential, including: Don’t try—DO; Excuses are self-defeating; Believe you are a doer and achiever and you’ll become one; Build resiliency by reinforcing what you do rather than what you accomplish; Learn to ignore distractions that prevent you from achieving your goals; Become open to learning from your own experience and from those around you; And more. The brain is complex and is always working with our egos to sabotage our best intentions. But we can be mindful; we can create habits that make our lives better. Thoughtful and powerful The Achievement Habit shows you how.

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The Art Of Innovation
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The Art Of Innovation

by Tom Kelley

About the book:  There isn't a business that doesn't want to be more creative in its thinking, products and processes. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, partner at the Silicon Valley-based firm IDEO, developer of hundreds of innovative products from the first commercial mouse to virtual reality headsets and the Palm hand-held, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit. Kelley shows how teams: -Research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service -Examine each product from the perspective of clients, consumers and other critical audiences -Brainstorm best when they are focussed, being physical and having fun The Art of Innovation will provide business leaders with the insights and tools they need to make their companies the leading-edge top-rated stars of their industries.

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Change by Design
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Change by Design

by Tim Brown

About the book:  In Change by Design, Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, the celebrated innovation and design firm, shows how the techniques and strategies of design belong at every level of business. Change by Design is not a book by designers for designers; this is a book for creative leaders who seek to infuse design thinking into every level of an organization, product, or service to drive new alternatives for business and society.

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Design Thinking
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Design Thinking

by BBVA Innovation Center

About the book:  Design thinking is the core creative process for any designer; this book explores and explains this apparently mysterious "design ability". Focusing on what designers do when they design, Design Thinking is structured around a series of in-depth case studies of outstanding and expert designers at work, interwoven with overviews and analyses. The range covered reflects the breadth of Design, from hardware to software product design, from architecture to Formula One design. The book offers new insights and understanding of design thinking, based on evidence from observation and investigation of design practice. Design Thinking is the distillation of the work of one of Design's most influential thinkers. Nigel Cross goes to the heart of what it means to think and work as a designer. The book is an ideal guide for anyone who wants to be a designer or to know how good designers work in the field of contemporary Design.

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Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
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Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

by Tom Kelley,David Kelley

About the book:  A powerful and inspiring book from the founders of IDEO, the award-winning design firm, on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

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The Designful Company
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The Designful Company

by Marty Neumeier

About the book:  Part manifesto, part handbook, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY provides a lively overview of a growing trend in management–design thinking as a business competence. According to the author, traditional managers have relied on a two-step process to make decisions, which he calls “knowing” and “doing.” Yet in today’s innovation-driven marketplace, managers need to insert a middle step, called “making.” Making is a phase in which assumptions are questioned, futures are imagined, and prototypes are tested, producing a wide range of options that didn’t exist before. The reader is challenged to consider the author’s bold assertion: There can be no real innovation without design. Those who are new to Marty Neumeier’s “whiteboard” series may want to ramp up with the first two books, THE BRAND GAP and ZAG. Both are easy reads. Covered in THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY: - the top 10 “wicked problems” that only design can solve - a new, broader definition of design - why designing trumps deciding in an era of change - how to harness the “organic drivetrain” of value creation - how aesthetics add nuance to managing - 16 levers to transform your company - why you should bring design management inside - how to assemble an innovation metateam - how to recognize and reward talent From the back cover: The complex business problems we face today can’t be solved with the same thinking that created them. Instead, we need to start from a place outside traditional management. Forget total quality. Forget top-down strategy. In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovations, we can no longer “decide” the way forward. Today we have to “design” the way forward–or risk ending up in the fossil layers of history. Marty Neumeier, author of THE BRAND GAP and ZAG, presents the new management engine that can transform your company into a powerhouse of nonstop innovation.

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Design of Business
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Design of Business

by Roger L. Martin

About the book:  Most companies today have innovation envy. They yearn to come up with a game—changing innovation like Apple's iPod, or create an entirely new category like Facebook. Many make genuine efforts to be innovative—they spend on R&D, bring in creative designers, hire innovation consultants. But they get disappointing results. Why? In The Design of Business, Roger Martin offers a compelling and provocative answer: we rely far too exclusively on analytical thinking, which merely refines current knowledge, producing small improvements to the status quo. To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies. Martin shows how leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cirque du Soleil, RIM, and others use design thinking to push knowledge through the stages in ways that produce breakthrough innovations and competitive advantage. Filled with deep insights and fresh perspectives, The Design of Business reveals the true foundation of successful, profitable innovation.

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Thinking in Systems
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Thinking in Systems

by Donella H. Meadows

About the book:  In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life. Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner. In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

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Weird Ideas That Work
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Weird Ideas That Work

by Robert I. Sutton

About the book:  Introduces the proven rules that a company can use to promote innovation, arguing that the corporate world should hire misfits and encourage them to defy the existing culture and actively consider ideas that appear ridiculous or impractical.

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Wired to Care
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Wired to Care

by Dev Patnaik

About the book:  In this essential and illuminating book, top business strategist Dev Patnaik tells the story of how organizations of all kinds prosper when they tap into a power each of us already has: empathy, the ability to reach outside of ourselves and connect with other people. When people inside a company develop a shared sense of what’s going on in the world, they see new opportunities faster than their competitors. They have the courage to take a risk on something new. And they have the gut-level certitude to stick with an idea that doesn’t take off right away. People are "Wired to Care," and many of the world’s best organizations are, too. In pursuit of this idea, Patnaik takes readers inside big companies like IBM, Target, and Intel to see widespread empathy in action. But he also goes to farmers' markets and a conference on world religions. He dives deep into the catacombs of the human brain to find the biological sources of empathy. And he spends time on both sides of the political aisle, with James Carville, the Ragin’ Cajun, and John McCain, a national hero, to show how empathy can give you the acuity to cut through a morass of contradictory information. Wired to Care is a compelling tale of the power that people have to see the world through each other’s eyes, told with passion for the possibilities that lie ahead if leaders learn to stop worrying about their own problems and start caring about the world around them. As Patnaik notes, in addition to its considerable economic benefits, increasing empathy for the people you serve can have a personal impact, as well: It just might help you to have a better day at work.

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