In 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques: The Handbook of New Ideas for Business (New Management Pub Co.; $19.95), author James Higgins (New Management Publishing, $13.70) does exactly what the title suggests- offer tried and true techniques to improve strategic thinking skills. Each suggestion comes equipped with a set of short, practical guidelines and actual case studies, helping you navigate both team and individual projects more effectively. This book is a must for any individual or group looking to shake things up at the office, or get a head start on the next team brainstorm session.
Brain Workout #2: Increase your Insider Knowledge
Silicon Valley insider Guy Kawasaki serves up a healthy dose of reality checks via his blog, How to Change the World. Posted topics include everything from raising investment capital to mastering Google Plus. And while Kawasaki may not post frequently, the insight he offers tech fiends is invaluable—particularly for those thinking about launching a startup. The former evangelist of Apple is also the author of several books, including the New York Times bestseller, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions(Portfolio/Penguin, $26.96), a must read for any business professional, regardless of sector.
Brain Workout #3: Customize Your Work Habits
Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist proposes a set of transformative set of strategies in Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (Pear Press, $18.31). In each chapter, Medina breaks down a scientific fact about the brain and offers an accompanying tip to help us make more effective decisions- at home and in the workplace. Throughout the book and (accompanying DVD set), readers will also come across stunning examples of brain wiring, (like Michael Jordon’s brief and terrible run at baseball.), without filling heads with disconnected, scientific jargon.
Brain Workout #4: Trend Watch
The Innovator’s Dilemma (Harvard Business Review Press. $22.75) and Innovator’s Solution (Harvard Business School Press, $22.75) are two groundbreaking books by Harvard Business School professor, Clayton M. Christensen. Best known for his study of commercial innovation, Christensen is one of the most influential business thinkers of our time. Both of his works shatter old school concepts with the theory of “disruptive innovation.” For emerging businesses looking to stake their claim, Christensen provides a road map; encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace new trends and technology to beat out established brands like Xerox or U. S. Steel.
Regularly listed as one of the best business blogs on the planet (TIME, AdAge), Seth’s Blog should be a daily part of anyone’s brain workout routine. A sought-after public speaker and entrepreneur, Seth Godin coined the term “permission marketing.” Scroll down his site and you’ll find posts that will help you sell the heck out of anything. Even if you don’t work directly in the advertising fields, posts titles like, “Do We Have to Pander?” or “Superman, Batman, and World Views” are guaranteed to grab your attention.