The [BLUE BOX] List, Inspiring Reading Recommendations From Our 2018 Speakers

There is one book and author in particular that made the [BLUE BOX] concept come alive for me: The Medici Effect written by Frans Johannson a thought leader around diversity and its impact on innovation. One of his theories is that “…we <as leaders> have the best chance of coming up with great new ideas when we mix diverse perspectives, field, cultures and backgrounds.”

Like me, many of our speakers and community members cite books as inspiration and foundation builders for ideas. Here are some of the great books and authors that were mentioned at [BLUE BOX] 2018.

Recommended Read: The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson
Recommended By: Bill Anderson, Founder & CEO, First Beverage Group
Overview: 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.

Recommended Read: High Hanging Fruit: Build Something Great by Going Where No One Else Will, Mark Rampolla
Recommended By: Mark Rampolla, Founder, ZICO Beverages
Overview: Grabbing the low-hanging fruit is no longer acceptable. Mark argues that when you choose to reach higher, you can build an incredible business, be profitable, and maybe even change the world.

Recommended Read: Tattoos on the Heart, Gregory Boyle
Recommended By: Mark Rampolla, Founder, ZICO Beverages
Overview: For twenty years, Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.

Recommended Read: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek
Recommended By: Mark Rampolla, Founder, ZICO Beverages
Overview: START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way – and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired…and it all starts with WHY.

Recommended Read: Leading Change, John P. Kotter
Recommended By: Duke Stump, former executive leader at NIKE, CMO at Seventh Generation and EVP at lululemon
Overview: John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. He provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work.

Recommended Read: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation, Thich Nhat Hanh
Recommended By: Duke Stump, former executive leader at NIKE, CMO at Seventh Generation and EVP at lululemon
Overview: With poetry and clarity, Thich Nhat Hanh imparts comforting wisdom about the nature of suffering and its role in creating compassion, love, and joy – all qualities of enlightenment.

Recommended Read: Critical Path, R. Buckminster Fuller
Recommended By: Duke Stump, former executive leader at NIKE, CMO at Seventh Generation and EVP at lululemon
Overview: Critical Path details how humanity found itself in its current situation – at the limits of the planet’s natural resources and facing political, economic, environmental, and ethical crises.

Recommended Read: I Ching: The Book of Change, Thomas Cleary
Recommended By: Duke Stump, former executive leader at NIKE, CMO at Seventh Generation and EVP at lululemon
Overview: The I Ching is the most ancient and profound of the Chinese classics, venerated for over three thousand years as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success, and a dispensary of wisdom. This new translation emphasizes applying practical wisdom in everyday affairs.

Recommended Watch: Buck, Documentary about Buck Brannaman
Recommended By: Duke Stump, former executive leader at NIKE, CMO at Seventh Generation and EVP at lululemon
Overview: American cowboy Buck Brannaman has a unique way of communicating with horses. Director Cindy Meehl gets to know the real-life Buck as she reveals his fascinating story about how an abusive childhood helped teach him the compassion and insight needed to train horses, not with punishment but by treating them the way he would treat humans – with respect.

Recommended Read: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Recommended By: Joe Heron, Founder, Copper & Kings, Crispin Cider and Nutrisoda
Overview: Globally preeminent management thinkers W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne challenge everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors but from creating “blue oceans”―untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.

Recommended Read: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, Ben Horowitz
Recommended By: Joe Heron, Founder, Copper & Kings, Crispin Cider and Nutrisoda + Jeff White, COO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Overview: Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover.

Recommended Read: Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, E.F. Schumacher
Recommended By: Jeff White, COO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Overview: Small Is Beautiful is Oxford-trained economist E. F. Schumacher’s classic call for the end of excessive consumption. Schumacher inspired such movements as “Buy Locally” and “Fair Trade” and presents eminently logical arguments for building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations.

Recommended Read: 64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World, Kevin Roberts
Recommended By: Joe Heron, Founder, Copper & Kings, Crispin Cider and Nutrisoda
Overview: 64 Shots is a compendium of value-accelerators for business and life. The author and creator of the groundbreaking idea Lovemarks, Kevin Roberts, is recognized as one of today’s most uncompromisingly-positive and inspirational leaders.

Recommended Read: The New Rules of Retail: Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace, Robin Lewis and Michael Dart
Recommended By: David Olsen, CEO, Cos Bar
Overview: In The New Rules of Retail, industry gurus Robin Lewis and Michael Dart explained how unprecedented consumer power, enabled by technology and globalization, is revolutionizing retail. They warned that survival in these dynamic times called for a business model based on three distinct competencies: 1) preemptive, perpetual distribution; 2) a neurological customer connection; and 3) total control of the value chain. They also identify the five current trends that are currently driving consumer demand, including technology integration and channel consolidation, as exemplified by Jeff Bezos at Amazon.

Recommended Read: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth
Recommended By: Osman Khan, Founder, Paddle8
Overview: In her instant, multi-month New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).

Recommended Read: Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, Bo Burlingham
Recommended By: Caitlin Landesberg, Founder & CEO, Sufferfest Beer
Overview: In Small Giants, veteran journalist Bo Burlingham takes us deep inside fourteen remarkable companies that have chosen to march to their own drummer. They include Anchor Brewing, CitiStorage Inc., Clif Bar & Co., Righteous Babe Records, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, and Zingerman’s Community of Businesses.

Recommended Read: Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, Bruce Barcott
Recommended By: Vivien Azer, Managing Director, Cowen and Company
Overview: Weed the People will take readers a half-step into the future. The issues surrounding the legalization of pot vary from the trivial to the profound. There are new questions of social etiquette: Is one expected to offer a neighborly toke? If so, how? Is it cool to bring cannabis to a Super Bowl party? Yea or nay on the zoning permit for a marijuana shop two doors down from the Safeway? Plus, there are the inevitable conversations between parents and children over exactly what this adult experiment with marijuana means for them.