The Deviant’s Advantage: How Fringe Ideas Create Mass Markets
By Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker
Crown Business, 2002, $25.95
As if they sensed the book’s title might pose a problem, futurists and consultants Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker waste no time assuring readers that they’re using the word deviant in its purest form: something or someone away from the norm.
Deviance, they say, is the ultimate source of growth and innovation. So how do mainstream companies go deviant? By hiring people who will tell management when it’s time to let go of old and tired ideas (and whom management will presumably thank instead of firing). This book is a wild ride and well worth the initial wince at the title.
What’s Next? Exploring the New Terrain for Business
By Eamonn Kelly and Peter Leyden
Perseus Publishing, 2002, $26
The global business network rejects the notion that one theory fits all when the topic is the future. Coauthors Kelly and Leyden (the GBN’s president and knowledge developer, respectively) map the future’s new terrain into four thematic areas and examine individual aspects of those themes in chapters populated with ideas from 50 artists, scholars, scientists and writers. The effect is remarkably like a live symposium and a solid demonstration of the GBN’s mantra that “none of us is as smart as all of us.”
A Passion for Ideas: How Innovators Create the New and Shape Our World
By Heinrich von Pierer and Bolko von Oetinger, eds.
Purdue University Press, 2002, $24.95
How is “the new” discovered? ask the editors of A Passion for Ideas, a collection of essays by or interviews with 26 innovators in the fields of art, music, business and science. These creative minds expound on how they “do creativity.” Readers may doubt the subjects’ calm assurances that creativity is possible, even easy. The book’s central challenge, however, is persuasive and undeniable: All organizations have to come out for an encore or become irrelevant.
The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time
By Will Durant
Simon & Schuster, 2002, $20
Historian and philosopher Will Durant was frequently asked for his opinion on the best, the greatest or the highest, and answered in a series of essays that originally appeared as magazine articles and lectures and have now been compiled into The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time.
Numerous books have exhumed historical figures and propped them up as exemplars of modern corporate virtues. Thankfully, this lively little book is not one of those. Reading it is to experience Durant’s great mind having fun. Readers will have fun too with this pure play of ideas.
CIO Best-Seller List
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan
Crown Publishing Group, 2002
Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
By Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
Harvard Business School Press, 2002
Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen
By Rudolph W. Giuliani
Miramax Books, 2002
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t
By Jim Collins
HarperCollins Publishers, 2001
Source: October 2002 data, compiled by Powell’s Books, Portland, Ore.