What CEOs are reading in 2017

What CEOs are reading in 2017

Leaders of some of the world’s biggest organizations share top 5 books will keep them occupied in the weeks ahead.

Whether you’re heading to a Northern-hemisphere beach or hunkering down for a Southern-hemisphere winter, take inspiration from this eclectic and inspiring mix of fiction and nonfiction books, dog-eared and new.


  1. Serial Innovators: Firms That Change the World—Claudio Feser (John Wiley & Sons, 2011; nonfiction)

“The average life expectancy at “birth” of a firm is roughly 15 years, and only one out of twenty lives longer than fifty years.

Firms are born, they grow, then they struggle to keep up with changing markets. Slow adapters often become big losers, fall by the wayside, and die. Serial Innovators studies the factors affecting the aging of firms, particularly those that slow down their ability to adapt to changes in the marketplace. The book reviews recent findings in relevant academic fields—behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience, organizational science, network theory, anthropology, sociology, and strategy—to understand how firms, as they grow, develop rigidities that prevent change.

It develops a model of organization that is adaptive, innovative, and can create significant value for its stakeholders for long periods of time”.


  1. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World—Adam Grant (Penguin Books, 2017; nonfiction)

The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Give and Takeand co-author of Option B
“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point


  1. The Human Comedy: Selected Stories—Honoré de Balzac (New York Review Books Classics, 2014; fiction)

Characters from every corner of society and all walks of life—lords and ladies, businessmen and military men, poor clerks, unforgiving moneylenders, aspiring politicians, artists, actresses, swindlers, misers, parasites, sexual adventurers, crackpots, and more—move through the pages of The Human Comedy, Balzac’s multivolume magnum opus, an interlinked chronicle of modernity in all its splendor and squalor.The Human Comedy includes the great roomy novels that have exercised such a sway over Balzac’s many literary inheritors, from Dostoyevsky and Henry James to Marcel Proust; it also contains an array of short fictions in which Balzac is at his most concentrated and forceful. Nine of these, all newly translated, appear in this volume, and together they provide an unequaled overview of a great writer’s obsessions and art. Here are “The Duchesse de Langeais,” “A Passion in the Desert,” and “Sarrasine”; tales of madness, illicit passion, ill-gotten gains, and crime. What unifies them, Peter Brooks points out in his introduction, is an incomparable storyteller’s fascination with the power of storytelling, while throughout we also detect what Proust so admired: the “mysterious circulation of blood and desire.”


  1. Churchill: The Power of Words—Martin Gilbert (Da Capo Press, 2012; nonfiction)

This book contains one hundred extracts from his books, articles and speeches. They range from his memories of his schooldays, to his contributions to the debates on social policy and on war, his contributions in both world wars to the events and discourse, and his efforts after 1945 to see the world a better place.


  1. Leading Change—John P. Kotter (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012; nonfiction)

Named one of the twenty-five most influential business-management books by TIME.com. The international bestseller–now with a new preface by the author. Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotter’s ideas on change management and leadership. “Leading Change” is widely recognized as his seminal work on leading transformational change, and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration: effectively managing operations while seizing new opportunity. Needed more today than at any time in the past, this immensely relevant book serves as both a visionary guide and a practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Freshly designed and with new commentary by John Kotter, “Leading Change” is a true leadership classic.

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