Don’t stop me now. The innovator’s bookshelf

‘Creative People Must Be Stopped!’ is the cornerstone book for a MOOC I’m doing from Vanderbilt University & (US) National Arts Strategies, ‘Leading Innovation in Arts and Culture’ via Coursera

Creative People Must Be Stopped! offers a general framework for thinking about innovation (and what constrains it).  Each chapter of the book examines one of six dominant perspectives that most writers on innovation will adopt. 

This is the recommended reading list for the book, not the course: from Innovator’s Bookshelf

I’ve bolded the authors where I have read the books previously, but some are due a re-visit, not to mention the new ones!


Book Title
(Amazon Page Link)


Individual Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 2)

Steve Jobs Isaacson, Walter
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Tufte, Edward
Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas Adams, James L.
The Design of Everyday Things Norman, Donald
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences Gardner, Howard E.

Group Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 3)

Weird Ideas That Work: How to Build a Creative Company Sutton, Robert I.
The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm Kelley, Tom
Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst Sutton, Robert I.
The Social Life of Information Brown, John Seely & P. Duguid
The Deep Dive at IDEO Nightline Video (ABC News)

Organizational Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 4)

Serious Play: How the World’s Best Companies Simulate to Innovate Schrage, Michael
The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage Martin, Roger
The Soul of A New Machine Kidder, Tracy
Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal Computer Smith, Douglas K. & R. Alexander
Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration Bennis, Warren, & W. Biederman
The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization Senge, Peter M.

Industry Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 5)

The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business Christensen, Clayton M.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Kuhn, Thomas S.
Managing The Professional Service Firm Maister, David
Crossing the Chasm Moore, Geoffrey
Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age Knopper, Steve
Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors Porter, Michael E.

Societal Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 6)

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Chip & Dan Heath
The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor Abbott, Andrew
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Updated Edition Bornstein, David
The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World Schwartz, Peter
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things McDonough and Braungart
Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition Rogers, Everett

Technological Innovation Constraints

(Chapter 7)

Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities Terwiesch, C. & K. Ulrich
Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation Burgelman, Christensen, & Wheelwright
How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate Hargadon, Andrew
Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology Chesbrough, Henry W.
Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature Benyus, Janine M.