Skip to content

Top Five Summer Business Books

Summer reading lists often lean towards easy entertainment, but there’s no reason a little learning can’t sneak in, too. These five summer business books find that perfect harmony between pleasure and productivity.

By Meghan Jeffery



Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk: Darling, You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise to Ignore On Your Way Up), May 2014

Creative powerhouses, Kestin and Vonk, come well prepared to teach (and humorously preach!) how to ignore the regimented guidelines of business and learn to push yourself, and your team, to think outside the box. The creators of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign and co-founders of Swim explain how being a mother, leader, and innovator can truly come together, if you work hard for it and ignore the naysayers.








yes-and-kell-leonardKelly Leonard and Tom Yorton: Yes, And, February 2015

Written by executives from The Second City, these comedic professionals share how improvisational techniques can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses. Rules for leadership and teamwork have changed – and this novel provides an excellent toolkit for individuals and organizations to use and succeed in a world that is shaped by immediacy, social communication, and decentralization.









Kevin Ashton: How to Fly a Horse, January 2015

Ashton will take you on a psychological journey into how some of the simplest and most complex creations were invented. His focus is on examining why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, and as a technology pioneer at MIT and leader of successful start-ups, Ashton knows a thing or two. From Mozart to Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, you will certainly find inspiration to understand how these great products and inventions came to life through the lens of Ashton’s research.








the-misfit-economy-clayAlexa Clay: The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs, June 2015

How do fringe members of our society fit into our framework of success? Clay answers just that as she focuses on the innovators you’ve never heard of, telling stories of people that are entrepreneurial and visionary – including pirates, computer hackers, pranksters, and gang leaders. Yes, it’s an interesting take on what “success” means, but it also includes lessons we can apply in the non-criminal world.









Amanda Lang: The Power of Why, October 2012

Human beings are innately curious creatures, yet in business, many of us tend to shy away from pursuing the question of why. Children use “why” to learn about the world around them, and put into perspective how they fit into the world. Lang shows us in The Power of Why how we can use our internal curiosities to excel in business and gain the creative and practical skills needed to set ourselves apart.








Looking for other opportunities to stay productive this summer? Join our community for access to exclusive discounts, be the first to know about our latest events, and have your choice of top content delivered to your inbox.