It might just be me, but I have long thought that E+ was the elusive grade in school. The one I always felt should exist yet it never did. I mean seriously, grades are like a chromatic scale except we skip E all together so we can give people F’s for Failure……the modern scarlet letter. Not so ironically, we all must learn to better embrace and celebrate failure.
Anyway, so that’s why I decided to call this the E+ Awards. To give the effort-based grade to “business books” about entrepreneurialism, innovation and personal change. I’m also doing the E+ Awards because enough people have asked me for book recommendations lately that I thought it would be easier to just provide an official list
The E+ says; you took a risk, challenged the status quo and created something uniquely valuable when you could have completely failed. I’ve awarded it to three books, which were released as part of a 10 book summer reading list I wrote for InnovatioNews.
Oh, E also happens to stand for EntrepreNerds…
The first three recipients of the E+ awards are…….(drum role please)………..
- Seth Godin’s, The Icarus Deception
- The Business Model Generation by Alex O, et al, and
- Daniel Pink’s new book, To Sell is Human.
So, how did I choose the recipients?
Well, it is no secret that I’m a fan of Seth Godin. I suppose you could call me a member of his tribe (although we’ve never “met”). But above and beyond that, The Icarus Deception is the only book I’ve ever read and thought, “this might be the most quotable book I’ve ever read.” Which pretty much means it is, those thoughts have never crossed my mind before or since.
I also felt personally touched by Godin’s book. When so many other authors are telling you how to do something, Godin argues that dreaming big, expressing your creativity, practicing innovation, taking risks, and leading the charge are all necessary for the good of humanity. It is so refreshing to read a business book that encourages readers to tap into their intuition, follow their gut, challenge convention and make shit happen. “The question isn’t whether you are capable of godlike work. (you are.) The question is: Are you willing?”
The Business Model Generation appeals to me on many different levels. First of all, the entire book was co-created, hello community and collaboration. Secondly, it is artistically done and aesthetically pleasing, like art in public places (I love that)! Lastly, I think it’s really cool that the business model canvas is open source = they’re walking the talk with a 21st century business model. I personally admire the vision, leadership and dedication it took to create this valuable resource.
The Business Model Canvas (the tool the book is based on) is, in and of itself, incredibly valuable. Osterwalder effectively simplified a very complicated concept into a tool that makes it easier for teams to collaboratively build a viable business. The Business Model Generation provides useful insights and suggestions about how to create, evaluate and build a strategy around your business model. It is the kind of book you will need to read, re-read and reference in order to effectively learn how to apply all the lessons shared.
Daniel Pink’s new book is a nice light reading. That’s not to say that it isn’t insightful, it most certainly is. But, it reads easily. Pink tackles an issue, a hangup, an aversion (oh my) that many people have, it is one I believe we need to get over. That is a hatred of sales. I’ve been there, I used the think sales was this icky, nasty, gross thing = yuck!
Then I took a job in sales because the mission really spoke to me. And I learned how to develop my sales-ability. My efforts were very values driven. As a result my sales didn’t much look like some of the traditional sales tactics they teach. My practice looked more like Pink’s reframing of sales as we know it…luckily he provides practical insight for you to develop your own authentic sales-ability.
So those are the inaugural three winners of the E+ Awards! This, I hope, is only the beginning. Of course like any endeavor, this could completely fail…Despite that, I’m giving it my all and asking for your help. Have you read a book you think deserve an E+ Award? Tell me about it, I will be selecting 3 new recipients for a back-to-school list this fall. I’d love to hear your suggestions.