For once, Stephen Wunker, Jennifer Luo Law, and Hari Nair’s book just gets down to business. Typically there’s a sort of salesmanship quality to business and leadership advice books. Even the ones written by bonafide experts have a good amount of quality spin to them. After all, in many ways salesmanship is part and parcel to the world of business and leadership. Charisma and communication skills are key. Wunker, Law, and Nair hit this out of the park with the release of The Innovative Leader: Step-by-Step Lessons from Top Innovators for You and Your Organization.

 They’re about getting to the heart of things, and this isn’t just represented by their communicatory style, but by their active and articulated structuring of the ideological presentations in the book. In this way, they make everything as accessible as possible, and fully palatable for the uninitiated to boot. “While we focus on the core of what’s critical for innovation, we also include references to additional recommended readings if you’d like to investigate certain topics further,” Wunker, Law, and Nair proclaim. “We’ve divided the book into three sections. The first outlines CREATE, an acronym that represents our formula for what it takes to be an innovative leader. It provides six key methods for you to build your own innovation leadership style. The second section delves into the ABCs for building an innovative organization beyond yourself.


There is one chapter for each of the steps: Aspire, Build, and Cultivate. Each chapter is based on our research and experience, brought to life through real stories and filled with advice and tips that you can use immediately. While you are likely to move ahead on multiple fronts at once, keep in mind that your success with each step will grow if you execute the preceding step well— have your leadership style in place, then clarify your aspirations, build the mechanisms to execute them, and cultivate organizational behaviors for long-term effect. Put the book’s initial two sections together, and you get an acronym that’s shorthand for its key messages: CREATE ABC. We hope that, years from now, you’ll look back on the learnings from this book and keep that acronym in mind—CREATE ABC will take you far.”

By introducing the simple but effective ideological encapsulation CREATE ABC, Wunker, Law, and Nair are able to make many of the headier concepts in the book easy to remember. This kind of corporate psychology move is immensely effective, because it makes the reader feel it’s easy to be empowered. The concepts and methods aren’t some far away things attainable only to those with certain ‘skills.’ These skills can be accumulated by anyone, using these kinds of tricks and memorizing some basic categorizations. “This book is chock-full of content. It’s designed to be both an easy read and a reference you can use for years to come.

The book’s organization reflects that—you can dip in-and-out of chapters or portions of chapters, quickly seeking the parts that are most relevant to you as your innovation journey proceeds,” Wunker, Law, and Nair write.

Cyrus Rhodes