Thinkers50 Best New Management Books for 2022

In May 2022, Thinkers50 launched the Thinkers50 Booklists: a curated guide to the very best books on management. A neat shelf of must-have books for busy managers. We kicked off with 10 Management Classics for 2022 — a collection of management books that have stood the test of time.

We follow that with the second list of the series, the Thinkers50 Best New Management Books: Top 10 New Titles for 2022


The Criteria for the
Thinkers50 Best New Management Books for 2022:

All books published from January 2021 to June 2022 are eligible.

We are looking for the 3 Rs:

  • Relevance: does the book address a current and pressing issue or challenge?
  • Rigour: is it well-researched and based on real-world examples?
  • Readability: is it accessible, insightful, and inspiring?

As with the criteria for the Classics booklist, the only other rule is that you cannot nominate your own book.


Thinkers50 Best New Books 2022

Best New Management Books:
Top 10 New Titles for 2022

1. Built to Innovate: Essential Practices to Wire Innovation into Your Company, Ben Bensaou (with Karl Weber)

Built to Innovate shows how leaders can create an innovating engine that mobilizes all the people who work for their organization. The book offers both a big-picture conceptual framework and a proven method developed through many years of academic research and practice. It is filled with interesting examples and is thought-provoking. It is a must-read.’

— W. Chan Kim, co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy, INSEAD professor, Thinkers50 #1 Ranked Management Thinker in 2019.

2. Deep Purpose: The Heart and Soul of High-Performance Companies, Ranjay Gulati

‘Pursuing a purpose as a company means arriving at a clear understanding of what you were put on this planet to do. It helps you steer in the right direction, navigate tradeoffs, and, when connected to a social or personal purpose, it can inspire remarkable performance. Deep Purpose peels back the layers to unveil what it truly takes to cultivate a purpose-driven culture, one that enables both the company and its employees to experience its power and benefit from the growth it can generate.’

— Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy

3. Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance, Erica Dhawan

‘One of the most common problems in digital life is that the intended message gets lost in translation, and we get trapped in an ongoing game of telephone. Erica Dhawan has compelling solutions to help us send and receive the right signals.’

— Adam Grant, organizational psychologist, Wharton professor, Thinkers50 #6 Ranked Management Thinker in 2021

4. Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger and Multiply Your Impact, Liz Wiseman

‘Liz Wiseman has done it again. Impact Players is an engaging and practical guide to how anyone can be more effective at work. In a refreshing departure from the relentless emphasis on leadership that dominates the field, Wiseman digs into the important question of how people make themselves valuable and how they find ways to make an impact when and where it matters most.’

— Amy Edmondson, pioneer and champion of psychological safety, HBS professor, Thinkers50 #1 Ranked Management Thinker in 2021

5. Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take, Paul Polman and Andrew Winston

‘A compelling and inspiring case that businesses can—and should—boost their bottom lines by contributing to their communities and protecting the environment.’

— Al Gore, former US Vice President, founder and chairman of The Climate Reality Project

6. Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company, Whitney Johnson

‘Whitney Johnson has few equals when it comes to the topic of personal growth. And now she has offered a true masterpiece. Her model is instructive and straightforward, but that’s the least of it. I love, love, love the case studies. The people she has visited with and the stories they have given to her deserve the word ‘peerless’. Yes, it is a serious study, but it is also a true, genuine page-turner.’

— Tom Peters, co-author of In Search of Excellence, recipient of the Thinkers50 Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017

7. The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It, Jennifer Moss

‘Burnout is today’s burning issue and Jennifer has written a playbook to help us all understand how to address this critical topic. If you care about the people in your organization and setting them up to succeed, this book is a must read.’

— Linda Boff, CMO and VP, Culture and Learning, GE

8. The Conversation: Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, Robert Livingston

‘Social justice is a long game, and it has to start with awareness of the problem. Dr. Livingston’s book, just like his live presentations, is one of the most compelling articulations of the problems of racism and discrimination that I have encountered. As I’ve seen in my work with organizations like Airbnb, when a company is prepared to do serious work, the results can be extraordinary. This wonderful book is the place to start. The Conversation manages to be both intellectually compelling and substantive while also being infused with warmth and humor, just like Robert. I highly recommend it.’

— Laura W. Murphy, civil rights activist, consultant, and former director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

9. The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas, Loran Nordgren and David Schonthal

‘Whether you’re a creator looking to execute or an executive looking to create, this book is a timely read.’

— Dan Pink, New York Times bestselling author, Thinkers50 #9 Ranked Management Thinker in 2021

10. The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right, Gorick Ng

‘A blueprint for anyone starting their career, entering a new role, or wanting to get unstuck.’

— Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post & Thrive Global

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