With episode 54 to be published later this week, the Collaborative Business Podcast is starting to become a very rich resource for learning more about practical ways of working in business collaborations. Over the existence of this podcast I have interviewed over 40 alliance professionals and entrepreneurs about their experiences in working together in business collaborations like alliances and partnerships.

In almost every episode I have asked my guest for their favorite business book or book related to business collaborations and strategic alliances. Some of the guests had no recommendation as they were stepping away from reading traditional books and preferred the online reading of blogs and news articles. Others did come up with their recommendation and sometimes they even had up to four book recommendations!

Surprisingly only a few books were mentioned more than once:

My favorite of all books mentioned by my guests was a book not necessarily business or alliance focused, but about asking questions. Thanks to William Buist I started to read “A more beautiful question”, by Warren Berger. In this book Berger explores the power of asking questions. He takes the reader on a journey where you explore how asking more and better questions can help you to find answers that you will not find when you are only seeking answers.

The book is illustrated with real life stories of people and companies that found their solution or breakthrough product sparked by a – more beautiful – question. The right set of questions inspires new questions and these will lead to solutions that would otherwise have remained out of sight.

In the book Berger outlines a “Why/What If/How” system of inquiry that I, already while reading, applied to some of my own questions and challenges. That led to some innovative solutions for my challenges! 

If you plan to read only one book from the total list, then I would highly recommend it to be “A more beautiful question” by Warren Berger.

Here is the full list of all 46 book recommendations:

  1. Change the World by Robert E. Quinn.
  2. The Corporate Mystic by Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman.
  3. Who moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  4. Alliances: An Executive Guide to Designing Successful Strategic Partnerships by Ard-Pieter de Man
  5. Collaborative Advantage by Jeff Dyer
  6. Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work by Steve Steinhilber
  7. Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker
  8. Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
  9. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  10. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  11. Getting to Yes by Roger Fischer, William Ury and Bruce Patton
  12. Power of 2  – How to Make the Most of Your Partnerships at Work and in Life  by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller
  13. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  14. The Strategy of Conflict by Thomas Schelling
  15. 99 Questions To Jump Start Your Partner Channel Brain by John Fox
  16. Do the work by Steven Pressfield
  17. Google+ Hangouts for Business: How to use Google+ Hangouts to Improve Brand Impact, Build Business and Communicate in Real-Time by David Amerland
  18. Business & Start-up Ideas: A Comprehensive Guide by Alex Genadinik
  19. Marketing Plan & Advertising Strategy To Reach 1,000,000 People (Problemio business) by Alex Genadinik
  20. Alliance Competence: Maximizing the Value of Your Partnerships by Robert Spekman
  21. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
  22. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
  23. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder
  24. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg
  25. Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
  26. Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Second Edition by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
  27. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
  28. Finish Big by Bo Burlingham
  29. Small Giants by Bo Burlingham
  30. A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger
  31. Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Kalsa and Randy Illig
  32. Collaborative Leadership: Building Relationships, Handling Conflict and Sharing Control by David Archer and Alex Cameron
  33. Intelligent Kindness by John Ballatt and Penelope Campling
  34. The BEING Leader: Tracing the ‘Inner Path’ of Legendary Leaders by Sujith Ravindran
  35. The Bhagavad-Gita
  36. Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results by Morten Hansen
  37. Rethinking the Sales Force: Redefining Selling to Create and Capture Customer Value by John DeVincentis and Neil Rackham
  38. The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything by Stephen Covey
  39. Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life by Patti Johnson
  40. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant
  41. Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results by Judith Glaser
  42. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling
  43. 212 the extra degree by Sam Parker
  44. Strategic Alliances and Marketing Partnerships: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Collaboration and Partnering by Andrew Humphries and Richard Gibbs
  45. The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest by Yochai Benkler
  46. The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson
  47. Spiritual Principles in Strategic Alliances by Joe Kittel

* 16/02/15: Updated the booklist with #47, rightfully noticed by Joe Kittel that I wrongfully left it out from the list as we discussed it in one of the first podcast episodes ever!

* Most of the book links mentioned are affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchasing an item via this link will, at no additional cost to you, help support my business.