B Corp Recommended Reading List

Which books have most inspired your business and/or B Corp journey?

I love reading business books in particular, so I have a lot but I’ll try to choose the top 5 that have been most influential.

  1. Small Giants - Companies that choose to be great instead of big; Bo Burlingham.
  2. It Doesn’t Have To Crazy At Work ; Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I’ve only just read this but it’s focused on the concept of being a “calm company” with an anti-asap culture. Jason has written two other amazing books called Rework and *Remote . I’m a fan!
  3. Let my people go surfing ; Yvon Chouinard. No B Corp book list is complete without this wonderful read from Patagonia’s founder!
  4. Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind; Yuval Noah Harari
  5. The Great Game - The Only Sensible Way To Run A Business; Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham.

Although my favourite titled business book is A Lapsed Anarchist’s Guide To Building a Better Business. By Ari Weizweig.

Let’s keep the list going! Which books have influenced you?


Great list, Alison! If anyone doesn’t have a copy of the 2nd Edition of the B Corp Handbook on their desk, I definitely recommend it! The 2nd Edition has very specific tools for building an inclusive economy.


To start off my journey, I would say for personal development I have really enjoyed:
How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie
Body Language - Allan Pease

For more business-oriented stories I really like:
Hatching Twitter - Nick Bilton
The Facebook Effect - David Kirkpatrick
The Everything Store - Brad Stone

A great quote I always think about is from Good to Great (Jim Collins) who said:
"You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.

Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.

In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances."


I love a good social entrepreneur autobiography. Some favourites:
Let My People Go Surfing - Yvonne Chouinard
I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai
Give Work - Leila Janah
The Blue Sweater - Jacqueline Novogratz
Not a social entrepreneur but Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is amazing also.

For political economy and to understand what’s going on in the world:
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - Shoshana Zuboff
Dying of Whiteness - Jonathan Metzl
Winners Take All - Anand Giridharadas
Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild

For Inspiration:
This is Marketing - Seth Godin
The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer
Daring Greatly - Brene Brown
The Game Changer - Dr Jason Fox


Great thread!

My favourite books in this space are:

Who Cares Wins - David Jones
The Future we Choose - Christiana Figueres
What Makes us Tick - Hugh Mackay
Chapter One - Daniel Flynn
Conscious Capitalism - Field Guide
Building Social Business - Muhammad Yunus
The Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid - C. K. Prahalad


Thanks Paul, quite a lot of new ones for me there! This is turning into a fantastic list. Feel free to kick off any new discussions too!

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