As the adage goes, minds are like parachutes … they work best when they’re open.

There’s no better way to open your mind to the possibilities of the year ahead than by diving into one of these must-read business books.

New Thinking

1) Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas
by Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne

“Brainsteering” takes brainstorming and other idea-creating techniques and steers them in a new direction – one that better reflects the way human beings actually think and work in creative problem-solving situations. The authors have helped Fortune 500 companies, small not-for-profits and individuals steer their businesses in new and more productive directions.

2) The Third Screen: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile
by Chuck Martin

As mobile devices (the third screen) create an entirely “untethered consumer,” Martin looks at how this new breed of customer changes the fundamental assumptions of marketing and customer service. This slim, information-packed volume shares how to leverage a mobile device’s GPS information to create location-based promotional offers and how best to provide opt-in text messaging, as well as how consumers’ information-seeking behavior changes on mobile technology.

Modern Masterpieces

3) Jumping the S Curve: How to Beat the Growth Cycle, Get on Top, and Stay There
by Paul F. Nunes and Tim Breene

This critical look at sustained high performance is an essential read for leaders expected to deliver long-term earnings growth while facing the challenges of increased competition, pricing pressures, maturing markets and a rapidly changing business. Accenture’s Paul Nunes and Tim Breene analyze how some companies manage to achieve repeated peaks of business performance using engaging case studies and other examples.

4) Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People
by Edward M. Hallowell

Bestselling author Ned Hallowell draws on brain science, performance research and his own experience helping people maximize their potential to present a proven process for getting the best from your people. A vital new resource for managers seeking to inspire excellence in their teams, Shine provides actionable insight for helping your people “shine” their brightest – from inspiring solid contributors to strive for more, to getting a fallen player back on track.

First Person

5) Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
by Tony Hsieh

Applying research from the science of happiness to running a business, the CEO of online retailer Zappos beautifully illustrates the concept of a strong employee-centric culture. The book’s core message? When you exceed your employees’ expectations, they in turn will exceed your customers’ expectations.

6.) Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Losing Its Soul
by Howard Schultz

This first-person account from the Starbucks CEO captures all the drama of his return to the iconic company, and how, during one of the most tumultuous economic times in history, Starbucks again achieved profitability and sustainability without sacrificing humanity.