Recommended Books

While these resources are derived from faculty recommendations, none represents an official endorsement by the college.

Note: Many of these titles are available to CCA students, staff, and faculty at the CCA Libraries. Take advantage of the online catalog that allows searching by category such as sustainability-related resources.

Moments of Impact

How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change

by Lisa Solomon & Chris Ertel

A Forbes Bestseller. Great strategic conversations generate breakthrough insights by combining the best ideas of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. In this book, two experts “crack the code” on what it takes to design creative, collaborative problem-solving sessions that soar rather than sink.

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Rise of the DEO

Leadership by Design

by Maria Giudice & Christopher Ireland

Just as we took our cues from MBAs and the military in casting the ideal CEO of the 20th century, we can look to design—in its broadest form—to model our future leader, the DEO. These leaders possess characteristics, behaviors and mindsets that allow them to excel in unpredictable, fast-moving and value-charged conditions. They are catalysts for transformation and agents of change. A hybrid of strategic business executive and creative problem-solver, the DEO is willing to take on anything as an object of design and looks at all problems as design challenges.

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Making Meaning

How Successful Businesses Deliver Meaningful Customer Experiences

by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, & Darrel Rhea

In a market economy characterized by commoditized products and global competition, how do companies gain deep and lasting loyalty from their customers? The key is in providing meaningful customer experiences.

Writing in the tradition of Louis Cheskin, one of the founding fathers of market research, the authors (Nathan Shedroff and Steve Diller) of Making Meaning observe, define, and describe the meaningful customer experience. By consciously evoking certain deeply valued meanings through their products, services, and multidimensional customer experiences, they argue, companies can create more value and achieve lasting strategic advantages over their competitors.

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Experience Design 1.1

A Manifesto for the Design of Experiences

by Nathan Shedroff

Experience Design 1.1 is the update to the seminal book Experience Design 1, published in 2001. This update expands the text in the descriptive chapters and adds may new online and offline examples.

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Change by Design

How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation

by Tim Brown

The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities.

This book introduces the idea of design thinking‚ the collaborative process by which the designer′s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people′s needs not only with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short‚ design thinking converts need into demand. It′s a human−centered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and more creative.

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Archetypes in Branding

A Toolkit for Creatives and Strategists

by Margaret Hartwell
A highly participatory approach to brand development. Combined with a companion deck of sixty original archetype cards, this kit will give you a practical tool to:

• Reveal your brand’s motivations, how it moves in the world, what its trigger points are and why it attracts certain customers.
• Forge relationships with the myriad stakeholders that affect your business.
• Empower your team to access their creativity and innovate with integrity.

Readers will use this tool over and over again to inform and enliven brand strategy, and to create resonant and authentic communications. For more information visit

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Humanity in the Machine

What Comes After Greed?

by Brian David Johnson

In this first of the series Humanity in the Machine: What Comes After Greed? world-renowned futurist, Brian David Johnson, counters the myth of runaway, soulless machines, by investigating how technology reflects the mission and values of the societies that create it. From high-speed NASCAR racing to high-speed financial trading, Johnson explores our intimate relationship with our machines and how we incessantly tune them for success, for profit, and routinely for greed. But what comes after greed? Understanding that we imbue our technology and machines with our humanity means we must think more closely about what we are building, why we are building it, and what we want our tools to accomplish. Can we optimize for something other than profit? Streamline for profit plus… other values: fairness, quality, safety or social responsibility. How do we comprehend the dark side of our choices? Ultimately Johnson discovers how we can design our machines and technology to become the reflection of our better selves?

By the Book

Science Fiction Prototyping

Designing the Future with Science Fiction

by Brian David Johnson

Science Fiction Prototyping is a practical guide to using fiction as a way to imagine our future in a whole new way. Filled with history, real world examples and conversations with experts like best selling science fiction author Cory Doctorow, senior editor at Dark Horse Comics Chris Warner and Hollywood science expert Sidney Perkowitz, Science Fiction Prototyping will give you the tools you need to begin designing the future with science fiction.

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Design is the Problem

The Future of Design Must Be Sustainable

by Nathan Shedroff

Design makes a tremendous impact on the produced world in terms of usability, resources, understanding, and priorities. What we produce, how we serve customers and other stakeholders, and even how we understand how the world works is all affected by the design of models and solutions. Designers have an unprecedented opportunity to use their skills to make meaningful, sustainable change in the world—if they know how to focus their skills, time, and agendas. In Design Is the Problem: The Future of Design Must be Sustainable, Nathan Shedroff examines how the endemic culture of design often creates unsustainable solutions, and shows how designers can bake sustainability into their design processes in order to produce more sustainable solutions.

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Design Strategy in Action

edited by Nathan Shedroff, authored by the faculty of the DMBA

A book about how business education needs to change to be more effective, creative, and entrepreneurial.

Download the Book

Communication, Collaboration & Leadership

Sustainability & Social Innovation

Strategy & Business Design

Design & Customer Experience

Organizational Culture

Economics & Metrics


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Laptops, Software, and Student Discounts



Students are required to use a laptop computer with a minimum 13-inch screen and WiFi access. Students can choose any Windows or Macintosh laptop (the latest models of Macintosh computers also run Windows).

The college recommends the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Students may opt for the 13-inch MacBook Pro  or MacBook Air. Educational Technology Services (ETS) offers a MacBook Pro bundle.

Alternatively, students may use a tablet device in class, such as an iPad, as long as its operating system is capable of supporting either of the software packages below (the iPad now supports the iWork software).

Realistically, students with tablets should have access to a laptop or desktop computer at home or work in order to complete assignments.


The program requires students to use standard business software (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application):

  • Microsoft Office ($85, estimated CCA price); or
  • Apple iWork ($71, $30 for iPad, estimated CCA price)

Optionally, students may want to have access to design applications, such as photo manipulation, HTML production, illustration/drawing, and page layout. However, it’s not necessary to purchase and use professional-level tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite.

Student Discounts

The college has agreements with Apple, HP, and software distributors to offer discounts to CCA students: