Are you a Maverick at Work? Book Review

9 05 2007

Mavericks at Work

This book is a report from the front lines of the future of business. It is not a book of best practices. It is a book of next practices-a set of insights and a collection of case studies that amount to a business plan for the 21st century, a new way to lead, compete, and succeed.

Our basic argument is as straightforward to explain as it is urgent to apply: When it comes to thriving in a hyper-competitive marketplace, “playing it safe” is no longer playing it smart. In an economy defined by overcapacity, oversupply, and utter sensory overload-an economy in which everyone already has more than enough of whatever it is you’re selling-the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for a truly distinctive set of ideas about where your company and industry can and should be going. You can’t do big things as a competitor if you’re content with doing things a little better than the competition.

This book is devoted to the proposition that the best way to out-perform the competition is to out-think the competition. Maverick companies aren’t always the largest in their field; maverick entrepreneurs don’t always make the cover of the business magazines. But mavericks do the work that matters most-the work of originality, creativity, and experimentation. They demonstrate that you can build companies around high ideals and fierce competitive ambitions, that the most powerful way to create economic value is to embrace a set of values that go beyond just amassing power, and that business, at its best, is too exciting, too important, and too much fun to be left to the dead hand of business as usual.

Who are these mavericks? The core ideas in this book are rooted in the strategies, practices, and leadership styles of 32 organizations with vastly different histories, cultures, and business models. But all of them are business originals, based on the distinctiveness of their ideas and the power of their practices. They are rethinking competition, reinventing innovation, reconnecting with customers, and redesigning work. Together, they are creating a maverick agenda for business-an agenda from which every business can learn.

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