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Home » Books » Business » Management » General

Weird Ideas That Work

How to Build a Creative Company

By Robert I. Sutton

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Format: Paperback, 232 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 01 May 2007
A breakthrough in management thinking, "weird ideas" can help every organization achieve a balance between sustaining performance and fostering new ideas. To succeed, you need to be both conventional and counterintuitive. Creativity, new ideas, innovation--in any age they are keys to success. Yet, as Stanford professor Robert Sutton explains, the standard rules of business behavior and management are precisely the opposite of what it takes to build an innovative company. We are told to hire people who will fit in; to train them extensively; and to work to instill a corporate culture in every employee. In fact, in order to foster creativity, we should hire misfits, goad them to fight, and pay them to defy convention and undermine the prevailing culture. Weird Ideas That Work codifies these and other proven counterintuitive ideas to help you turn your workplace from staid and safe to wild and woolly--and creative. In Weird Ideas That Work Sutton draws on extensive research in behavioral psychology to explain how innovation can be fostered in hiring, managing, and motivating people; building teams; making decisions; and interacting with outsiders. Business practices like "hire people who make you uncomfortable" and "reward success and failure, but punish inaction," strike many managers as strange or even downright wrong. Yet Weird Ideas That Work shows how some of the best teams and companies use these and other counterintuitive practices to crank out new ideas, and it demonstrates that every company can reap sales and profits from such creativity. Weird Ideas That Work is filled with examples, drawn from hi- and low-tech industries, manufacturing and services, information and products. More than just a set of bizarre suggestions, it represents a breakthrough in management thinking: Sutton shows that the practices we need to sustain performance are in constant tension with those that foster new ideas. The trick is to choose the right balance between conventional and "weird"--and now, thanks to Robert Sutton's work, we have the tools we need to do so.

Reviews

"One of the best business books of the year." -- Harvard Business Review "Stanford professor Robert Sutton is a unique voice with an urgent message about how to generate and capitalize on new ideas." -- Fast Company "One of the best business books of the year." -- "Harvard Business Review" "One of the best business books of the year." -- "Harvard Business Review" "One of the best business books of the year."-- "Harvard Business Review" Gary Hamelauthor of "Leading the Revolution" and chairman of Strategos"Weird Ideas That Work" starts with a very smart analysis of why so many leaders say they want innovation, but unwittingly perpetuate the very prejudices and dogmas that strangle breakout thinking and radical doing. Sutton offers first-class advice on how to build a company where innovation is a way of life. If you ignore the essential practices advocated in this lively and well-researched book, you'll do so at your peril. John Seely Brownco-author of "The Social Life of Information" and director of Xerox PARC from 1990 to 2000This is a delightful and evocative book. After reading it the only thing that will look really weird is much of current management theory and existing human resource management practices. Christopher E. Bangledirector of design at BMW Group"Weird Ideas That Work" embraces the counterintuitive secrets that successful designers use at BMW and elsewhere, and Bob Sutton brings them to life in a way that anyone who manages innovation can use. G. John Pizzeygroup president of Alcoa Primary ProductsHarnessing the power of the individual is the essence of management. Bob Sutton's book challenges us with the ideas that can free us from rigid cultures that suppress this force. David Kelleyfounder and chairman of IDEOWhen I heard Sutton's weird ideas for the first time, I thought he was really nuts. Then, I started trying some of them around our firm, like hiring people who don't fit in so that they'll bring new ideas and encouraging people to disagree with me and with the company norms. Many of Sutton's weird ideas are now standard practice around here. They help us be more innovative and come up with better ideas. I find Professor Sutton's ideas to be unique and surprisingly useful.

EAN: 9780743227889
ISBN: 0743227883
Publisher: Free Press
Dimensions: 21.08 x 14.05 x 1.57 centimetres (0.23 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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