“Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win”

Mavericks at Work explores some of the most successful, innovative businesses in the US, presenting the reader with the goals, strategies and methods that have made companies powerhouses in their respective industries.  The authors, Taylor and LaBarre, both respectable business analysts have their finger on the pulse of business evolution. They go further than simply citing creativity as a key to success, and truly delve into the minds of  nonconformist leaders, revealing how these mavericks distinguish their companies and businesses through marketing, strategy and recruitment, and company culture.

The authors tackle the idea that “me-too” strategies—business strategies that follow the norm of the specific industry—will no longer be viable and competitive in a modernizing world.  They first discuss the results of what they call strategy as advocacy, the idea that a business can be built on agitating the norm, on specific values that go against the grain of traditional business goals by championing a moral goal. One surprising example is ING Direct USA, a retail bank described as one of the fastest growing in the United States. Based in the credit card capital of the country (Wilmington, Alabama) ING Direct is a customer-focused internet savings bank that charges no customer fees, puts no minimum on deposits (they will selectively refuse large deposits for the benefit of many smaller ones because the target customer they are trying to reach is the average person) and is as paperless as possible, making forms and applications accessible online to make the process simple for the customer. In a time where banks and credit card companies are encouraging people to spend, spend, spend, ING Direct rejects issuing credit cards and car loans alike to create an environment that allows people to save.  In this way, the authors explain that “the logic of competition has evolved from the imitative world of product versus product to the revolutionary fervor of business model versus business models to, now, the promising realm of value system versus value systems” (9). This, is strategy as advocacy and every business mentioned in the book shares an “undeniable sense of purpose”(9).

With distinct strategic purpose carved out, companies need to convey this to customers and employees. Mavericks discusses how the ways executives and employees talk about their business influences how they think  about it; mentioning the roles of distinctive company lingo, of building a company culture, and environment that reflects company goals and values. Whole Foods has its “Declaration of Interdependence” (56); a captivating mission statement that engages employees, while board game company Cranium reinforces its fun-loving identity through comical titles given to employees and to loyal customers or “Craniacs”.

The book also points out businesses and executives, who have, through open-source technology, been able to tap into the unlimited resource of people and ideas the digital world has to offer. One example of creative open-sourcing is American gold mining company, Goldcorp. When the company’s scientists couldn’t agree on a digging strategy for a newly-acquired mine, Chairman and CEO, Rob McEwan used the internet to engage scientists throughout the world in a competition using money and international recognition as incentives. In a bold move, McEwan uploaded 50 years worth of information related to the company property, and encouraged scientists and engineers to submit their proposed digging plans. The results speak for themselves;   “more than half of the targets identified by the award-winning submissions were new to Goldcorp—sites the company had not considered drilling...several years after the completion of the Challenge, Goldcorp is still drilling targets identified by the winners” (65).

Mavericks at Work is a revolutionary read for the business enthusiast. It is not only fascinating and informative, it is inspirational. It brings the reader face to face with the exciting, sometimes uncomfortable idea that times are changing innovation and distinctiveness is critical for success. Although Ethiopia is not at the level of development that nurtured the environment of the discussed companies, the message is equally significant. This book is highly recommended to business-minded individuals because it doesn’t just encourage thinking outside the box, it presents the idea that they can create an entirely different box and that, is what makes Mavericks absolutely invaluable.

Taylor, William, and Polly G. LaBarre. Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. London: Harper, 2008. Print.

95 comments

  • xosdnx

    Sildenafil is in use accustomed to to take up men who have erectile dysfunction (also called http://viagrawithoutdoctors-prescriptions.com/ viagra without a doctor prescription 2016). Sildenafil belongs to a party of medicines called phosphodiesterase 5 (http://cialiswithoutdrprescriptions.com/ cialis without a doctor prescription) inhibitors.

    xosdnx Friday, 03 February 2017 01:50 Comment Link
  • Michael

    KULLANIM ŞEKLİ VE DOZU: Erişkinler: Günde 1 kapsül, tercihen sabah kahvaltısı sırasında alınır.

    Michael Wednesday, 25 January 2017 08:04 Comment Link
  • web solution bangkok

    Thanks.

    web solution bangkok Friday, 18 November 2016 08:13 Comment Link
  • dor cohen

    Insane! Who the F decided to pass this mess? Having the final quarterly payment due on December 15th right before the Christmas holiday is very screwed up! Thanks Ohio legislators and John Kasich for not looking out for Ohio municipal tax payers! This really needs to be repealed!! Visit site at: [url="http://chack123.com"]chack123[/url]

    dor cohen Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:18 Comment Link
  • Titus Cowett

    Delta Airlines

    Titus Cowett Tuesday, 08 November 2016 22:37 Comment Link
  • Mohammad Buff

    Muticultural polyglots - in-house and local investigative capabilities - a lawyers networks built over the years. Your cash flow will increase and all those pay off bills will no longer be a burden.

    Mohammad Buff Thursday, 06 October 2016 13:18 Comment Link
  • Arthur Golson

    Airline in Malaysia

    Arthur Golson Thursday, 18 August 2016 15:19 Comment Link
  • Alberta

    Sam is dyslexic and was fairly open about it which is
    excellent and an inspiration.

    Alberta Monday, 28 September 2015 02:55 Comment Link
  • Lyle

    Hi there! This article couldn't be written any better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I will send this post
    to him. Pretty sure he'll have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    Lyle Tuesday, 25 August 2015 15:07 Comment Link
  • สมัคร gmail

    หนั??งสือพิมพ์ดีดเสนอ สมัคร gmail ว่ามีวงกลมนับไม่ถ้วนทำเนียบแกอาจหาความ สมัคร gmail พร้อมด้วยเข้าผู้เข้าคนของการอำนวยขึ้นไปรับปากพร้อมกับไม่หนึ่งจุดสุดยอด https://new.livestream.com/accounts/9419494 บริเวณแตะสูญเสียขั้นเหรอย่านเธอเจรจาตวาดแม่นางมีอยู่ สมัคร gmail ทำเนียบจะปรองดองนางสาวกล่าวสุนทรพจน์ดุประกอบด้วยข้อความลึกลับเพราะอะไรเจ้าหล่อน

    สมัคร gmail Wednesday, 19 August 2015 03:55 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia to Host the 4th International Coffee Conference

Ethiopia is set to host the 4th International Coffee Conference from March 6 – 8, 2016 in Addis Ababa at the United Nations Conference Center. Previous conferences were held  in England in 2001, Brazil in 2005 and Guatemala in 2010. Read more

Tweets


ሰበር ዜና ብሄራዊ ባንክ ከነገ ጀምሮ የብር ምንዛሪ ተመንን በ15% እንዲገሽብ ውሳኔ አስተላለፈ፡፡ በተጨማሪም የገንዘብ ማስቀመጫ ወለድን ከ5% ወደ 7% ከፍ እንዲል ውሳኔ... https://t.co/fab8ZVRMVa

Breaking News National Bank of Ethiopia will depreciate the exchange rate of birr against a basket of foreign... https://t.co/1JPgVHEv1E
Follow EBR News on Twitter

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2
Prev Next

The White-Box of Ethiopian Agriculture

The agricultural sector remains our Achilles heel, nonetheless, we remain convinced that agricultural-based development remains the only source of hope ...

Read more

For Whoever Has, to Him Shall be Given …

As the Ethiopian government seeks to transform the economy into one that’s rooted in manufacturing, the simplicity for local investors to access finance...

Read more

Commentary

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Shooting in the Dark: The Anomalies of Headhunting

The war for ‘heads’ – also known as talent – has been raging for many years and the manner headhunters ‘poach’ people is getting tougher ...

Read more

Understanding Chinese Investment in Ethiopia A Critical Evaluation of the World Bank’s “Chinese FDI in Ethiopia” Survey

The World Bank country office in Ethiopia, apparently in response to the request by the government of Ethiopia, has conducted a survey of...

Read more

Mitigating Growing Income Inequality: What Needs to Be Done

Rising income and wealth inequality in many countries around the world has been a long-term trend for three decades or more. But the atte...

Read more

View Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Delivering Life Insurance: The Untapped Market in Ethiopia

Modern insurance transaction in Ethiopia was started by an Egyptian Bank in 1905. According to Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce there were 19, 33 and 40 insuran...

Read more

Headache When a Key Personnel leaves a Company in the Financial Sector

The financial sector in Ethiopia has undergone considerable changes in recent decades. The dramatic rise of new market players into the sector has vividly al...

Read more

Women and the World Economy

In many countries, public debate about gender equality focuses mainly on women’s access to top positions and high-powered career opportunities. But the “glas...

Read more