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

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  475 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Business as usual is a bust . . .

In industry after industry, organizations that were once dismissed as upstarts, wildcards—mavericks—are making serious waves and growing fast. From high-profile innovators such as HBO and Google to funky sandwich shop chains, the truly imaginative and unconventional businesses are changing the way things are done—providing new approaches, s
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2006)
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Feb 27, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most valuable business books I've ever read. It is all about the most innovative, successful business leaders in the world today and the cutting edge consciousness that brought them to where they are. This book chronicles the true awakening occurring in the best of Corporate America. While reading this book I simply got it...the next step for me in my leadership of my company.
Mar 27, 2012 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I took away is that if I am the CEO of a company, I should put "Grand Poo-bah" instead of my title on the card to show I'm a true Maverick and like to have fun while being serious.
Jeanne Roxanne
Starbucks, Apple, Google, Disney Pixar, Microsoft, Ford, Top Coder, Procter & Gamble, Jones Soda, IBM, HBO, Goldcorp, DPR Construction, Cranium, Anthropologie and even the famous live entertainment performer Cirque du Soleil, these are just few companies discussed on this book that took that leap out from the crowd, adapt that eccentric idea, standout, outperformed their rivals and harvested from the crops they sown, that is what authors William Taylor and Polly Labarre reveals in Mavericks ...more
John Tan
Jan 02, 2008 John Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
In this book, the authors highlight the traits that distinguish great companies from the merely good ones. The authors first explain how every company needs to figure out its higher calling, or its purpose, before it can embark on any form of strategic planning. The authors give examples of companies such as Southwest 'to democratize the skies' and HBO 'It's not TV. It's HBO' who have found the higher calling of their business. The authors then move on to make the case that the best way to beat ...more
May 08, 2009 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard one of the authors (Polly LaBarre) speak at a conference recently. She was a good speaker so I purchased her book (and she signed it, too).

Lots of good examples, but it would be interesting to read about mavericks who had failed.
Not much in terms of fresh ideas or, insights. The sample base is also selected to match the hypothesis of the book. However, good read to go through.
Jul 29, 2011 irfan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely one of the best book that I've ever read, for books of this genre. There are tonnes of ideas that are explored, some simply of the sort that one would think. "Why didn't I think of that earlier?" Chapter 4 is a good classic example, where at times, the atypical method to seeking solutions is to find them within your own flock, but this chapter prove that at times, you just need to go beyond your sheltered environment and seek them elsewhere, notwithstanding the fact that the p ...more
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 Blog on Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like a host of the new "psychosocial" business books, Mavericks at Work describes what it takes to have a breakthrough corporate success in the new millennium. The focus is not so much on the business styles of the 50's and 60's, as illustrated by the work of, say Peter Drucker, but rather it focuses on the new gestalt of branding through an intense devotion to customer service. By examining companies from the large scale of Proctor & Gamble and the World Bank, as well as new upstarts like C ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Hal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a project at work in which we collectively read a business book and write comments on it. This book deals with numerous companies who have set themselves apart from the norm through a wide variety of innovative and down right off beat ways of operating in the business world.

It primarily focuses on how these companies chose to be different to set a new approach on how they interact with their customers. Being truly different leaves a distinct impression in the market a
Kim Leandersson
First half felt like a very long intro to the 2nd one which consisted of the interesting chapters for me. The book is an ok one when it comes to showing examples for how to push your company by lifting, supporting and motivating your employees. Its an inspiring book, but i felt that very little was concrete enough to use directly in your day to day business.
Aug 26, 2008 Mitch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in business, but it's already dated
Recommended to Mitch by: My department director (it was more like an edict)
Another "business trendy" book about people in business who change the rules and succeed. Yet, as I was reading it, I kept remembering all of the media praise and adulation given to former business gods, like Jack Welsh, Jeff Skilling, Ken Lay, and Dennis Kozlowski during their heydays.

Having worked in Corporate America for over a decade, I can say that CEO's and people with MBA's think they are rock stars, and this book, and books like it, play into those delusions. A closer examination of US
Jan 18, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read when I (briefly) worked at Hi-Def Web at the urging of the owner. An interesting look at how work and talent (no longer just "workers") are adjusting to the new way of getting things done.
A little dry, okay for listening to in the background while doing something else like running, too much information on Cirque du Soleil, some swearing.
Andy Bernstein
Apr 22, 2016 Andy Bernstein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Talks about companies that compete based on values. Gives a lot of case study examples. I really liked it.
Jul 04, 2013 Loren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book that was well researched in every sense. If this one doesn't get you fired up about your business, or make you want to start a new one you must be already at one of the companies featured in the book. From focusing on and connecting to customers, to looking for great ideas no matter where they originate or who they come from, this book covers it.

One of the best business books since the One Minute Manager and In Search of Excellence.

May 21, 2007 Nadia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die hard Fast Company fans
Shelves: actuallyread
I'm a huge fan of Fast Company, but this book felt a little too ADD to me. Which sucks, because I'm totally buying what they are selling. I feel like the first three or four paragraphs of each chapter (with a couple sprinkled through out) were right on and I could've tossed the rest. Perhaps a better featured article (or several featured articles). Still, a lot of information in this one, so if you are feeling patient -- pick up a copy. On sale.
Kevin Doohan
Jun 14, 2009 Kevin Doohan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great. Many stories shared that demonstrate the power of original thinking and the characteristics needed to succeed today. Some of the things needed to win today...openness, sharing values, connecting vs. advertising, focused innovation, ideas from everywhere..etc. Recommended for marketers or for anyone in business who is tired of the same old, same old and wants to thrive by working differently.
Sarah Fowler
I didn't find any real original ideas here-- just another encouraging business self-help book. Good if you need it, dry if you don't.
There's a very helpful index of resources (ie, other business books) at the end.
Honestly, the farther I get from running my own business full-time the farther I get from enjoying these types of books. I should probably lay off them for a while.
Another book filled with company profiles and antidotes. I didn't find it that usefully after reading other similar books beforehand such as "It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow" or "Blue Ocean Strategies" or "Creating Customer Evangelists" which are also filled with company profiles and their unique strategies that help them succeed.
Jun 15, 2011 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard about this book during a webinar at work. The book is about how some businesses are more successful because they try nontraditional ideas, which gives them an edge. Some of the businesses that are highlighted tried really fascinating ideas. I enjoyed Built to Last better.
Jun 07, 2014 Corey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to get about halfway through this one before it started to annoy me in a way that few books do. The success stories seemed other worldly and it actually started to depress me. I may go back to it at some point, but for now I'm giving it a long deserved break.
Aug 30, 2007 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes..
Shelves: businessbooks
Found this book at the airport waiting for a flight... and really enjoyed it... Some great research into some great success stories about the Mavericks at Work...
Jul 07, 2016 Nagesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a great book. I recommend it to all those who are interested in raising the bar on what ever you are doing. Those who are ready to focus on doing it the right way rather that the way it has been done all along way. Go ahead and read it. Its worth it.
Oct 30, 2011 Rosa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
Excellent. Chock full of ideas - a book which can be an entertaining romp-through to read, but you take your time with it in order to get the most out of it. Will review more fully on the blog after some additional study time.
Thomas Burky
This book seems primarily designed to startle the reader into looking at the business world in a new way. Its heavy emphasis on the people side of business is refreshing and makes solid points. This is a keeper.
Ryan Fisher
This book has a wide array of case studies that demonstrate the principle concept. It's a good read for divergent perspective, but gets a little long in the middle and has a very abrupt conclusion and application.
May 10, 2010 Cheree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and the stories it shared of the companies who have gone out and fought to do business in their own ways. I feel privileged to work in a place that I would consider to be a Maverick.
May 19, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with everything they say in this book, but I found their thesis to be slightly vague and I wanted more details about how their suggestions can be applied to real businesses.
Christanto Leonardo
Finally the book that really explain everything about "company mission".
I was looking about this topic to validate my understanding about it formally and finally got validated :D.
Sep 19, 2008 Aroengbinang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an eye opener for professionals as well as business owners. Highly recommended for those who like to think beyond walls, to find the best ideas and solutions from all over the world.
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