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Mavericks at Work

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  762 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In the 21st century, it won't be business as usual...

In the last decade the business world has been dogged by bad leadership, CEO greed and the excesses of the dotcom craze. Now, as the authors of this lively new book suggest, companies and corporations are moving away from traditional methods of how to lead, manage and compete, towards a more 'maverick' management style
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by HarperCollins - AU (first published October 2nd 2006)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  762 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Sep 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
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 McFarland
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
This is one of the best books I've read all year! Definitely one of my favourite business books - though I've only read a few- and I know I'll be revisiting it at some point in the future.

The title should be enough to hint that it's not written for everyone. Definitely not suitable for anyone who wants to follow the status quo. But for the dreamers and the 'weird' people with 'crazy' ideas, this is the book for you! Every chapter contained tons of wisdom, some more applicable to me than others.
John Tan
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Tõnu Vahtra
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I had a strange explainable feeling when reading this book, it felt "misplaced". Only once I started to write the review did I discover that the book was actually written in 2007 which is long time ago for a book that claims to be "first to cover maverics management style". In a way it fell a victim of it's own success because these topics are covered in so many books in 2019 and are considered pretty much mainstream.

ING Bank, Starbucks, Apple, Google, Disney Pixar, Microsoft, Ford, Top Coder,
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Prabhat  sharma
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed
Mavericks at Work- Why the most original minds in Business win- William C Taylor and Polly LaBarre- This Book is about practically performing business. The Book is divided in four parts- Part one - Rethinking competition, Part two- Reinventing innovations, Part three- Reconnecting with customers, Part four- Redesigning work. In Part one- Not just a company, a cause- strategy and advocacy, Competition and its consequences- Disruptors, diplomats and a new way to talk about business, In between ...more
James Pritchert
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People stuck in a rut
This book provides a unique perspective on approaching a job or a career for that matter. It talks about the outliers who bring something new and fresh to the workplace. It is a bit dated but the examples cited are dealing with timeless issues of business development and business processes. This book would benefit anyone who wants to change the way they work and change their surroundings.
Teresa Ballantyne
Jan 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Outdated & boring

This is out of date. One of the companies used as a great example of how to do business no longer exists.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It was insightful and prescriptive but interesting and didn't have the "self-help" business book feel.
Bharat Vishwakarma
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
More of a book on how to create a good culture within organisations. HR people should read it. It provide insights in too creative and corporate companies cultures.
May Ling
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Overall a good book. Builds on several great books, though. 3 stars makes it a worthy read if you're short on time and want to get most a condensed version of the wonderful concepts that Taylor covers from other great authors.

P. 54 “… the only sustainable form of market leadership is thought leadership.” (Also in the innovator’s dilemma)

5 tenants of innovative companies:
1) Distinctive and disruptive sense of purse that sets you apart from your rivals
2) A vocabulary of competition that is unique
Amanda Whelan hamilton
Exceptional read. One of the best business books I've read on disruption in your industry. Gave me lots to think about as it relates to how we can stop talking about being different and actually be different than our competitors.
Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 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 ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I most often rate business books by how many notes I take. On that note this book may have been a 4; it's readability edged it up to the 5 stars. I struggle to get past the halfway point in many business books. By around 50% I'm thinking "I get it already and often the remainder of the book is very repetitive. That was not the case with Mavericks at Work. The amount of repetition or summary material was perfect for retention.

In a nutshell I think this book is about companies that dare, truly
Nov 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
The book highlights the craziness of thinking in terms of the intended value to be offered to the customer, in pursuit of doing a business. It lays emphasis on the purpose with which one wants to serve the customers rather than focusing on how to create a billion dollar company. Once one gets the purpose right, the value creation is incidental, so believes the author. The examples of HBO, ING Direct USA or Sourth West Airlines are really thought-provoking.

Interesting book to read for
May 21, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.

Kevin Doohan
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 16, 2007 rated it it was ok
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.
Kim Leandersson
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Sarah Wolfe
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
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...
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
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