From Publishers Weekly
Who'd have thought fighting with each other would be good for employees? Or that ignoring superiors would be a wise business practice? Sutton, consultant and professor at the Stanford Engineering School, advocates taking a nontraditional approach to innovation and management in this quirky business manual. He advises taking unorthodox actions, suggesting managers should forget the past, especially successes; hire people who make them uncomfortable and hire slow learners. According to Sutton, these unconventional steps are particularly important when companies are dealing with unusual problems or stuck in a rut. Standard management policy may work for routine work matters, but weird ideas are far more effective when employees are trying to use innovative techniques. Sutton uses many real-life examples, like Tetley's pioneering round teabags, to show readers how his suggestions can work. But he observes that even companies such as IBM, Lucent and GE, which have been praised for their innovation, devote only a small percentage of their annual budgets to testing new products and services. Sutton's writing is clear and persuasive, and his book takes an insightful look at innovation. (Nov. 13)
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A professor at the Stanford Engineering School and a consultant who has worked with innovative firms, Sutton shows how "weird" ideas, many of which go against accepted management practices, can promote innovation and success in companies. Here he describes 11Ù weird ideas that work. Among these ideas are hiring "slow learners" of the organizational code; using job interviews to get new ideas and not just to screen candidates; rewarding both success and failure and punishing inaction; forgetting the past, especially a company's past successes; and encouraging people to ignore and/or defy their superiors and peers. Each idea is described thoroughly, and specific guidelines for putting them to use are included. These ideas are based not only on research but on interviews with employees representing all levels in various companies and are illustrated by specific case studies. This thought-provoking book is recommended to both practitioners and business students and should be purchased for academic management collections. Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.