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

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Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre is a work of real insight. The authors wish the book could equip every reader to act more boldly as a leader and win more decisively as a competitor. After all, they wish the book provides readers the next practices to lead, compete, and succeed in the fast-moving world.

Example after example comes out from the book in a seemingly endless supply. The authors use tons of real cases to illustrate an idea which is probably the best and the most persuasive approach. The authors spent countless hours with leaders at every level, from CEOs to research scientists. They went deep inside to firms to understand the ideas they stand for and the ways they work. After spending nearly two years visited 32 maverick firms to study their strategies, practices, and leader styles, the authors have lessons to share in four parts: rethinking competition, reinventing innovation, reconnecting with customers and redesigning the workplace. Each part of the book is chocked full of insight into how to lead organizations in new and different ways. The review below is rooted in these 4 parts.

Part One: Rethinking Competition This part talks about how to separate a company from the competition. “Most people in an industry are blind in the same way. They’re all paying attention to the same things, and not playing attention to the same things”. This quotation used by the authors in this part impresses me the most. A maverick company is not willing to be one of these ‘ordinary’ companies and it therefore becomes a revolutionary. It challenges the

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norms and accepted practices and redefines the terms of competition. This makes me think of Apple Inc. While most mobile phone manufacturers were still paying attention to the phone applications that they can design, Apple Inc. has started to think of designing an operation system that can employ applications designed by other (i.e....
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