A manifesto for mavericks

Oct 26 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The only companies and leaders that matter are those with the guts to be distinctive and disruptive, argue Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company, and Polly LaBarre, in their excellent "Manifesto for Mavericks".

We believe that a new generation of hard-charging companies, change-oriented executives, and breakthrough-minded entrepreneurs is inventing a more exciting, more compelling, more rewarding future for business. Across the economy, mavericks are winning big at business — attracting millions of customers, creating thousands of jobs, generating tens of billions of dollars of wealth — by rethinking the logic of how business gets done. They have devised provocative and instructive answers to four of the timeless challenges that face organizations of every size and leaders in every field: how you make strategy, how you unleash new ideas, how you connect with customers, how your best people achieve great results.

There are, of course, many ways to be a maverick — experimentation and individuality go with the territory. But most of the mavericks we've come to know, based on our in-depth access to 32 different organizations in a wide variety of industries, subscribe to a set of principles — about strategy, leadership, creativity, and success — that represent the new face of business at its best, a better way to compete, lead, and win.

Four of these principles – which Taylor and LaBarre explore in some depth are:

1. Being different makes all the difference.

2. Sharing your values beats selling value.

3. Nobody is as smart as everybody.

4. The people are the company.

But as they also point out (and how true it is), "we haven't met all that many CEOs who could provide a compelling response to a simple question we like to ask when we visit an organization for the first time: Why would great people want to work here?"

A Manifesto for Mavericks