Summary of Weird Ideas That Work

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Weird Ideas That Work book summary


9 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


This is a wonderful but dangerous book. The 11 and 1/2 weird ideas it contains are terrific, exciting and slippery. Use them right and you could transform your company into a hotbed of innovation. Use them wrong and you could also transform your company into a disorganized mess. Author Robert I. Sutton clearly explains that some situations do not require innovation - that they are, in fact, terrible settings for new things. Companies focus on the routine for an extremely logical reason: it makes money now. Identifying situations that can make money with routine work versus circumstances that require change is a tough distinction, particularly since innovation requires many failures, disrupts your culture and forces you to take a rough look into the future. thus recommends this book to a select group: those who know their fields and organizations extremely well. If you can see clearly through both the current jargon that promotes innovation and your organization’s often unspoken prejudices, you will find this book exciting and extremely productive.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How 11 1/2 offbeat ideas can increase your company’s creativity;
  • How to incorporate these ideas into your strategy; and
  • Why they work and why they seem so weird.

About the Author

Robert I. Sutton is professor of management science and engineering at the Stanford Engineering School and co-director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization. He has published more than 70 academic articles or book chapters, and is an IDEO Fellow and an Honorary PeopleSoft Fellow.



Creativity, Innovation and Weird Ideas
Many people want to innovate in some fundamental way that changes their line of work, and perhaps their world. Most fail because they try to create something new with old ideas, practices and behaviors. That’s not the way things work. To create something...

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