Summary of Be Less Zombie

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Be Less Zombie book summary

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Learn to avoid the common mistakes of overly risk-averse “zombie” companies with monolithic corporate cultures – and strategically embrace innovation. Elvin Turner sets out to help business leaders capitalize on ingenuity and creativity, sharing hacks and tools to help organizations succeed. 

About the Author

Elvin Turner is a professor of innovation, marketing and entrepreneurship and a leadership adviser, who coaches leaders from successful organizations. The author’s website, which has free tools related to the book, is  


Companies fail if they don’t prioritize innovation.

Most leaders hope their businesses will become “unicorns” – innovative, billion-dollar companies – but in reality, most are “zombies”: monolithic organizations that cling to outdated modes of doing things and don’t see growth. Most companies fail to innovate because it requires unsettling the status quo, and people fear disruptive change. 

Create the conditions for innovation using the Turn It On strategy framework: Align your company’s idea development processes with its capabilities, resources, leadership and culture. Your innovation framework should trigger optimal levels of growth and anticipate the effects of new industry trends. Ensure you ground your innovations in consumer insights. 

Research shows that more than half of companies have difficulties aligning their innovation and business strategies. Find alignment by creating financial dependency: Identify a metric that links financial sales targets to innovation, and motivate teams by correlating the meeting of sales targets with bonuses. Your strategy must allow ...

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