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Weird Ideas That Work

Weird Ideas That Work

11 1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation

A breakthrough in management thinking, "weird ideas" can help every organization achieve a balance between sustaining performance and fostering new ideas. To succeed, you need to be both conventional and weird.

  • Hire misfits

  • Pursue the impractical

  • Find happy people and encourage them to fight

  • Reward failure but punish inaction

  • Forget your own successes

These and other counterintuitive strategies will unlock ideas you never knew you had.
Choose a format:
  • Free Press | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743227889 | 
  • May 2007
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Why These Ideas Work, but Seem Weird

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

-- Thomas Edison

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

-- Henry David Thoreau

I realized that my competition was paper, not computers.

-- Jeff Hawkins, describing the key insight that led his team to design the Palm Pilot

I admit it. I call the novel ideas in this book "weird" to get your attention. After all, unexpected, even strange, management practices are more fun and memorable than bland old ideas. But there is another reason these ideas may seem... see more

Articles About This Book


Posted on 250 Words

Posted by Sam McNerney

From Charlie Bit My Finger to Instagram and Twitter, the tendency for things to spread around the world instantly has become a regular feature of modern life. However, could the conspicuity of viral hits be distorting our understanding of value...

About the Author

Robert I. Sutton
Photo Credit:

Robert I. Sutton

Robert I. Sutton is professor of management science and engineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering, where he is the former codirector of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization. Sutton is the author of The No Asshole Rule and coauthor of The Knowing-Doing Gap and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense.




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