BOOKS: The Book that Shook

I was about to start up my own company when an occupational psychologist recommended I read Maverick by Ricardo Semler. He took over his father's firm and threw the old processes in the bin. He wanted to run a company that treated people with respect. Semler shows that it's OK to forget the usual management speak and do things differently.

by Drew Thomson, managing director of The AirMiles Travel Co
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I'd worked with BA until then, with its traditional command-and-control structure. I've done things differently at AirMiles. We ask employees to rate the company on a smell-o-meter - does it smell like a place you want to work, or make you feel constrained? If the score changes, we examine why and decide what could be improved. Everyone in my career had said you can't run a company like that. This book gave me the courage to say: bugger it, I'm going to run it this way and not take the route that everyone's pushing me down.

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