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.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

What happens to your business if you get COVID-19?

Three bosses who caught coronavirus share their tips.

NextGen winners: The firms that will lead Britain's recovery

Agility, impact and vision define our next generation of great companies.

Furlough and bias: An open letter to business leaders facing tough decisions

In moments of stress, business leaders default to autopilot behaviours, with social structural prejudices baked...

The ‘cakeable’ offence: A short case study in morale-sapping management

Seemingly trivial decisions can have a knock-on effect.

Customer service in a pandemic: The great, the good and the downright terrible ...

As these examples show, the best businesses put humanity first.

How D&I can help firms grow during a crisis

Many D&I initiatives will be deprioritised, postponed or cancelled altogether in the next three months....