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Weird ideas that work: an interview with Robert Sutton

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In this interview Robert Sutton talks about some of the counterintuitive practices he believes spur innovation. He proposes that companies should adopt eleven practices. Hire slow learners (of the organizational code). Hire people who make you uncomfortable, even those you dislike. Hire people you probably do not need. Use job interviews to get ideas not just to screen candidates. Encourage people to ignore and defy superiors and peers. Find some happy people and get them to fight. Reward success and failure and punish inaction. Decide to do something that will probably fail, and then convince yourself and everyone else that success is certain. Think of some ridiculous or impractical things to do, and then plan to do them. Avoid, distract, and bore customers, critics and anyone else who just wants to talk about money. Do not try to learn anything from people who say they have solved the problems you face. Forget the past, especially your company's successes. In sum, he believes that creative companies and teams are inefficient and annoying places to work.
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Keywords: Innovation; Learning; Teams

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 23, 2002

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