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Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace [Paperback]

Ricardo Semler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Sep 2001

The international bestseller that tells how Semler tore up the rule books - and defied inflation running at up to 900% per year!

- Workers make decisions previously made by their bosses

- Managerial staff set their own salaries and bonuses

- Everyone has access to the company books

- No formality - a minimum of meetings, memos and approvals

- Internal walls torn down

- Shopfloor workers set their own productivity targets and schedules

Result - Semco is one of Latin America's fastest-growing companies, acknowledged to be the best in Brazil to work for, and with a waiting list of thousands of applicants waiting to join it.

Learn Ricardo's secrets and let some of the Semco magic rub off on you and your company.

Frequently Bought Together

Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World's Most Unusual Workplace + The Seven-Day Weekend: A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century + The Happy Manifesto: Make Your Organization a Great Workplace
Price For All Three: 21.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business; Reissue edition (6 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712678867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712678865
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The way that Ricardo Semler runs his company is impossible; except th at it works, and works splendidly for everyone. I relish this book. It revived my faith in human beings and my hope for business everywhere" (Charles Handy)

"In this book, Ricardo Semler tells how Semco, Latin America's fastest growing company, uses a revolutionary way of working to run a profit-making company with a work force who love their jobs." (The Sunday Times)

"Are there real-life lessons to be learned? The answer is yes...Pragmatic, inspirational and intriguing advice." (The Times)

"Ricardo Semler is our kind of capitalist" (Guardian)

"Semco takes workplace democracy to previously unimagined frontiers" (The Times)

Book Description

The international bestseller that tells how Ricardo Semler created one of the most successful and inspirational companies in the world. Con tains a new introduction by the author

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best management practice now made easy! 9 Oct 2004
As a management consultant I found this book very useful indeed - much of it is directly applicable to shop-floor and pressure-politics situations - the 20-page cartoon "rulebook" at the end is more than worth the price of the book itself - buy it! And if you have the courage, apply what it says, too: It's been known for some time that organizations are designed according to "command and control" principles that very poorly match how humans are really built to behave. More complex self-ordering behavior is always observed when any lack of hierarchy exists, and the hierarchies that do emerge tend to be more effective than those that were designed by managers with experience in previous eras. Semler just chose to trust it more than, say, Tom Peters. Prof. Nicholson, head of London Business School recently wrote (in the Harvard Business Review) that Semler's model was the only one to really respect "stone age nature" of human behavior (the many insights from evolutionary psychology that tell us that we're far more often feeling our way through decisions than thinking our way through).
Semlers assessment of Human Resource Management (HRM) practice is truly radical but built on a foundation of good management practice and a healthy dose of common sense. HRM managers and departments confuse traditional and successful hierarchies and should be the first thing to be axed if any organisation is serious about survival in the 21st Century.
Excellent book and guide, highly practical and an enjoyable read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Business Too Good To Be True? 15 Mar 2004
It's almost unbelievable - an experiment in culture change that worked wonders. This inspiring tale of Ricardo Semler's successful 'quest' to run his company in the interest of all it's stakeholders is tremendous. It may well be easier to influence the direction of a business when you're the owner (as per Semler), but this great read helped me look at and adapt my own management style in an entirely new way (even within a large organisation). I only put it down in order to start implementing many of the ideas it contains. Well written and thought provoking.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! 2 July 2002
By A Customer
I've read a lot of success story business books - many of them are full of motivational phrases which mean very little; many of them are badly written (just because someone is successful in business doesn't make them a great writer!).
This book is different. You can really feel the author's vision through his writing. As well as talking about his philosophy he gives concrete examples of how he implemented his ideas. Also, he tells us all his mistakes and how he learnt from them. I found this inspiring as I've realised you don't have to be perfect from the start to create something amazing.
You must read this!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 17 Dec 2002
I love this book. It doesn't read read like a business book at all but is more like a fascinating biography. I would recommend it to anyone not just people with an interest in business. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I've probably bought around 50 copies of this book (over the years) for friends and colleagues.
Wonderful you must read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, challenging, thought provoker. 1 Sep 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You might have read lots of management & leadership books before written by has-beens and academic 'experts'. This book and the organisation it chronicles probably defies the vast majority of them (though John Maxwell & Julian Richer are from a similar ilk - though not so radical!)

I really couldn't believe that some of the procedures & practices this organisation implements could work. But they do - spectacularly! Has some very challenging repercussions for the way I do things in my own little sphere. Have I got the guts & conviction to carry them out?!

Minor grumble - books with spelling & grammar mistakes are a real bug-bear of mine. They're basically faulty goods. Hence it loses a star!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 26 Sep 2001
I can't believe I am the first to review this. Maverick is essential reading. Not only does it present some radical ideas but Semlers style is highly entertaining. If you are running a business, this will seriously challenge your thinking. If you are a student of business, this will make you think very hard about the lessons you have learned...Buy it
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Thinking For Large or Small Organisations. 10 Jan 2002
A very enlightening book, and an inspiration for managers committed to breaking open the way their colleagues, superiors and associates think. While Semler's strategies are clearly going to work best in the smaller companies, the book can work well on a departmental level too, if that department has enough autonomy. Just reading it brightened up my day, and its the kind of book you will want to pass on to your colleagues - so buy two..
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Truly remarkable autobiographical account that demonstrates how a company can be run with all its staff behind it. It refreshingly shattered all of the assumptions of how a modern successful business must operate in order to succeed, by challenging every assumption at every opportunity.
A lighthouse that stands to guide business men, if they only care to notice it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring business examples
Excellent examples from a man who believes business thrives when employees are partners and empowered to act. Amazing and inspirational work.
Published 15 days ago by S. Maddocks
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing book
This book will change (or confirm) the way you think about business organisation. Whilst everyone else goes on and on about how to make businesses better within a hierarchical and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by windscreenwiper
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave enough to try?
Any endorsement on a back cover by Charles Handy is going to get my vote but this book exceeded my expectations. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Simon Osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking and challenging
A book that really challenges conventional thinking on business and maps out the change journey of this remarkable company Semco to a truly democratic environment . Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ian Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ricardo Semler is the best!
I'm addicted to this book! On it Ricardo Semler, a brazilian entrepreneur, tells us about the difficulties he face and how he turn them down to turn his father heritage company... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rodrigo Barbosa De Santis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Excellent. This is a different way of looking at management and EVERY manager, director or business owner would benefit by looking at the Ricardo Semler way.
Published 17 months ago by Edwin Thwaites
5.0 out of 5 stars Potentially Revolutionary Book?
This book is a very interesting read and could change the way we think about running business.

The main points is to have a work place based on trust, democracy and... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Charles
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
Was recommended I read this by my Manager a few times over the last year and Im glad I did, just wish I had read it sooner, i.e. 15 years ago! Read more
Published 19 months ago by P. Foster
5.0 out of 5 stars the only management book I have managed to read cover to cover
the title says it all - I have been asked to read a lot of management text books and often give up about a quarter of the way through, the initial interest in the sales blurb... Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2012 by Mr. E. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars SEMCO in action
This is the earlier of the books I've read on SEMCO. And it seems to be more a recent edition.

It is really good for some of the personal story behind the amazing... Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2011 by Pete Burden
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