Book Reviews: The Rule Breaker’s Book of Business
Roger Mavity. Piatkus/Little, Brown. €12.99
The stated intention of the author here is to show how to achieve business success by ignoring conventional wisdom. He extols the virtues of passion rather than process and of lateral rather than logical thinking.
Mavity founded his own advertising agency in 1981 and later became chief executive at Granada where he masterminded the company’s purchase of the Forte Group, the biggest takeover in British commercial history.
While Mavity has some useful points to make about creativity and passion and explains why cash really is king in a business, there’s a dearth of original thinking here and the book fails to inspire. The tone and content are patronising at times and he comes across as a well-intentioned elderly uncle providing advice to a somewhat naive nephew.
Chapter headings and subheadings provide a clue. In a chapter on how to deal with money, for example, there’s one that says: “it’s no use doing the work if you don’t get paid”. In the section on how to deal with yourself, there’s advice to switch off from work at weekends in a chapter titled “How to Become Global Chief Executive by Going to the Movies More Often”.