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BOOK REVIEWS

The Spark: How to ignite and lead business creativity Greg Orme

John Mullins

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The Customer-Funded Business: Start, finance, or grow your company with your customers’ cash

n the modern start-up, there are few subjects that simultaneously attract both fascination and fear as innovation and creativity. Creativity is seen as something ineffable; something that most businesses desire but few believe can be effectively stimulated and harnessed. Greg Orme’s The Spark challenges this notion, providing an excellent business case for creativity. Central to Orme’s ideas is that, whilst you can’t force people to be creative, there are plenty of things an effective leader can do to stimulate an environment in which creativity can thrive. Whether it is killing the rule of ‘one way best’ management or clearing out the cobwebs of old bureaucratic rules that have come to clutter and block the path of creativity, The Spark contains a whole host of insight into how to devise business practices that naturally foster and facilitate innovation. Supporting this, Orme’s book features a whole host of original interviews, ranging from Stuart Murphy, director of Sky Entertainment Channels, on demystifying the creative process, to Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of BBH, on leadership philosophies in a creative industry, giving a real handle on creativity at work in some of the world’s most important businesses. All in all, this is an excellent primer on how to stimulate and support creativity and innovation. Pick up a copy and see what creative conversations it sparks. JR

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uelled by the appearance of Dragons' Den on our screens in early 2005, many entrepreneurs believe the key to forging a successful business is to secure angel investment. The Customer-Funded Business, however, dispels this theory by highlighting the benefits of slow, but sustainable, expansion by diving into five different models of customer-funded growth. While we hope a few aesthetic issues are ironed out before its publication, we cannot fault the research gone into this comprehensive account of the various customer-funded models. Boasting a plethora of real-life case studies – from corporate giants Dell and Coca Cola to new radicals Air BnB – there’s inspiration aplenty for entrepreneurs looking to do things their own way. The straight-talking style and lack of complex terminology makes for an easy read and a book that can be picked up at any point and flicked through. As a lecturer at the London Business School you get a strong sense of John Mullins’ teaching style – the text is peppered with colourful quips to help bring the topic to life. With the collection of business bios woven together with analysis, comment and advice, it offers plenty for entrepreneurs to take off the page and apply to their own endeavours. Summarising each customer-funded model with the pros, cons and some questions you may not have considered, it definitely provides food for thought for those taking their first steps into the business world. JD

Publisher: FT Publishing Out: Now RRP: £14.99

Publisher: Wiley Out: September 2014 RRP: £20.99

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Book reviews.indd 1

01/08/2014 14:31


Elite Business Magazine Aug 2014