Creating the Innovation Culture: Leveraging Visionaries, Dissenters and Other Useful Troublemakers in Your Organization


258 pages
ISBN 0-471-64628-8
DDC 658.3'044




Reviewed by Dave Bennett

David Bennett is the national director of the Department of Workplace Health, Safety and Environment at the Canadian Labour Congress in Ottawa.


Management how-to-do-it books frequently conform to a pattern. First
they offer a description of a new type of industry or culture of work,
replete with descriptions of relevant organizations and packed with
vignettes of workplace life, either fictitious or drawn from experience.
Then they articulate a central idea, supposedly new or important,
previously neglected or unrecognized. So it is with Creating the
Innovation Culture, the central idea being the cultivation and
management of dissenters to the benefit of the organization and the
promotion of a culture of innovation. This is exhaustively treated in a
multitude of dimensions. If we look at what makes a successful manager
(apart from general qualities such as imagination, perceptiveness,
people skills, etc.) we can see the limitations of Frances Horibe’s
approach. A good manager has to know his/her industry and its place in
the general business culture of the time. But Horibe’s book does not
deal with any particular industries: it offers only a vague focus on
nonunionized organizations that put or should put a premium on

So the educated manager who learns from experience is unlikely to find
much use for this book. It is the sort of thing she would flick through
in half an hour at an airport bookstore. If she then stepped back and
asked how dissenters and difficult workers survive management’s
attempts to either exploit or get rid of them (Horibe has a remarkably
draconian chapter on the latter) and rise to the top, she will have to
look elsewhere than the bookstore’s management section.


Horibe, Frances., “Creating the Innovation Culture: Leveraging Visionaries, Dissenters and Other Useful Troublemakers in Your Organization,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,