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Rebel Talent

I like to read, and I just finished reading Rebel Talent by Francesca Gino. The book is filled with real life examples, case studies, and stories about how and why those who did things differently created value and became successful. 

The book also argue that it is better for the organisation if employees are allowed space and autonomy to do things, so that new ideas and products could emerge ground-up. If the work environment is conducive for people to contribute their perspectives, collectively, better products or decisions could be made. As a manager or supervisor, the key is to allow constructive discussion and make it feel safe for everyone to speak up even if their suggestions are different.  

The book ends off with eight principles of rebel leadership, which might provide someone who is working in management or supervisory position some guidance on potential ways to improve team performance.

I find this book an interesting and thought provoking read. There are ideas that I agree with -- some I have tried it at work, and some I would test out and see how they work out. There are also some ideas presented in the book which I think worked because of the specific situation or cultural environment, and may not turn out as intended in a different place or industry. That said, I could be wrong too since I have limited working experience thus far.

The writer also provided some online resource at

I found something useful from this book, and hope this value-adds to you too!


  1. Nice recommendation! What techniques have you tried? And which do you think might work in Singapore?


    1. Hi Dev, thank you for your comment! One of the suggestions is to allow employees to try different things, even if what they are trying may not be directly related to their work. This would allow creative accidents to happen, and may generate something new, such as a new product, new way of doing things or a new recipe.

      I have allowed my employees to go for any courses that they are interested in (as long as it is within their allocated self development budget), even if it may not be directly relevant to their work. I think this helps them to expand their horizon, and I think they feel happy that they are given the freedom to attend courses, seminars or conferences that they find interesting. While I have not seen how attending these courses have helped my employees in their work, I think the fact that they feel happy with this freedom and staff development arrangement is already good enough from a staff morale perspective.

      An idea from the book which I would like to start trying out and which I think would be able to work for my work context is to allow employees to form their own teams to work on projects. For example, a new assignment may not fall neatly within any particular person's job scope. Perhaps I could put up the assignment for anyone who is interested to work on it to volunteer him/herself and then form his/her own team to deal with the project.

      Hope to hear your perspective and ideas too!


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