The Maverick Way

The Maverick Way: Profiting from the Power of the Corporate Misfit by Dick Cheverton, with Lanny Vincent and Bill Wilson.

Must read for managers pondering the challenges of corporate renewal and growth: a collection of stories (all true) of productive insubordination leading to one corporation’s transformation.

While many enterprises have sought to acquire their way to renewal (often with dismal results), The Maverick Way reveals how to unleash the corporation’s hidden internal resources to create sweeping new opportunities for growth. It brings readers face-to-face with mavericks whose real-life stories offer penetrating insights into:

  • where to find mavericks
  • how to motivate, reward and protect mavericks
  • when to deploy mavericks – and when to keep ‘em down on the farm
  • how to send the maverick onto the “free range” and what to do with the returns
  • how to discover MOMs (mentors of mavericks) and how to “pass the torch”

This book will inspire, startle, amuse and enlighten – and just might start your journey on The Maverick Way.


What People Are Saying

“An excellent tool for anyone who needs to understand innovators and the impact they have in altering markets and producing the exceptional results that all businesses seek.”

Peter Larson, Chairman and CEO
Brunswick Corporation


“Now, his experiences are captures in a book that can do for you what Bill did for those who answered his call to follow the Maverick Way.”

Leo J. Shapiro, Founder
Leo J. Shapiro & Associates.


An enormously profitable innovator of such ubiquitous items as disposable diapers and tissues of every variety, Kimberly-Clark has received relatively little attention, either internally or in the media, for its success. This book is a revision of a little-known company publication chronicling Kimberly-Clark's history and highlighting the role of Bill Wilson, a creative, driving force who served as a mentor to other equally imaginative managers. Defined by Cheverton as a maverick because of the freedom he gave his employees, Wilson encouraged his workers to break rules, ignore budgets and exercise great creativity. For example, disposable diapers were developed almost by accident: in the course of figuring out how they could widen the market for the "maternity" pad the company had devised for hospitals to offer to new mothers, the disposable diaper was born. However, Wilson's "maverick" nature almost derailed his career during an overseas stint because his European colleagues weren't accustomed to his management style. Although this book may appeal to readers interested in product development, it is more of a tribute to Bill Wilson and Kimberly-Clark than a business how-to. (Aug.) Copyright © 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly


The "maverick way" is described as the "implicit, informal and underground set of people, practices, and relationships that stimulate innovations which provide the basis for corporate renewal." By this definition, it is unique for every organization. What is needed in each case, though, are not only people in the role of mavericks but also "mentors of mavericks" and "protectors of mavericks." Cheverton, managing editor of the Orange County Register, tells how mavericks transformed Kimberly-Clark over a 20-year period from a miller of pulp and paper into one of the largest consumer-products companies in the world. It helped, of course, that CEO Darwin Smith supported the mavericks. Cheverton's story of how this happened takes the form of a "series of conversational reflections between a maverick and mentor and his proteges" and shows the importance of mutual support, counsel, and comfort. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved.

David Rouse