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The Playful Entrepreneur by Mark Dodgson and David M Gann. Book review

October 22, 2018

Book cover of The Playful Entrepreneur. How to Adapt and Thrive in Uncertain Times

Brought up in the mindset that work is serious stuff you are there to get on with and you do not have fun doing for fear of taking your focus off what’s important. When I began to teach clinical studies to students who had been taught science in an unimaginative way at school notion on the world of work began to change as I found novel ways to ease them through the boundaries between theory and practice. Science became something creative and extraordinary. A creative writing course signalled a further, major shift in thinking for me.

After meeting a like-minded student on the creative writing course, we worked together on various creative writing workshops over the years. It was how we both realised that although the activities the students were engaged in were playful in terms of their normal academic work, at the same time the workshops provided them with the life skills which developed flexible thinking as well as learning to work productively with others.

The world has become a very uncertain place. It is rare to have a job for life. This means successful workers are ones with a flexible approach to finding employment, adapting to the changing circumstances within the workplace and working well with their colleagues.

It is why I have been so interested in the increasing number of mentions in the media of the importance of creativeness and playfulness in the workplace.

With this in mind, The Playful Entrepreneur, by Mark Dodgson a professor of innovation studies at the University of Queensland Business School and David M Gann a professor of innovation and technology management at Imperial College Business School,is very timely.

The Playful Entrepreneur is a book relevant to those thinking of, or already building their own business. It is as equally applicable to those working within business for whom thinking of work as something creative and playful is the next step to developing a productive and amenable workplace, or for them to be able to take a step back to consider whether life is too short and that it is the quality of the workplace and not simply the pay packet which is of importance.

The book is packed with in-depth interviews which explore the four key factors, grace, craft, fortitude and ambition that are integral to the type of creatively playful approach which develops a successful business or workplace in these tumultuous times.

This makes The Playful Entrepreneur an excellent sourcebook for anyone wanting to take a new perspective on their business or world of work and discover a rewarding experience through a paradigm shift that it is out there waiting for them to take up and run with.

The Playful Entrepreneur was courtesy of Yale University Press via NetGalley.

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