The Playful Entrepreneur How to Adapt and Thrive in Uncertain Times Mark Dodgson, David M. Gann

Publication date:
02 Oct 2018
Yale University Press
280 pages: 216 x 140mm
Sales territories:

A compelling account of how incorporating play into work can help us overcome the uncertainty and turbulence that surrounds work

How can we learn to deal with uncertainty at work? The answer, as Dodgson and Gann eloquently portray in this pathfinding book, is to learn from the adaptive behaviors of entrepreneurs. Play, the authors show, is a crucial component of this. It encourages exploration, experimentation, and curiosity while it also challenges established practices and orthodoxies. It facilitates change in people and organizations.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs and innovators, this book explains why we should incorporate play into work, what play looks like, and how to encourage playfulness in individuals and organizations. Dodgson and Gann identify four key behaviors that endorse, encourage, and guide play: grace, craft, fortitude, and ambition, and provide a blueprint for an alternative way of working that fosters resilience and encourages innovation and growth in difficult times.

Mark Dodgson is professor of innovation studies at University of Queensland Business School. David M. Gann is professor of innovation and technology management at Imperial College Business School.

“In a world where the boundaries between work and leisure are increasingly blurred, the insights in this book will be of value to a much broader range of people than those who start businesses” —Financial Times

Selected for Choice's 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles List

"Great insights into the behaviours of entrepreneurs and how creativity, intuition and instinct are reshaping the future of work."—Lee Howell, World Economic Forum

"The best way to take possibilities seriously is to play with them. Dodgson and Gann brilliantly detail the care, craft and creativity that make entrepreneurial playfullness pay off."—Michael Schrage, MIT, author of Serious Play and The Innovator's Hypothesis

"A thoughtful exposition on the future of work."—Cyrus Mistry, formerly Chairman of Tata Group

"Play and entrepreneurs. . . . A great combination."—Naveen Jain, founder and CEO of Infospace, founder of Moon Express and Viome

"An exciting and lucid exploration of the entrepreneur's journey."—Sara Murray, founder and CEO of Buddi, founder of