The Chaos Imperative

The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation-Effectiveness and Success by Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack


In the bestselling tradition of Switch and Made to Stick, Ori Brafman reveals how organizations can drive growth and profits by allowing contained chaos and disruption the space to flourish, generating new ideas that trigger innovation.

Most people in organizations assume that chaos is the enemy. It implies disorganization, confusion, and a breakdown of organizational systems. A chaotic company is a company in trouble, if not one that is outright failing.

But in The Chaos Imperative, Ori Brafman, writing with Judah Pollack, shows that introducing an element of chaos within a highly structured and hierarchical organization can be a breath of fresh air in terms of generating and nurturing new ideas. Companies that are too rigid in how they operate don’t allow disruptive–and often innovative–ideas to emerge. Working for the past several years with organizations as structured and diverse as the U.S. Army, Brafman has helped introduce an element of unstructured chaos into their decision making.

Weaving together fascinating stories from neuroscience, medieval history, and the video game industry, Brafman reveals the innovative training program to introduce controlled chaos that he successfully rolled out to General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the other generals of the U.S. Army. Brafman and Pollack reveal the key elements of choas–creating white space, the importance of unusual suspects, and the effect of planned serendipity–and go on to show how businesses and other organizations can create pockets of chaos where new ideas can emerge and take hold.

For any organizations eager to unleash a culture of innovation, The Chaos Imperative is essential reading.

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