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About the Book

Find and kill the corporate stupidity that drives customers crazy. CEO and award-winning business writer John R. Brandt offers concrete examples of how any organization--large or small, and regardless of industry--can innovate in ways that delight customers and attract top-level talent.

Nincompoopery--terrible customer service, idiotic business processes, and soul-crushing management practices--surrounds all of us. We lose time, patience, and profits as stuck-in-the-past organizations actively prevent us (and our customers) from getting the value we (and they) deserve.

Can’t anybody change this? CEO and award-winning business writer John R. Brandt says we can. In Nincompoopery: Why Your Customers Hate You--And How to Fix It, he leverages research across thousands of companies to show leaders how to find and kill the corporate stupidity that drives customers crazy. More importantly, he offers concrete examples of how any organization--large or small, and regardless of industry--can innovate in ways that delight customers and attract top-level talent.

Brandt has worked with hundreds of companies to help them outwit competitors, and in the blunt (and funny) Nincompoopery, he shares his unique blueprint for success. It usually starts by asking a simple question or two, such as

  • Why should our customers have to rekey their data multiple times to make a single purchase?
  • Why are there four levels of approval just to order basic supplies?
  • Why can’t we get qualified candidates for open positions, or provide new employees with decent training?
  • In short: How did we become such nincompoops? And when will we stop?

Nincompoopery offers leaders the answers they need--and the profits they crave--with a scoop of humor on the side. Enjoy!

Why is there so much Nincompoopery?!


Nincompoopery was penned by the funniest business writer I know—and has completely changed the way I look at leadership, strategy, and the frustrations I encounter working in and covering the business world. Once these insights take hold in executive orbits, I am confident there will be far fewer nincompoops and far less nincompoopery standing in the way of growth and change.”

—Travis Hessman, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Content Director, IndustryWeek

“I’ve known John Brandt for twenty-five years, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s written a funny book with a serious purpose. In elegant prose supported by practical examples and case studies, readers learn how to elevate employee morale, inspiration, and performance at companies large and small. Nincompoopery will help you to become a wiser, humbler, and more confident leader.”

—Dr. Lance Secretan, bestselling author of The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following. Start Inspiring! and Reclaiming Higher Ground: Creating Organizations That Inspire the Soul

“There are two primary strategies for effecting growth in market share: (1) create a “new-to-the-world” product (and everyone knows how difficult that is!), or (2) respond to a customer when your competitor can’t. Nincompoopery is a must read to understand where you are today and—more importantly—where you want to be tomorrow.”

—Phil McIntyre, Managing Director, Performance Solutions by Milliken

Nincompoopery should be required reading for everyone running a business, from the CEO of a major corporation to the sole proprietor. John Brandt’s witty treatise on corporate ineptitude—and how to fix it—offers incisive analysis of antiquated, ill-conceived business practices that torture customers and kill the bottom line. Nincompoopery is destined to become the next bestseller on corporate leadership and strategy in the twenty-first century.”

—David Shall, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Tornante TV

“In this groundbreaking book, John Brandt explores nincompoopery’s root cause—inflexible, outdated corporate cultures—and explains how to fix it by focusing on the pillars of cultural competence: innovation, talent, and process. A researcher at a prominent automotive company once said that culture was the ‘bucket where we throw in everything that is too hard to fix.’ That company went bankrupt. Read this book so it doesn’t happen to you.”

—Edward (Ned) Hill, Professor of Economic Development at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Ohio Manufacturing Institute

“I’ve never read a business book so funny and informative in equal measure as Nincompoopery. John Brandt’s first book is a rarity.”

—Jeff Hedrich, President, The Prodigal Company, and innovator of the Brand MRI Process

About the Author


John R. Brandt

CEO and founder of The MPI Group, John Brandt has devoted more than two decades to studying leadership in effective, purpose-driven organizations. An expert on how companies can adapt themselves to the realities of new markets, new corporate structures, and new customer expectations, Brandt is an accomplished management innovator and an internationally recognized expert on manufacturing and technology.

Before founding The MPI Group in 2003, Brandt followed a unique career path combining two decades of experience in marketing, management, and consulting with a passion for journalism that has earned him more than twenty awards for reporting, writing, and editing. He was publisher and editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek (IW) magazine. Additionally, Brandt served as president, publisher, and editorial director of the Chief Executive Group, publisher of Chief Executive, where his leadership transformed the magazine into one of publishing’s most surprising comebacks.

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