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​“Essential reading in an age of disruption.” 

David Reay, Senior Vice President, Sony Music Entertainment

"Most leaders struggle to get the innovation performance they need. This is the practical playbook they’ve been waiting for.” 

Andy Billings, Vice President Profitable Creativity, Electronic Arts

“A must-read for anyone - in any business sector, at any career level - who is passionate about the serious business of innovation. A practical guide to curating a culture of innovation and navigating against the headwinds of organizational status quo.”  
Simon Collins, Senior Vice President, Mastercard

“This is an invaluable step-by-step guide to sparking, scaling and sustaining a culture of bold innovation.” 

Ash Tailor, Global Brand & Marketing Director at LEGOLAND

'Zombie’ companies cling to what kills them: Obsolete and frustrating ways of working that crush innovation and drain people’s motivation.

Be Less Zombie distils 10 years of field research amongst some of the world’s leading innovators into a pragmatic, actionable toolkit.

The book's ‘Turn It On’ innovation framework gives leaders and managers tools, processes and pathways to make bolder and more profitable innovation an inevitability, not an anomaly.


Turner’s research delves beyond the business world. He brings insights from a wide range of unexpected, expert sources including a guerrilla negotiator, a cage-fighter trainer, an X-Factor coach, a senior emergency room doctor, and a fashion designer.

Be Less Zombie is a practical handbook for leaders and managers who need to:

  • De-risk bolder, more profitable innovation

  • Make innovation a measurable capability

  • Equip teams with essential tools and skills for leading innovation and transformation

  • Help teams find new capacity, passion and energy to deliver today’s business whilst discovering tomorrow’s

Elvin Turner is an award-winning innovation advisor to global corporations, government bodies, not-for-profit organisations, and start-ups around the world. He is also an associate professor at several business schools.



"In the struggle all organizations face to drive innovation, this book defines the rallying cry you need to bring everyone together and provides an excellent handbook with the essential tools to make it happen."

Alan W. Brown, Professor in Digital Economy, University of Exeter, UK

"Packed full of practical tips to boost your company’s lifespan."

Ash Schofield, CEO, giffgaff

"Innovation begins and ends with the right leadership and culture. It’s so refreshing to see more of the innovation ‘how’ codified with practical examples and tools.” 

Gareth Hussey, Chief Marketing Officer, Tesco Mobile

“A leader’s lifeline for evoking, embedding and living an innovation culture.”

Laura Ellis, Head of Talent Management, EMEA, Ogilvy

"An indispensable read that unashamedly kicks wide-open the door to real-world innovation. Engaging, accessible and with lots of invaluable tips and insights for leaders at all levels on how to create a culture and climate in which innovation thrives. A great wake-up call for all there are no excuses!"

David Riley, Business Psychologist

“A book of some brilliance. Everyone with an interest in pursuing sustainable, profitable relevance should read it. Compelling, fiendishly clever and full of practical ideas and tools delivered with great skill.” 

Jo Wade, Specialist Account Manager, Oncology, Pfizer UK

"Be Less Zombie is an excellent and practical guide for any leaders trying to turn on higher levels of innovation in their organisation.” 

Denis O’ Flynn, former Managing Director, Pernod Ricard UK

“The definitive leadership guide to simplifying, mobilising and humanising innovation.”

Teresa Kotlicka, People & Culture, Sony Music Entertainment

"This book is packed with vital knowledge and essential strategies that you can adopt and apply immediately to help create an innovation mindset within any team or organisation."

Chris Parles, Senior Fellow and Programme Director of Music & Branding at University for the Creative Arts Business School

“Be Less Zombie is more than a book, it is a toolkit for any senior executive who wants to drive positive change in their business. Turner gives you everything you need to create and deliver your own innovation agenda within the limits of your budget and ideas.”

Ben Sullivan, UK/IRL Managing Director, bibliotheca

"Be Less Zombie is a practical guide for equipping leaders and managers trying to turn on higher levels of innovation in their business". 

Samantha Seal, Talent Strategist and Director, on the wing Ltd. 

“At last a book that gives permission to create, collaborate and innovate. Elvin Turner intelligently challenges the status quo with a sprinkling of very good humour. Essential reading.”

Lee Widdows, Associate Head of Fashion, University for the Creative Arts

About Me.


Key Innovation Questions for Leaders

Some dimensions of innovation performance can only be changed by leaders. This is a comprehensive checklist that every leader should be continually reviewing to ensure maximum performance is being achieved.

More innovation leadership resources can be found inside Be Less Zombie  particularly in chapters 1-13 & 42-50.

Assumption Tracker

Many new ideas fail because of crucial hidden assumptions that turn out to be wrong. Use this template to identify assumptions early.

More resources can be found in Chapter 28 of Be Less Zombie

Innovation Health Check Questions

How well equipped is your organisation to deliver the

innovation performance that it needs? Use this health check document to find out.

Chapter 44 of Be Less Zombie provides further advice on how to diagnose your innovation health.

Innovation Project Charter Template

Typical project plans can struggle with the ambiguity of innovation. Adapt this template to suit your specific needs.

More resources can be found in Chapter 18 of Be Less Zombie

Innovation Capability Resources

Building employee innovation capabilities needs a dedicated approach (see Chapter 33 of Be Less Zombie).


Get in touch if you'd like to discuss creating a bespoke programme for your organisation. In the meantime, here are two great tool resources to trawl:

Catalytic Questions

Better questions spark better ideas. "Catalytic Questions" are designed to break through the status quo mindset and provoke game-changing ideas.

This sample of questions supports Chapter 19 of Be Less Zombie

Quick-Start Strategy Workshop

Ideally an innovation strategy is closely aligned with corporate strategy. But many organisations don't actually have a strategy,
just a 12-month plan.

If that's you and your leaders have a limited appetite for a long strategy development process, use this workshop outline as a staging post. It is an excerpt from Be Less Zombie (Chapter 13) that walks through the key stages of developing a basic strategic view of where the company needs to go next and what it will take.

It'll give you enough of a framework to start aligning innovation efforts with a view of the future, and hopefully spark an appetite for some deeper strategic thinking amongst leaders.

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