« Waters of the Mind | Main | Mind Body Mistakes »

January 19, 2022

Comments

John

Here's a theory of business theories: all of these should be, indeed can be, condensed to limericks. Or haiku. Or expanded to the dimensions of those art forms, and not a syllable beyond. Surely "thinking outside the box" lends itself to that. Where it shouldn't be, of course, is inside a whole book. Was it? Probably.

The only such books I've ever read are Up The Organization and The Peter Principle. I read the former only because I saw it in a Johannesburg bookshop window decades after, and what felt like a million miles from, its debut. I read the latter only because it was mentioned in The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading, and Bubblegum Book. Oh, and then there was the time I was bicycling near the University of Nebraska and it started to rain so I took shelter in the bookstore, and while there decided to inspect the required and optional texts for Marketing classes. I cannot imagine coming to any business book via less tortuous routes. Such as, "There's something I need to know about business right now."

Not to be contemptuous of it, or of any scholarship that might be brought to bear on it. But what could that scholarship concentrate on? Management theory doesn't yet have enough doggerel and it may not have any historiography. At least I don't think it is the custom in any one such book to acknowledge the existence of any other such book. (Giving your competition free advertising would be bad business, no?)

Stephenesque

Most of the business truisms I value were accidental discoveries, whether divine nudges or simple serendipity I know not. I don’t recall learning anything about business from a book I purposefully sat down to read. So I guess it’s not so much a matter of learning to think outside “the box” as waiting for the box to be delivered as a surprise package and then deciding what to make of the contents. Frankly, these days, I think we operate in a world of strategic magical thinking rather than hard won experience. People are more inclined to listen to the showman-wizard wearing business casual than the pinstriped yeoman. Perhaps that’s all for the best. I guess it depends on what you’re selling and to whom you are selling it.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Pepys' People

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2004