Another book that blew me away

Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie.

It is described as

A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace.

It is not as daft or anodyne as Who Moved My Cheese, and is wonderfully illustrated with some very original cartoons and drawings.

If you are struggling (still) to make sense of Pyramid Land where hierarchy rules, then this book will restore your faith that there is more to life than the mind-numbing drudgery of doing the same thing each and every day.

Here is one passage that I was particularly moved by:

“When you come into an organization, you bring with you an arcane potency, which stems, in part, from your uniqueness. That, in turn, is rooted in a complex mosaic of personal history that is original, unfathomable, inimitable. There has never been anyone quite like you, and there never will be. Consequently, you can contribute something to an endeavour that nobody else can. There is a power in your uniqueness – an inexplicable, unmeasurable power…”

Now, one book (or two, or three) won’t change a jot, no matter how inspirational. But the thing about Gordon’s book is that it made me think differently about how organisations might embrace (safe) weirdness. Too often they succumb to another functional norm, even if they ascribe the label ‘Thinking outside the Box’ (like hell).

The stories, based on a lifetime of trying to change the system, did make me think though that we are so institutionalised that even if someone presented a cogent argument for an upside down view of corporate world (of course it would appear scary as hell) that no one would dare to venture forth. We are just too mind-numbingly fixed to the status quo (a.k.a. somnambulists).

For me, an enterprise should be a place where magic takes place, even in the most stuffy of worlds. Just because what you do is serious business, doesn’t mean that every day has to be dull.

I think Gordon has now passed away – I couldn’t find much on the Web – but if you fancy borrowing my book, then you are very welcome to it. Of course, I’m not in the corporate World right now, but I still feel the need to keep myself from falling asleep by finding time to let go, reinvent and just have some fun.

– Julian

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