Blog Archives

Book Report: Obliquity

“In general, oblique approaches recognize that complex objectives tend to be imprecisely defined and contain many elements that are not necessarily or obviously compatible with each other, and that we learn about the nature of the objectives and the means

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Posted in Books, Everything, Leadership, Management

Incompleteness and problem solving

“Almost all real problems are incompletely and imperfectly specified.” – John Kay Did you ever notice that to solve most real-world problems of any complexity, we have to find ways to simplify the situation? Well, economist John Kay noticed, and

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Posted in Books, Everything, Leadership

Lessons from three stonemasons

In Obliquity, John Kay says: “An old story tells of a visitor who encounters three stonemasons working on a medieval cathedral, and asks each what he is doing. ‘I am cutting this stone to shape,’ says the first, describing his basic

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Posted in Books, Leadership, Management

The pursuit of eudaimonia

“Eudaimonia is a high-level concept, a measure of quality of life, of flourishing, of fulfilling one’s potential.” – John Kay Sit down and strap yourselves in, ’cause I’m getting all philosophical up in here. The subtitle of John Kay’s book Obliquity

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Posted in Books, Everything, Soccer

The false strategy of pursuing shareholder value

“Shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.” – Jack Welch Early in Obliquity, John Kay devotes an entire chapter to examining why profit often evades those who seek it. This chapter, The profit-seeking paradox: how the most profitable companies are

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Posted in Books, Everything, Finance, Leadership

Justifying our actions with Franklin’s Gambit

“So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one had a mind to do.” – Benjamin Franklin I came upon that quote from the preface

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Posted in Leadership, Management

The Curse of Knowledge

“Don’t let what you know get in the way of what you don’t.” – Lee Brooks (me!) Knowledge is definitely a good thing, but it can sometimes lead us astray. For instance, there are two ways I can think of,

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Posted in Careers, Leadership, Marketing

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