Thursday, April 10, 2003

I went into a secondhand bookshop today looking for books on ancient greece as I have become fascinated by them. I went round and round with a book on morals and just at the last minute changed for a Pelican book 'The Organization Man' by William Whyte. This is an incredible book, I have been reading it all night and I am very excited.

It is exactly what I have been thinking about. The book was published in 1956 and he was warning people that business and all sorts of workers are become too obsessed with organisation. They are becoming so scientific that business is being turned into a beauracracy. This seems especially true today with all the global companies. Everyone wants to do 'the right thing' and that meansdoing exactly what they are told and not objecting because that is a bad thing. I also have this general theory that leaders used to learn and develop through the arts, through reading the classics for instance but now they want to be scientific, they want to figure how to manipulate people and not how to inspire people.

Also he has a chapter at the end on how to cheat personality tests, it is so hilarious I think I am going to send it all out on my mailing list. What he is saying is you have to pretend to be as normal as possible - even if you are not! He ends with the classic line: "In all of us there is a streak of normalcy" [you just have to find it!]

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