Wednesday, September 10, 2008

. . . that the gravity of the hairball is strong.

I've just finished reading Orbiting the Giant Hairball, A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie. A good read, done in a couple of hours...and funny! Gordon worked for 30 years at Hallmark (the hairball) and managed to keep his sanity.

He says a hairball is formed by two hairs uniting, joined by other hairs that get twisted into a tangled impenetrable mass.

(Though not fluffy as pictured...Gordon must not own a cat. -Aack, aack-)

Anyway, the corporate hairball is made up of established guidelines, techniques, methodologies, systems and measures. This mass exerts a relentless pull of gravity on original thinking and creativity. And many are sucked down into the security of past successes, becoming so attached to a specific outcome, that they feel compelled to control and manipulate.

It's hard for corporations to understand that creativity is not just about succeeding. It's about experimenting and discovering.

Gordon says it's possible to Orbit around a corporate Hairball, to find a place of balance, where you benefit from the physical, intellectual and philosophical resources of the organization. You must invest enough individuality to counteract the gravity. You must find the personal courage to be genuine, to take the best possible course of action to get the job done, without being sucked into the nothingness of the hairball or flung out into deep space.

Yes, it's been a long while since I've posted...I've been hacking my way out of the GH.

Luke W
Fast Company
Idea map by Megan Clark


We can lick gravity but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.
~Wernher Von Braun, 1912-1977, German Rocket Pioneer

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