January 20, 2005

News & Opinion: Management of the Absurd

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 11:05 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Since Im on a real book kick today, let me tell you about one of my favorites on organizational change, leadership, and human behavior: Management of the Absurd by Richard Farson. My copy is yellowed from age, and the pages are dog-eared from repeated use. Farsons paradoxes in leadership take the wind out of slick management fads and slogan-based leadership.
His prose is refreshing, useful, and timeless. Here are ten chapter titles from the book, which give you a sense of how Farson thinks.
 Nothing is as invisible as the obvious
 Once you find a management technique that works, give it up
 The opposite of a profound truth is also true
 Effective managers are not in control
 We think we want creativity or change, but we really dont
 The more we communicate, the less we communicate
 The better things are, the worse they feel
 Planning is an ineffective way to bring about change
 Morale is unrelated to productivity
 My advice is dont take my advice
If you havent had a chance to look at this small, but powerful, work, pick it up. Youll be glad you did.
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