September 27, 2006

News & Opinion: Six Degrees of David Allen

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:09 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

As someone whos long believed that David Allen represents this generations Stephen Covey/Dale Carnegie/(name-your-favorite-business-coach), it came as little surprise to me that two of the most promising forthcoming business titles have passages about his influence.

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder, which is somewhat of a cross between Blink and Getting Things Done (with a touch of Im Dysfunctional, Youre Dysfunctional thrown in), makes a provocative argument about the drawbacks of the productivity gurus hyper-popular system. This book, written by David Freedman (full disclosureI have worked with Dave and confess to calling him a friend) and Eric Abrahamson, is my favorite of all the galleys in my office. We will do more on its great, provocative, counter-intuitive, and really enjoyable argument about the benefits of mess and the costs of organization, over the next few months.

And then we have Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software, by Scott Rosenberg, which will be on sale later this year. Like many ambitious business non-fiction books of the past ten years, the book is hyped as A Soul of A New Machine for this age. Unlike most of the other books, this one might make good on the promise. This books David Allen tie occurs during a passage where the author describes how principles of personal organization systems can be embedded in, or simply inform the design of, Personal Information Managers. This book looks very promisingmore in coming months.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.