This week-end I read Orbiting the Giant Hairball, by Gordon Mackenzie.
I heard about this book while listening to the great interview of Jason Sutherland by Chase Jarvis a few weeks ago. (Shorter text version of the interview here)
Anyway, if you don’t know this book and you think of yourself as creative, and would like to know how to challenge yourself, get your hands on “Orbiting the Giant Hairball’.
Here is the “official” description of Gordon Mackenzie’s book for you:
"Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a "giant hairball". A tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past, that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity. Gordon MacKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years, many of which he spent inspiring his colleagues to slip the bonds of corporate normalcy and rise to orbit, to a mode of dreaming, daring and doing above and beyond the rubber stamp confines of the administrative mind-set. In his deeply funny book, exuberantly illustrated in full color, he shares the story of his own professional evolution, together with lessons on awakening and fostering creative genius.
Originally self-published and already a business “cult classic”, this personally empowering and entertaining look at the intersection between human creativity and the bottom line is now widely available to bookstores. It will be a must read for any manager looking for new ways to invigorate employees, and any professional who wants to achieve his or her best, most self-expressive, most creative and fulfilling work.”
I basically read that book cover to cover in one shot, because I just couldn’t put it down.
It is the perfect read for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Mackenzie’s anecdotes and stories are so funny, fascinating, creative and smart as he explains how during his 30 years career at Hallmark, he managed to keep all the corporate way of thinking and acting like a sheep out of his office.
He climbed the corporate ladder always questioning the system, finding creative ways to solve the problems he could encounter, and by never doing thing “by the book”.
If there was a box, that guy would be the one thinking out of it for sure ;o)
Anyway, if you have a bookstore, or a library in your neighborhood, go find this book.