Title: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

Author: Gordon MacKenzie

Copyright: 1996, Penguin

ISBN: 0-670-87983-5

Pages: 224

Date completed: 7/8/11

Every organization, whether a giant corporation or a non-profit creates policies and procedures to make everything operate more efficiently.  But, if you’ve ever been a part of an organization, you are probably familiar with the red-tape that seems to thrive in these environments.  “You need a new mouse for your computer?  Ok.  Just fill out this 3-page form and send it to your manager for approval.  Once you get that approval, you’ll need to fill out this form to submit the approved 3-page form.  From there, it will go through the procurement department where it will be evaluated and either approved or denied.  If approved, then you can expect about a two week delivery period.  If it is denied, you will need to get someone who is a VP or above to submit an exception form.”

Or, you could run over to Walmart during your lunch break and spend the $10 to get it today.

The cultures created by a world of policies and procedures is the giant hairball.  We’ve all been part of a giant hairball at some point in our lives.  If you can’t think of one, think of our education system.  If you went to school, you were part of a giant hairball.

MacKenzie’s book is about the ways that you can step outside of the hairball and march to your own beat.  Be creative.  There is more than one corporate-policy-dictated way of skinning a cat.  Use creativity to solve problems that you encounter.  Not creative enough to come up with creative solutions?  No problem.  Pick up Orbiting the Giant Hairball and let Gordon MacKenzie inspire that creativity you’ve been suppressing for so long.

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