Friday, November 10, 2006

My favourite phoney quote

"We trained hard . . . but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization. "
Petronius Arbiter, 210 B.C.

Welcome to my life. It seems that I've been hired to do (some of) the reorganizing though. On top of moving
towns, moving my life, buying a house, trying to sell the other house that I just bought and moved into.

Turns out that the above quote from old Petronius is
probably phoney (made up, perhaps?). Anyway I am surrounded by plenty of confusion, ineffieciency and demoralization right now, but I don't believe I've ever been as energised and animated about a job as a am right now. May it last long.

I was reminded of the Petronius quote which I stumbled on ages ago while currently reading Robert Townsends, book, "Up the Organization: How to stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits". This book, written a year or two before I was born by the guy who turned AVIS around in the middle of last century is as relevant as ever. This
review and this one provide a taster. Great book and beats 99.99% of all the other management claptrap literature that abounds, especially anything by Jack Welch.


Third World Ant said...

Looks like you've been doing a hell of a lot of reading lately - and I LOL'd about your Jack Welch comment (us consulting types are all meant to have read it, but I somehow can't muster the enthusiasm to do so).

Thanks for the Ammon poem - 100% echoes the sentiment of my previous post.

I'll have to reveal the answer to the Mad Hatter's unanswered riddle in my next post, I think - just finished Alice in Wonderland on Sunday.

ATW said...

Hi Ant, Good to have you back..Did Alice follow you to Moz? Jack's idea is that you improve a company by constantly firing the bottom 10% of your staff! Thanks for the bday mail. Was actually 2 knackered after my drive to the EC in my bakkie with dog on lap on the previous day to really enjoy. Been back in jhb for a few days this week and am already cursing the traffic. My place in PE is 700m from my office.

I'm glad you've found the answer to the Hatter's riddle..Looking forward to the third world version..