In order of importance, these are the four ideas or constructs that I have discovered over time, and that I consider indispensable. If I never study another self-help book or management text again, I will be able to fashion a solution to the most intractable problems form these four sources:
· The Word of God
Don’t worry, I am not a religious nut, and the insights and content contained in this book are not particularly concerned with the Bible. As a book it is well-known enough, so there isn’t anything I can add to make it more understandable. I won’t seek to justify its philosophies or accuracy. For what it is worth, I simply cannot accept that I am nothing more than a glorified fish walking on my hind legs. ‘Tis crude, but it is really as simple as that.
· Chaos Theory
More and more books are beginning to appear on this topic, and the only reason why it is not yet widely embraced by the public is because the language and constructs are often somewhat obtuse – written by scientists. That is slowly changing, because everybody has heard the quote about the butterfly flapping its wings…
· System Thinking
Thank God for Stafford Beer and the School of Cybernetics. Trust me when I say that a ‘system’ is not a machine, and the concept is worthy of your study.
· The 7-S Framework (Peters & Waterman)
In Search of Excellence was the book that kicked of the cycle (or should I say explosion?) of text books on the topics of interested to management and leadership. Suffice to say that I have been able to retro-fit most seemingly original ideas into that framework. (Tom seems to have become a bit of a crusader, now pronouncing aphorisms as the next big insight, but his life work is probably done.)