Archives: August 2006

In Case You Missed These

Here are a few stories of note from the TP Wire Service today:

What Not To Do

RadioShack lays off employees via e-mail
This is an incredibly shameful way to treat your employees.

What To Do

The lunatic fringe at Texas Instruments
Fortune has a piece in its current issue (not yet posted at their website) about how the folks at Texas Instruments are innovating. They're doing exactly what Tom's been talking about for years, allowing weird people to do weird projects (see Chapter 23 of Re-imagine!).

What Would You Do?

Slo-Mo Home Depot
... if you saw people shopping in slow motion or frozen in place at your local Home Depot? In the Manhattan Home Depot, 225 people did just that.

Shelley Dolley posted this on August 31, 2006, in News.
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The extraordinary founder & chairman of India's powerhouse Infosys, Narayana Murthy, is "retiring." He is assuming the title of "Chief Mentor."


(Mr Murthy is one of the most extraordinary human beings I've had the privilege of meeting. He is an industrial visionary and company builder par excellence, to be sure; but it's his fundamental decency, lack of pomp, and approachability that leave the biggest mark. Moreover, his unwavering commitment to his country's future has been remarkable. If I were to give an excellence in Enterprise/Excellence in Life award, he'd be the winner or a surefire finalist.)

So, I'm Messy. What of it …


Over the course of time, several site visitors have asked for a peek at my office. While idling away my time yesterday afternoon I picked up my camera. Above and below you'll see the result; a few more are up at flickr.

So, I'm messy. What of it?


Sure, It's Just a Slogan …

It'll certainly never compete with "Just Do It!" or even HP's "Invent." But I do take a shine to Northface's "Never Stop Exploring."

(Moreover, the quality and design of their stuff is phenomenally good and consistent, to my mind.)

Pursuit of Luck

Tom's 1994 book was called Pursuit of WOW!, but before that he had a small piece in Liberation Management called "Pursuit of Luck." It came to our attention as the result of an email from one of our readers (thank you!), and it's now posted here as a PDF. In the end, Tom invites you to write down your own list of opposites to his ideas. Try it.

Being There Is the Heart of the Matter

I guess it won't surprise you ... but I can't keep my mouth shut. Hey, it's been good for my net worth.

The other day a close friend was really upset about a professional thing. I was at a loss as to how to be helpful. When he finished his tale, I for once shut my mouth. All the way. No advice. No request for more details. Or clarifications. I was in fact at a loss for words, but that's almost beside the point.

I simply sat with him, both of us in total silence, for what felt like an eternity, but was probably no more than 10 minutes. He slowly got up, and simply said, "Thanks for being here."

I guess we all know this, even me, the noisy one: There are times—not so infrequent—where just being there—and silent—is the best gift of understanding and support you can provide.

I'm not doing family counseling here—because I believe this is a strong tonic, as peer or boss, in the workplace.


Is there anything more powerful than a genuine smile? (Help me here—there are better words than "genuine.") In any setting? Is there any gift more appreciated than a smile?

"I Apologize"

Pride goeth before the fall—I just made that up. Okay, I didn't, but here's my corollary: "If in doubt ... apologize."

"I'm sorry" goes a long, long way and defuses many a volatile situation, and helps avoid many a severed personal or business relationship.

I was recently in an equivocal situation. There was a screw-up of some significance. I was "party" to the problem, but I do truly think I'm but 10% of the reason for the mess. But why the hell let something fester? I decided to take the heat; I not only apologized, but penned (yes, "penned") a note of apology which I FedExed to the aggrieved party.

I did feel awful for the mess, no matter whose doing it was—so the whole thing was genuine. And I'd add: It "worked." That is, a breach that could have widened or deepened was not only avoided, but the aftermath was a more positive relationship than before.

Whose fault was it? Truly? Truly: It doesn't matter a wit. It's seldom clear whose fault it is—except to your ego. As I said before: Pride goeth before the fall. ("Pride maketh the fall"—not too pretty, but that one is mine.)

Boat Guy


I'm a "boat guy" through and through. I'm putting up my best dozen boat pictures from my Sweden-Norway trip at flickr.



Manuscripts pour into my studio like a little Niagara. I probably endorse less than 5% of what descends. I recently got two books I pretty much thought I'd green light. Neither editor's cover letter had a direct email.

I passed.