Orbiting the Giant Hairball A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace July 21, 2009
About Gordon MacKenzie Many people might have considered the late Gordon MacKenzie a renaissance man. He was a metal sculptor, management consultant, keynote speaker, author, artist and poet. In the 1950’s MacKenzie flunked out of the University of British Columbia before landing a job as a cartoonist and writer for the Vancouver Sun. MacKenzie joined Hallmark in 1961 and worked there exactly 30 years – to the day. Orbiting the Giant Hairball follows MacKenzie’s career at Hallmark where he transitioned from individual contributor to creating a job conducting creativity seminars to his self-styled position of Creative Paradox. MacKenzie said that during “those 30 years, there was not a day when I was not subject to the inexorable pull of corporate tugging me toward the tangle of the hairball where the ghosts of past successes outvoted original thinking.“ Hallmark hired MacKenzie to create and he decided the best way to that was to connect people to the emergent, abnormal and unusual in order to foster change and innovation throughout the organization. Orbiting the Giant Hairball may be more than a decade old but it is far from dated. If anything – it is even more valuable in today’s turbulent environment.
A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem-solving, decision making and writing.
The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories.
By presenting ideas in a radial, graphical, non-linear manner, mind maps encourage a brainstorming approach to planning and organizational tasks. Though the branches of a mindmap represent hierarchical tree structures, their radial arrangement disrupts the prioritizing of concepts typically associated with hierarchies presented with more linear visual cues. This orientation towards brainstorming encourages users to enumerate and connect concepts without a tendency to begin within a particular conceptual framework.
“ The bureaucracy that companies create through endless rules, policies, procedures, management layers and practices. Each ‘rule’ is like a little hair that gets connected or knotted to other hairs, and the result is a giant hair ball.”
How do you avoid the hypnotic pull of bureaucracy?
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