Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

Orbiting the Giant Hairball Book Cover Orbiting the Giant Hairball
Gordon MacKenzie
Business & Economics
Viking Adult
1998
224

Review: This is a quick, fun read that illustrates the difficulties inherent in working within a corporate structure. While it focuses specifically on the challenges faced by those working in a creative capacity (the author worked in that role at Hallmark for 30 years) the frustrations described will be familiar to anyone who has worked in a corporate environment.

The author gives good examples illustrating how he was able to thrive within a corporation without sacrificing his creativity. Naturally his solutions are specific to Hallmark; the feasibility of his solutions in other companies is questionable. He makes valid points in an entertaining way and clearly illustrates how the structure of a corporation contributes to corporate suffering. It’s no wonder there is less corporate innovation and profitability.

The key concern we have with this book is the implication that it’s better to avoid confronting obvious structural issues by “orbiting” rather than dealing with problems and working to make the situation better for everyone.

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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