Thursday, March 11, 2010

Writing about Doing

GIST Publishing and Multi-Dimensional Press announce the publication of Graymanship: The Management of Organizational Imperfection, by Bob Eddy. See more at the GIST website.

Drew Carey once joked, "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." Surveys show that job dissatisfaction and cynicism are at an all-time high. Why have we let our jobs become so toxic? Bob Eddy's book, Graymanship: The Management of Organizational Imperfection delivers a mind-boggling, out-of-the-box approach that shatters common sense concepts about how to manage businesses and employees. Other books, focusing on one-minute leadership and relocating cheese, may contain interesting viewpoints, but they have not succeeded in reversing, or even lessening, the negativity of our work lives. What can we do about miscommunications, incompetence, disorganization, disruption, disobedience, inequity, disloyalty, politics, unethical behavior, conflict, and cynicism? We obviously need a deeper analysis of why we suffer these ills. Graymanship suggests that we take a new and different look at the assumptions we have bought into that keep us prisoners of old paradigms and worldviews. Eddy compares the Realist's black-and-white viewpoint that most of us grew up with to a more balanced Constructivist worldview that embraces shades of gray, shifting our language away from dividing and blaming, and toward more nuanced, results-oriented evaluations. With this new mindset, Eddy proposes 66 concrete actions that managers, employees and organizations can take to restore sanity and enjoyment to our organizational membership. "Graymanship works in the world because it reflects the queasy, hard to pin down, flexible reality we live in." Bill Conner, educational administrator. "It's professional, persuasive, provocative, surprisingly concise, and very, very readable." Dave Kimball, retired CEO.

The book will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major book sellers.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Words don't mean....

The appropriately beautiful or ugly sound of any word is an illusion wrought on us by what the word connotes.
-Max Beerbohm, writer, critic, and caricaturist (1872-1956)

I might have said, "by how we have experience the word in use." As I understand it, words don't actually "connote," any more than they "mean." Instead, we encounter words as used by people in our environment, we observe the effect of the word on those around us, construct a meaning, and and we go on to apply the word in situations we believe similar to the original experience. Thus a given word may strike one person as beautiful and another as ugly, due not to the dictionary meaning of the word, but rather to the circumstances surrounding their experiences of the word in use.

But that explanation doesn't make for a handy little aphorism.