John Kay (2010) Obliquity

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John Kay (2010) Obliquity

Postby Andrea on Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:46 pm

I ordered this book as soon as I read John Kay's article in the Financial Times back in March (also available here: ... -kays-way/). As soon as it arrived, I placed it next to my keyboard (you can tell how important something is by the distance it has from it). However, things have been so frantic lately that I only picked up the book last week -- I was desperately looking for some escapism from some pretty horrendous politics going on within the OU...). Four hours later I put the book down, finished.

I rarely read books in one go -- preferring to mull things over as I swim up and down the lengths every evening. But this book was so riveting, so well written, so original in its approach, that I just couldn't put it down.

This was one of the most illuminating "systems" books that I have read in a while. But, I've placed the term systems in quotes because, shockingly, Kay doesn't cite, not even once, any of the well-known systems thinkers and their associated works. I even struggled to find any systems terminology. Instead, he seems to have figured out exactly the same systemic conclusions from first principles, basing the work on a wealth of experience in economics and management.

And this is why I found it so refreshing -- difficult concepts are communicated in an incredibly accessible way using lay terms and everyday examples.

It felt like I had cut a window into a parallel universe -- where things were the same, but not quite.

A great book for systems newbees and veterans alike.
esse sequitur operari
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