Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Favorite Line?

Part of the reason I moved to Memphis recently was to take on the challenge inherent in a new job.  I'm quite happy with the new office, too--bigger school, more students, bigger paycheck, etc.  It has been a positive move, professionally.

That said, I landed right in the middle of an assignment.  The college's current professional development effort centers around the leadership reading and working through the application of a management book named The Oz Principle.  It's a well-written book, and (surprisingly to me, at least at first) it's not by Dr. Oz.  Instead, the Oz in the title refers to the fictional world created by L. Frank Baum so many years ago and populated by a trio of witches, a wizard (spoiler alert: he's not all he seems to be), and in at least one installment of the story a young girl from Kansas, her little dog too, and a lion, a tin man, and a scarecrow, oh my.

If you're as confused as I was at first, take heart.  The book actually does a thorough job explaining, both with actual quotes from the masterwork and with references to the "behind the scenes" part, how Dorothy and her cohort followed appropriate management principles in the areas of individual and organizational accountability to successfully cast the unknown aspects of the wizard aside and, um, achieve the ultimate success in business, which is--um, going home.

If you're scratching your head, welcome to the proverbial club.  To me, the authors took what could've been a perfectly good metaphor and tied it down, beat it to within a hair of its life, and then tarred and feathered the poor thing.  It's been so bad in that arena that I've had difficulty reading more than a few pages without either giggling or throwing the book across the room. 

The current assignment, though, stopped me short.  I was asked to identify my favorite line from the book.  Me, an author!  My favorite line out of a vessel that is full of them.  I.  Can't.  Do.  That.  To me, that's like asking a guy with lots of offspring to identify his favorite child.  No!

I even got the joke wrong.  My first response, based on my level of appreciation for the metaphor used to push the underlying management principle, was "The End."  Nope, there isn't one.  If you flip to the end of the actual material, prior to where the "we're trying to sell you the follow-on stuff" begins, it actually says "The Beginning."  Useful sentiment, that.  

All that said, an assignment is an assignment.  I'm gonna complete it somehow, even if I have to close my eyes, open the book to a random page, and point.


No comments:

Post a Comment