Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace Hardcover – April 1, 1998
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From the Back Cover
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Although I have read many excellent books about nurturing creativity and working creatively in companies, this is the first book I have read where the author has been someone who has done that repeatedly and in a variety of ways. That perspective is uniquely valuable both to those who want to have more creative jobs and those who would like to encourage creativity.
Although the analogies seem far-fetched at first (orbiting the giant hairball means taking a creative tangent and refocusing it to have relevance for the company's purpose), they serve to open your mind to thinking differently about creativity and organizations.
Although the author's key points are not summarized anywhere in the book, you will begin to get a sense of how the ideas connect together. That's useful, because otherwise why should he try to teach us so much? Except in the chapter that deals with them, any of the key observations would have been enough for a whole book on the subject. The overall theme is that our minds are subject to being too quickly anesthetized, rather than stimulated to ground-breaking insights. You'll love the story about hypnotizing hens where he introduces that concept.
One of my favorite stories in the book described when the author was asked to create an introductory course on creativity. The first session was wildly successful. The author then analyzed why it worked and created a more organized version of this course (called Grope). That sesssion didn't work as well. Then he went back to being unstructured (operating at the edge of chaos), and the course worked again. He learned from this the delicate connection between groping and rote. You need more of the former and less of the latter.Read more ›
Buy this book and take it's message to heart. I have purchased and given this book more times than I can count to people in all levels of business, and to friends who are at crossroads in their lives. I have seen some reviews here which take issue with the fact that the author's message is too far ahead of it's time, won't fly within the gridwork of a conformist corporate culture, or that the message is inaccessable due to the book's apparent lack of structure.
Well, the message and how it's presented are kind of the point, not the problem.
If the message won't fly in a particular company culture, the problem is within the culture. Those groups need to pay attention more than any other, because they stand to gain the most. The perspective offered here is unique and invaluable. It applies to more than the immediate situation, not just to surviving a job at Hallmark, or any job, for that matter, but can be applied to any aspect of life. If you are in business today, you can apply the lesson given here. If you are a CEO and think that workers are drones who need your company more than it needs them, accept the moral initiative given by this book and learn why change is good, both economically and sprititually. If you are a humble worker bee and are saddened by your present position, use this book as a springboard to give you the initiative you need to find a better place, one away from the CEOs who haven't read this book. That would probably make Gordon smile.
This book is all those things that have already been said about it: it's loopy, zany, wise, generous, playful, full of heart, loaded with quirky illustrations, and stuffed to the gills with genuine spirit.Read more ›
Here is the passage that was on his funeral leaflet: "You have a masterpiece inside you, too, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. And remember: If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Meh - a creative way of telling one how to survive corporate but not a book I would recommend to anyone anytime soonPublished 22 days ago by Avid Reader
Gordon Mackenzie is a genius. Definitely a creative man with an interesting perspective on things. Makes you think.Published 1 month ago by Bradford Smithers
One of the best short non-fiction books I have every read. I keep coming back to it again and again for little kid bits of inspiration or levity. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Prttylilfilley
One of my favorite books of all time about navigating the corporate world as a creative. A must read for anyone who is a creative, but probably more important for anyone who... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrew Weiler
One of the best and most inspiring books I have ever read on charting the corporate waters while maintaining your personal strengths, staying in close contact with your own... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Thomas Swaak