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Orbiting the Giant Hairball

A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

By Gordon MacKenzie
10-minute read
Audio available
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie

Orbiting the Giant Hairball (1996) is a guide to surviving at a corporation while holding onto your creativity. These blinks explain how to evade the dark, creativity-stifling vortex of corporate bureaucracy by balancing corporate restraints with personal creativity.

  • Employees who feel trapped by corporate bureaucracy
  • Anyone reluctant to take a corporate job for fear of compromising their creativity and originality
  • Entry-level employees at major corporations

Gordon Mackenzie worked at the greeting card company Hallmark for 30 years. Starting out as an artist, his position within the company shifted over the years and he eventually became a kind of company guru with the title Creative Paradox, someone to whom people turned with their ideas.

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Orbiting the Giant Hairball

A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace

By Gordon MacKenzie
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
Synopsis

Orbiting the Giant Hairball (1996) is a guide to surviving at a corporation while holding onto your creativity. These blinks explain how to evade the dark, creativity-stifling vortex of corporate bureaucracy by balancing corporate restraints with personal creativity.

Key idea 1 of 6

Everyone is a creative genius, but society suppresses this talent.

Are you an artist? Well, if you don’t make paintings or write poetry, you might be inclined to say no. But don’t be so quick to dismiss this possibility. In truth, every one of us is born a creative genius.

Undisciplined children make rash decisions, diving spontaneously into risky situations and saying and doing whatever they like. They are driven purely by curiosity and innocent desire. These childhood tendencies are an expression of creative genius at the core being of every person. Everyone is born with this blissful “foolishness” that leads us to discover and evolve.

However, lots of people fear that a society of “fools,” that is, one made up of people who follow their creative genius, can never function. So, they stifle their creativity in an attempt to be “normal.” This makes perfect sense from a societal perspective. After all, “fools” are seen as impulsive, unpredictable rule-breakers, and the enforcement of strict social norms is about protecting society from this unpredictability.

Unfortunately, such protection also suppresses creative genius.

For example, on many occasions, the author asked children from different grades if they considered themselves to be artists. When he asked first graders, they would all enthusiastically raise their hands, but when he got to the second graders, about half would identify themselves as artists. By the time he reached the sixth graders, only one or two kids would raise their hands.

So, we can see that society suppresses creativity. But we can do something about it.      

To break open the full potential of our creative genius, or if you prefer, our foolishness, we have to stop aiming for normalcy and stand up to the rules that enforce it.

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