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.
What Real Business Managers and Educators Say about Graymanship
Graymanship is a book that I would want to use were I teaching today. It applies some of the methodologies of general semantics to problems of decision making in organizations. No other text I have seen takes this equally appropriate and wider point of view. I find the materials especially useful and in both concept and originality beyond anything I have seen elsewhere. I would think that it would have a use in programs in many business schools and also in company supervisory and executive training programs.
George F. F. Lombard
Former Senior Associate Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Business
and IGS 1986 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecturer
Clearly not a book to read once and move on. Your style [helps me] recognize myself in some not so great positions on a variety of grids, and your persistent theme of personal responsibility helps me think that I can do something about it.
Director, Information Services, Reid Hospital, Richmond IN