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February 24, 2005

Easy as 123

Zombyboy prompted this. And I must obey Herr Zomby.

The Rules

  1. Grab the nearest book.

  2. Open the book to page 123.

  3. Find the fifth sentence.

  4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

  5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Got it? Good.
The idea, radical for the 1960s, was to create a system wherein every Abbott manager in every type of job was responsible for his or her return on investment, with the same rigor that an investor holds an entrepreneur responsible. There would be no hiding behind traditional accounting allocations, no slopping funds about to cover up ineffective management, no opportunities for finger-pointing.

But the beauty of the Abbott system lay not just in its rigor, but in how it used rigor and discipline to enable creativity and entrepreneurship.

- from Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, by Jim Collins.

This book was grabbed from the shelf above me to my right, in my lovely cube. Had this been a book from home, it probably would have been more interesting.

Or perhaps not.

Update: Let's find out. Here's one from the home library.

As the Globe points out, Sesame Street products generate over $800 million in retail sales every year, and its executives enjoy salaries of up to $200,000 a year. Yet because the programme is aired on public television here, it receives an annual government subsidy of $7 million.

I was about to say think what would happen if that $7 million were spent instead on inner-city schools, but then it occurred to me that what would happen is that they would go out and buy more TVs to hook more classrooms into Channel One.

- from Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson

OK, so not much more exciting.

Posted by Andy at 01:14 PM