Obliquity (Paperback)

Why our goals are best achieved indirectly

John Kay

An original, widely-applicable concept from one of the world's foremost economists. Tim Harford says it is 'persuasive, rigorous, creative and wise. Brilliant'.

If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in another. This is the concept of 'obliquity': paradoxical as it sounds, many goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly. The richest men and women are not the most materialistic; the happiest people are not necessarily those who focus on happiness, and the most profitable companies are not always the most profit-oriented as the recent financial crisis showed us.

Whether overcoming geographical obstacles, winning decisive battles or meeting sales targets, history shows that oblique approaches are the most successful, especially in difficult terrain. John Kay applies his provocative, universal theory to everything from international business to town planning and from football to managing forest fire.

Publication date: 03/02/2011

£9.99

ISBN: 9781846682896

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Business & Management

Obliquity (Ebook)

Why our goals are best achieved indirectly

John Kay

An original, widely-applicable concept from one of the world's foremost economists. Tim Harford says it is 'persuasive, rigorous, creative and wise. Brilliant'.

If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in another. This is the concept of 'obliquity': paradoxical as it sounds, many goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly. The richest men and women are not the most materialistic; the happiest people are not necessarily those who focus on happiness, and the most profitable companies are not always the most profit-oriented as the recent financial crisis showed us.

Whether overcoming geographical obstacles, winning decisive battles or meeting sales targets, history shows that oblique approaches are the most successful, especially in difficult terrain. John Kay applies his provocative, universal theory to everything from international business to town planning and from football to managing forest fire.

Publication date: 03/02/2011

£5.99

ISBN: 9781847651853

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B004KKY5HA

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Business & Management

Reviews for Obliquity

'This is an elegant, simple book and, rarely for a business book, is written by a man who actually understands the academics and philosophers he quotes. The best nine quid you'll spend this year'

Jeremy Hazlehurst City AM

'[A] smart, witty book'

William Leith Evening Standard

'John Kay is an admirable debunker of myths and false beliefs - he can see substantial things others don't. Read this book.'

Nassim N Taleb The Black Swan

'Economics with style as well as substance'

Stephen Bayley, architecture and design correspondent Observer

'Obliquity is a characteristic John Kay production. It is a pleasure to read'

Howard Davies Financial Times

'How rare is it for an academic economist to write with such clarity, intelligence and courage. And, in these troubled, confusing times, how desperately we need other dismal scientists to follow John Kay's shining example.'

Liam Halligan Spectator Business

John Kay

John Kay

John Kay is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford. He is a director of several public companies and contributes a weekly column to the Financial Times. He chaired the UK government review of Equity Markets which reported in 2012 recommending substantial reforms. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Obliquity (2010).

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