Think Fast

Fast Company magazine is uncharacteristically smart and informative when it comes to the ways of work today, and so not surprisingly, its collection of business (and life) quotations, The Rules of Business, is in a class of its own.

Fast Company magazine is uncharacteristically smart and informative when it comes to the ways of work today, and so not surprisingly, its collection of business (and life) quotations, The Rules of Business, is in a class of its own. Unlike many such books, what makes the difference here is that a preponderance of the quotes—which are categorized (e.g., “Change,” “Leadership,” “Risk,” “Speed”) and prefaced so that they were able to come up with the list of “55 essential ideas”—are culled from the pages of the magazine. The benefit of this is that there is a freshness to the thinking and a greater relevance to ways of work right now than is often the case when there is a long lag between the quotation and the collection. Those that come from days gone by most certainly stand the test of time, however, and resonate well. There is not always agreement between some of the quotations and the lessons proffered by the editors. For example, the idea in a quote attributed to Henry Ford, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse” is seemingly contradicted by one of the rules, #11, “In the proverbial 10 words or less, here is the key to customer service: Ask customers what they want and give it to him.” Fortunately, Ford decided against equines.—GSV