orbiting the giant hairball

“Why would anyone want to suppress genius? Well, it is not intentional. It is not a plot. Genius is an innocent casualty in society’s efforts to train children away from natural-born foolishness.”
– Gordon MacKenzie

Gordon MacKenzie may have spent the bulk of his creative career in the corporate world of Hallmark Cards, but don’t let that put you off. What he has to teach about creativity crosses all boundaries. I read his book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, in one sitting and my face ached afterwards from a severe case of extended grinning.

During his many years with Hallmark, MacKenzie poked and prodded his way out into orbit around the corporation (also known as “The Giant Hairball”), championing creativity by all means possible. His ideas about creating within the corporate structure are useful for any situation in which we yearn to create within external limitations.

Visually beautiful and artfully designed, the book includes chapters about dealing with teasing, thinking transrationally, and resisting the mesmerizing pull of corporate culture. The book bristles with accessible, high-quality encouragement.

The process of innovation, of going where no one has gone before, often involves messing about in the wild without a guide or a clue. As MacKenzie reminds us, “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.”


Originally published on Highly Sensitive Power, March 4, 2009.

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