The Organizational Development Muse

Notes on a Resource: To Wit

Posted by Mark L. Vincent

To Wit

 A sense of humor - A mandatory tool of management

Publishing Information: by Simon Ramo, Figueroa Press, 2011

Subject area(s): Management, Communication

Type of resource: Leadership wisdom

----Ratings (1-5)*----

Thought leadership = 2. Simon Ramo, cofounder of TRW Inc., is certainly brilliant and definitely possesses ato_wit broad and well-cultivated sense of humor. The book, however, does not live up to its promise. Mr. Ramo regularly strays from his subject. The passages and key ideas about humor would have fit into a magazine article.

Accessibility of the material = 1.  The book is not indexed, outlined or particularly organized. It is a set of short, rambling essays from a highly regarded business mind. There are solid nuggets here, but one will not find them simply by flipping the pages.

Mix of theory and practice = 2. Ramo provides a number of illustrations of well-used wit, but to this reader's ear it seems that while they may have been funny in the moment they are not likely translatable to other contexts. The picture he creates is more of a leader who has learned to (or can naturally) use humor well rather than it is a sure-fire set of punch lines for a leader to prepare to use.

Look and feel = 2. The volume is hard-bound, stiff and hard to hold open. The words on the page look as if they have been blown-up to fill enough pages to make it a book.

Engagement of the audience = 2. Some will like this book, probably because they knew Mr. Ramo or heard him speak somewhere. Sadly, while there are interesting and thought-provoking passages, the reader is not likely to chuckle. This one didn't.

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* How we construct our ratings 
1= Not registering
2= Present
3= Effective
4= Commendable
5= Outstanding

--mark l vincent

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Topics: process design, process consulting, organizational development, executive coaching, leadership development, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, notes on a resource, business communication, leadership humor