Mad Props to Dilbert

November 13th, 2007

The Times of London put out their list of the world’s top 50 business thinkers last week.  It was mostly predictable.  Bill Gates?  Yup, #2.  Richard Branson?  In at #9.  Steve Jobs? Hmm hmmm, #29.  Alan Greenspan, Jim Collins, Stephen Covey, Malcolm Gladwell, Ram Charan, Marcus Buckingham, Al Gore, Seth Godin?  Yes, yes and yes.   All of our favorite business thinkers and blog muses are there.  (Never mind there are only three women on the list; we’ll save that for another blog.)

What really stands out is that right there in the middle – between Donald Trump at #20 and Ram Charan at #22 – is Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert.

A cartoonist is one of the world’s top business thinkers?  The Times – no, the whole of London – must have gone insane!

We’re just kidding of course.  We love Dilbert as much as the next person.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that humor has a place in businesses.  No, that’s not enough.  Humor is crucial to business.  So are satire, entertainment and common sense.

Take this cartoon for example:

Do businesses really need to spend hundreds or thousands of man hours each year sending employees on wild goose chases or putting people into circular conundrums? No – of course not. It’s so absurd it made us laugh. There’s a better way to do things, and that’s just the kind of thinking that landed Scott on the list. It’s simple, it’s common sense and many businesses can learn from it.

So here’s to Dilbert – may you continue to shape the world’s business community from your spot on the morning paper (and the Internet) for many years to come.

Posted Under: Innovation & Technology
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