Although it was first published more than thirty-five years ago, Up the Organization continues to top the lists of best business books by groups as diverse as the American Management Association, Strategy + Business (Booz Allen Hamilton), and The Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management. 1–800-CEO-READ ranks Townsend’s bestseller first among eighty books that “every manager must read.” This commemorative edition offers a new generation the benefit of Robert Townsend’s timeless wisdom as well as reflections on his work and life by those who knew and worked with him. This groundbreaking book continues to remind us not to get mired in all those sacred organizational routines that stifle people and strangle both profits and profitability. He shows a way to humanize business and a way to have fun while making it all work better than it ever worked before.
When you’re off on a business trip or a vacation, pretend you’re a customer. Telephone some part of your organization and ask for help.You’ll run into some real horror shows. Don’t blow up and ask for name, rank, and serial number—you’re trying to correct, not punish. If it happens on a call to the Dubuque office, just suggest to the manager (through channels, dummy) that he make a few test calls himself. Then try calling yourself up and see what indignities you’ve built into your own defenses.