'It isn't often that management books make you laugh out loud. But this is a notable exception.' The Independent
The 'Dilbert' strip has satirised management stupidity for many years, and has done so very accurately. Most of the ideas come from the e-mails sent to author Scott Adams by readers relating real life stories of office life.
What Adams has done here is to distil the wisdom that comes from observing these absurdities. This book doesn't just poke fun, it offers commonsense advice about how to run an office more efficiently and more humanely. Humour is a very effective vehicle for teaching these lessons, and the result here is arguably the best book ever written about management.
Most management books are rubbish. They are humourless and, as often as not, merely promote some passing fad in management theory. You always see them at airport bookstalls ("20 ways to do this" or "10 magic formulas for that"). If you are a manager in an office, do yourself a favour and buy this instead. Also read the sequels, "Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook" and "The Dilbert Future". You'll have a good laugh (sometimes, painfully, at your own expense) and, who knows, you might even become a better manager.
The chapter on writing your own appraisal, for example, is very, very dangerous. I have never allowed any of my staff to see it, although I did make use of it when preparing my own appraisal for my boss's signature.
Simple tricks like the 'big picture manouvre' are just too good and useful to be dished out in paperback format.
Scott Adams takes 'the Peter Principle' into an entirely new space. Instead of writing about managers who have been promoted to their level of incompetence, he takes on whole corporate cultures which have grown to their level of incompetence. Everybody who has ever recommended 'concentrating our assets across the board' or, indeed, 'zooming in on the big picture', ought to read this book. Everybody who has ever considered punishing staff for having poor morale should read it. And every pointy haired manager who believes that anything he doesn't understand can't be very difficult should read it.
But workers? They should not be allowed to read it. It should be removed from their bookshelves and libraries. People buying this book online should have to prove that they are management grades before they complete their purchases.
Books like this are just too dangerous.
In addition, you get Scott Adams observations on all the usual aspects of life in the workplace (just as funny as the cartoons) and, often the funniest bits, excerpts of e-mails from readers about real-life cubicle idiocy.
Get some relief from the tedium and the madness of working in an office, buy this book.