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01 MARCH 2010

Obliquity: Why our goals are best achieved indirectly

"Strange as it may seem, overcoming geographic obstacles, winning decisive battles or meeting global business targets are the type of goals often best achieved when pursued indirectly. This is the idea of Obliquity. Oblique approaches are most effective in difficult terrain, or where outcomes depend on interactions with other people.

If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in the other. Paradoxical as it sounds, goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly. So the most profitable companies are not the most profit–oriented, and the happiest people are not those who make happiness their main aim. The name of this idea? Obliquity"

(John Kay)

CONTRIBUTOR

David Rogerson
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