Doing it by numbers

Only 7 keys?

Just now as I was brushing my teeth and multi-tasking by having an ear on the BBC where the droll Peter Day was talking to yet another so-called management guru — this time it’s Piero Morosini — about his latest contribution to world knowledge, something struck me.

My goodness, all these management hired guns have a tendency to title their books in numbers.

Mr Morosini’s book — 7 keys to Imagination — is the subject of Mr Day’s interview conducted in his trade-mark sleep-inducing voice.

I wondered why only 7 keys and not 10, 11, or even 111?

But then, the book has great precedents.

Just a mo?

Remember the One Minute Manager? Or the Seven Surprises for New CEOs which Michael E. Porter, the world’s leading management guru according to Accenture, cobbled together some years ago for the Harvard Business Review?

One might ask why not a 30-minute Manager? Or Sixty Six Surprises for New CEOs?

Thankfully, Tom Peters, whom Accenture ranks after Porter in the guru hit parade, has been a lot more generous with his book title.

He offers no fewer than 163 ways to pursue excellence, though if one were to be querulous, one could argue that there could be more or fewer ways!!

More generous with numbers

Call me a cynic but I guess the numbers in the titles may have something to do with the sales pitch rather than the fact that that’s all there is to the topic.

The snappier numbers eg One Minute Manager is more for the wow effect while the bigger numbers probably have an eye on what spin-off the author and his publisher are hoping to extract from their management guide books.

It all boils down to dollars and cents.

Incidentally, I’ve got my own book too, titled 108 Fragments and could be accessed for free here.

And frankly, the book got its moniker simply because i couldn’t think of anything to write beyond that. 😀


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