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Happy birthday, Scott Adams
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Published Wednesday, June 08, 2011 @ 7:19 AM EDT
Jun 08 2011

Happy birthday, Scott Adams.

"Analysis" comes from the root "anal" and the ancient Greek word "lysis," meaning "to pull numbers out of."

A good way for ineffective people to cling to power in an organization is by creating a monopoly on information.

A mission statement is defined as "a long awkward sentence that demonstrates management's inability to think clearly." All good companies have one.

Ambiguity succeeds where Honesty dares not venture.

An optimist is simply a pessimist with no job experience.

Anything that makes employees unhappy makes the stock price go up.

Are leaders born or made? And if they're made, can we return them under warranty?

Change is good. You go first.

Consultants will return your calls, because it's all billable time to them.

Decisions are made by people who have time, not people who have talent.

Eighty percent of good management is hiring the right people. The other 20 percent is getting out of their way.

Employees want to feel they participated in the formation of the business plan. This scam is called "buy in," and it's essential for reminding the employees that if anything goes wrong, it's their fault.

Engineers understand that their appearance only bothers other people and therefore it is not worth optimizing.

Every layer of management exists for the sole purpose of warning us about the layer above.

Executives hate talking to employees because they always bring up a bunch of unresolvable issues. Salespeople just buy the executives lunch. It's no contest.

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

Freedom's just another word for not caring about the quality of your work.

Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you're a consultant.

I believe everybody in the world should have guns. Citizens should have bazookas and rocket launchers too. I believe that all citizens should have their weapons of choice. However, I also believe that only I should have the ammunition. Because frankly, I wouldn't trust the rest of the goobers with anything more dangerous than string.

I cried because I did not have an office with a door, until I met a man who had no cubicle.

I don't understand what you do. Therefore, it must be simple.

I get funnier looking every year and I'd like to think it's part of an overall plan to seize power instead of some pathetic aging problem.

I've noticed that when a new policy mentions me by name, it's never a good thing.

If you can't get rid of bad employees, as a last resort put the poor performers in charge of the United Way campaign and let everybody suffer with you.

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done.

If you notice a lot of attention being given to process improvement, it's a sure sign that all the smart employees have left the company and those who remain are desperately trying to find a "process" that is so simple that the boneheads who remain can handle it.

If you spend all of your time arguing with people who are nuts, you'll be exhausted and the nuts will still be nuts.

In Japan, employees occasionally work themselves to death. It's called Karoshi. I don't want that to happen to anybody in my department. The trick is to take a break as soon as you see a bright light and hear dead relatives beckon.

In the future, more people will work for themselves, creating a huge market for bizarre products.

In the future, most democratic countries will be led by tall people with good hair.

In the future, the most important job skill will be a lack of ethics.

In the old days, quality was just an empty word meaning "good." Eventually, it evolved into a complicated method for transferring your money to business consultants.

Intelligence has much less practical application than you'd think.

It's funny to me that I have to prove to the banks that I'm honest.

It's hard to argue with the government. Remember, they run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, so they must know a thing or two about satisfying women.

It's vital for employees to accept the "buy-in" process. That way management has someone to blame when things go wrong.

Large corporations welcome innovation and individualism in the same way the dinosaurs welcomed large meteors.

Leadership is nature's way of removing morons from the productive flow.

Managers are like cats in a litter box. They instinctively shuffle things around to conceal what they've done.

Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle of lotteries, dating and religion.

Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge.

On time. Zero defects. Pick one.

People are idiots.

Re-engineering is like performing an appendectomy on yourself. It hurts quite a bit, you might not know exactly how to do it, and there's a good chance you won't survive it.

Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane.

Remember, you can't be wrong unless you take a position. Don't fall into that trap.

Reporters are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same.

Responsibility is not power.

Stupidity is like nuclear power, it can be used for good or evil. But you still don't want to get any on you.

Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did.

The best jobs are those that have results that cannot be measured.

The children are our future. And that is why, ultimately, we're screwed.

The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers.

The entire economic system depends on the fact that people are willing to do unpleasant things in return for money.

The future depends on assumptions and assumptions are just stuff you make up. No sense in knocking yourself out.

The longer you work here, diverse it gets.

The new CEO is always some tall white guy with no experience in your business.

The purpose of analysis is to avoid making hard decisions. Therefore, there can never be too much analysis.

The universe is mostly empty space, and so is your job.

There's a fine line between participation and mockery.

They can't break you if you don't have a spine.

We're a planet of nearly six billion ninnies living in a civilization that was designed by a few thousand amazingly smart deviants.

We're called rebels because we're easily manipulated into doing stupid things.

When people stare at you in disbelief, do you repeat what you just said, only louder and slower? Good, you're management material.

You can test a person's importance in the organization by asking how much RAM his computer has. Anyone who knows the answer to that question is not a decision maker.

Your brain is like your stomach in the sense that if it's empty, you're willing to put anything in there to fill it up.


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