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The Orange Code

I've been reading the new book The Orange Code, the story of ING Direct by Arkadi Kuhlmann and Bruce Philp. Here are a few passages I liked from what I read today:

The commitment to constantly learn is the only fair way to bring everyone in the company under the same umbrella. It is a leveler. (p. 213)

... [W]e've got to earn it each day, and we need to feel that we have new challenges that can make us or break us every day. ... Each day's work will last only as long as it's relevant. ... [W]e did okay in each of the last seven years, but we are only ever as good as our last year, our last day, our last transaction. We still have a lot to do, since our competition is not resting. (pp. 208-209)

Trust and faith not only are built over time, but they actually need the passage of time to validate them. (p. 197)

Contributing is a privilege earned, not a right. And there are, indeed, bad ideas, most of which are answers to questions the contributors didn't really understand in the first place. There is a reason why some of the world's finest jazz musicians were classically trained: You have to understand the rules before you can intelligently improvise on them. (p. 195)

I haven't finished reading it yet and probably will have more to say about it when I have.


Ethan Rowe said...

On jazz musicians being classically trained, thus understanding the "rules":
* the "rules" are not the same between these traditions; the voice-leading that Mozart or Bach would use is considerably different from what jazz musicians use; the harmonic structures that jazz musicians regularly use would be gibberish in the context of Mozart, Bach, etc.
* why do people act like there's one set of "rules" that governs all music, and then go on to think that "classical" music is the ultimate manifestation of those rules? It's silly. Go listen to Javanese gamelan recordings and tell me about the "rules" there.

Which is not to take away from the value of the sentiments expressed, only to pick my usual nit with the human tendency to make obviously-absurd statements about musical things.

Steven Jenkins said...

While I enjoy reading books like 'The Orange Code', it's been my experience that a clear, well-articulated, shared vision is a key factor in the success of an organization. The actual contents of the vision often do not matter as much as the sense of community obtained by having the shared vision in the first place.

The environment around an organization matters as well. If there is a sense of crisis, that everyone must band together in order for the organization and the individuals to survive, then the urgency presents yet another building block for the organization to use.

With all that said, I like the quotes you've pulled out, and I'd be interested in reading the book as well.

Jon Jensen said...

Steven, it's funny you mention that "a clear, well-articulated, shared vision is a key factor in the success of an organization", since that's probably the major thesis of the book. :)

BrandCowboy said...

Hey, Ethan,

I appreciate your comment. This was a useful cliche for me just to make the point efficiently: I don't think that classical music is defined by the rules it imposes, at least not for this rhetorical purpose. I think it's defined by the fact that you can't master it without study and discipline (also true of gamelan, I suppose). These are the qualities I was referring to when I wrote about the entitlement to 'contribute'.

Thanks for your interest in the book!


Anonymous said...

The book sounds boring and inhumane, put it down and plant a tree