129. Is ”Thing Explainer” the Best Management Book?
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I think the lessons in Randall Munroe's "Thing Explainer" are more important to effective management than any other book I've read.



To be honest, I *much* prefer reading fiction to reading management or leadership books. I’m leaning even further in that direction the more I disagree with my past self. Like, I have written – or caused other people to write – so much stuff about corporate governance over the years that I now believe completely misses the point. I sometimes wonder how authors who contribute to the archives of management literature feel when they look back at their publications even like 2 years later. Do they disagree with themselves as much as I do? Anyway, I’m here to make a book recommendation – one I can’t believe I haven’t made yet on OMG. Please have a look at Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe. He’s got a few other books since then including a brand new one that I’m sure he’d much rather a plug for, but I stand by my position. Each page of Thing Explainer has a detailed illustration kinda like a blueprint or patent drawing of some super complex or interesting thing like a nuclear reactor or a submarine and explanations of how every part of that thing works using only the 1000 most common words in the English language. And in a couple of minutes, you’ve learned how some crazy complicated thing works without learning any new language, and while having lots of fun. It’s probably already obvious why I think Thing Explainer is an amazing management book, but just in case: presenting complex ideas in simple words, while also having some fun, is both possible and a better way to communicate than most managers do. Think of this book as an illustration of what managers COULD be doing.

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