Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Ape in the Corner Office - Richard Coniff

Its a jungle out there..

Workplace behavior is a topic for many a books. It is interesting to observe on how we behave in various situations in Office and what drives those behaviour. Richard Coniff , in this interesting book, tell us that most of those traits are carried to us as the part of the evolution. These traits are common in the animal kingdom. Taking us through various examples and relating these characteristics to the animal, mostly to the closest to humans, the Apes tends to exhibit similar characteristics.

The social hierarchy, the power politics, the fear of failure, the need for nurturing and cajoling all are very common in the primates. They also behave to the set patterns of responses, to the order of the society as we do. The intimidation, the need for reconciliation after a spar, the tendency to follow the herd etc., are as prevalent in the other world as it is in the office environment.

Richard Coniff, does his research in an outstanding manner. There are ample references to the business world, to the research world of animals. The references and co-relation are very good. The outcome of reading the book is that, from now on, I start looking at my colleagues and their reactions in a new light. It might also alter few of my won responses. Very easy and entertaining read, with many real life examples ( few on the organisation where I work) and comparisons make this book worth reading.
The Ape in the corner Office
Richard Coniff
Crown Business
341 Pages
Further read : HR Magazine, HBS Review

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