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“The Man Who Organized Everything”

The Boston Globe newspaper has an "Ideas" section that has a story today about The Discipline of Organizing with the amusing title "The Man Who Organized Everything," meaning me. The writer (Chris Wright) is a free lancer who lives in London who interviewed me by Skype a couple of weeks ago when I was on vacation in southern France. I was very surprised and flattered that a major mainstream paper would pick up on our book, because it is a serious scholarly textbook, but Wright had read a fair amount of the book and very nicely conveyed some examples that regular folks would appreciate while also making the point that the book is serious and deep.

Wright and I talked a fair amount about southern France because he had vacationed there in the past, and that included a discussion about vineyards because that part of France, called Cote du Rhone, is well known for its wine. I observed that vineyards are good examples of organizing systems with very systematic arrangement of grapevines based on the "terroir" - the soil, the drainage, the way the sun hits the vineyard, wind, and other factors - as well as on the particular varietal of grape. Two adjacent vineyards can differ a great deal in how they are organized as a result. A couple of days later as I was driving back to Paris through the Burgundy area I noticed that the vineyards were very tightly arranged, with a lot less space between the rows than in Cote du Rhone because Burgundy wine commands higher prices, which induces grape growers to squeeze as many vines as they can on a plot of land.

-bob glushko

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