Monday, July 31, 2006

Who moved my wand?

My Harry Potter week coincided with Lumos 2006, an academic symposium held in Las Vegas this weekend for fans of the book series. I didn't attend -- knew nothing about it until it was sold out, and lacked the time anyway -- but I did notice that Dr. Tom Morris lectured on "The Amazing Practical Wisdom of Harry Potter."

I'd feel jealous if I hadn't already read his book, If Harry Potter Ran General Electric. It's not so much speculation of how a teenage wizard would chair a Muggle corporation as it is a thesis on how J.K. Rowling's books provide good examples of leadership and innovation.

Not surprisingly, Morris spends much of the book pointing out the strong leadership qualities of Albus Dumbledore, who leads by example and inspires the kind of loyalty that CEOs dream of.

Harry, in turn, develops his own leadership skills by emulating the headmaster, adopting a sense of ethics and earning the respect of his fellow students despite his own adolescent flaws.

The book is both business management theory and literary scholarship, and it performs both roles well. Sadly, though, it never answers the question: how many Muggles does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I should mention that Morris previously wrote If Aristotle Ran General Motors. So he has the makings of a pretty good book series. Now what? I suggest future titles:

If Wolverine Ran Gillette

If Calista Flockhart Ran Hormel

If Plato Ran Play-Doh

If Captain Jack Sparrow Ran Napster

If Abraham Lincoln Ran Enron

If Magic Johnson Ran Magic Johnson Theatres

If Dracula Ran the American Red Cross

If Legolas Ran Sephora

If Lady Godiva Ran Godiva

If Jean-Luc Picard Ran General Foods International Coffees*

* I know it's obscure, but can anyone explain the connection in this last title? The first reader to do so will receive 100,000 Brevity points.


K-Lyn said...

I know. I know. pick me!!

...the commercial with something about remembering the waiter...what's his name?
(insert girls screaching)

Although I don't think there was an actual ST:TNG connection but now there is.

K-Lyn said...

If Legolas Ran Sephora...

Dude. You rock!

Neel Mehta said...

You know, I really thought that would be much more of a stumper. That is such an old General Foods International Coffee commercial. But I've thought of it ever since I heard of Jean-Luc Picard.

Congratulations, K-lyn. I'll be sending you ten Brevity points for the next 10,000 years. Because 10,000 years can give you such a crick in the neck.

Had to go with Legolas because I don't know any of the characters in Velvet Goldmine. Also? Look at him/her.

Mike said...

That is a great list.

logophile said...

If Vladimir Putin ran Grey Poupon. (This is just fun to say over and over)

If Francis Bacon ran Hormel.

K-Lyn said...

Eddie Izzard is the obvious choice for Sephora but Legolas is funnier.

And I think your Picard/Coffee connection probably would stump most but you have to remember I love to blow the curve.

That's going to entertain me for hours!

Tom Morris said...

Hey Neel! Thanks for mentioning my new book! And for all those great titles you've come up with! I've got my work cut out for me!

Tom Morris