25 Women to Read Before You Die
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | August 11, 2015

    Felicia Day: IMG Felicia Day's Playlist for You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)



    These songs go along with some of the chapters in my book You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). Hope you enjoy! 1. "Sooner or Later" by... Continue »
    1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$6.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Psychology- General

More copies of this ISBN

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder -- How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-The-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place

by and

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder -- How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-The-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place Cover

ISBN13: 9780316114752
ISBN10: 0316114758
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $6.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A groundbreaking book that sheds new light on ideas of order — and shows how chaos, disorder, and mess make our world a better place!

Like Freakonomics, here is a book that combines counterintuitive thinking with stories from everyday life to provide a striking new view of how our world works. Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder actually makes systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder — or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid.

No longer! With a spectacular array of anecdotes and case studies of the useful role mess can play, here is an antidote to the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones.

A Perfect Mess will help readers assess what the right amount of disorder is for a given system, and how to apply these ideas onto a large scale — government, society — and on a small scale — in your attic, kitchen, or office. A Perfect Mess will forever change the way we think about those unruly heaps of paper on our desks.

Review:

"The premise of this pop business book should generate reader goodwill — who won't appreciate being told that her messy desk is 'perfect'? But despite their convincing defense of sloppy workstations, Columbia management professor Abrahamson (Change Without Pain) and author Freedman (Corps Business, etc.) squander their reader's indulgence by the end. Their thesis is solid enough: that organizational efforts tend to close off systems to random, unplanned influences that might lead to breakthroughs. But too many of the book's vaguely counterintuitive examples — to cite just one, that Ultimate Fighting is actually less injurious than boxing — stray from the central theme, giving their argument a shapeless, meandering feel. The authors prefer sprawling Los Angeles to fastidiously designed Paris and natural landscaping to lawns, decry clutter consultants, tight scheduling and 'the bias towards neatness programmed into most of us.' Noting that 'organizations can be messy in highly useful ways,' they urge companies to scrap long-term strategic planning, make contracts flexible and relinquish control over some processes. The advice is good and the arguments intriguing, and the book will probably be widely cited by those who have always resented neatniks. Too bad it's, well, such a mess." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A certain messiness probably should be expected in this book, and overall it is a provocative read." Seattle Times

Review:

"[As] with Freakonomics and Gladwell's books, the attempt is both thought-provoking and fun." San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

"An engaging polemic against the neat-police who hold so much sway over our lives." -The Wall Street Journal

Enthusiastically embraced by readers everywhere, this groundbreaking book is an antidote to the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success.

With an astounding array of anecdotes and case studies of the useful role mess can play in business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, hardware stores, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones. From clutter to time sprawl to blurring of categories, A PERFECT MESS will forever change the way we think about disorder.

"A compelling and comical tour of humanity's guilt-ridden love affair with accidents, messes, and randomness... Combine the world-is-not-as-it-seems mindset of Freakonomics with the delicious celebration of popular culture found in Everything Bad Is Good for You to get the cocktail-party-chatter-ready anecdotes of 'messiness leading to genius' in A PERFECT MESS." -Fast Company

Synopsis:

Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder can actually make systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder-or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid. No longer With a spectacular array of true stories and case studies of the hidden benefits of mess,A Perfect Mess overturns the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, organization, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahmson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones.Applying this idea on scales both large (government, society) and small (desktops, garages), A Perfect Mess uncovers all the ways messiness can trump neatness, and will help you assess the right amount of disorder for any system. Whether it's your company's management plan or your hallway closet that bedevils you, this book will show you why to say yes to mess.

About the Author

David H. Freedman is the author of three books, and is a business and science journalist who has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, and Wired, among others. He lives in Massachusetts.

Eric Abrahamson is a professor of management at Columbia University's School of Business, and author of Change Without Pain. He lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

peter in port, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by peter in port)
A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder--How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-fly Planning Make the World a Better Place is the perfect antidote to too many self-improvement books that make you feel guilty if you don't start each day with a to-do list and end it with every item checked. Abrahamson, a business professor, gives example after example of why the professional organizers, a multi-billion dollar industry, exaggerate the benefits of tidiness. The author uses this as a launching point to make several chapters essays on different aspects of chaos and disorder. This book is about 8 years old, and while some of the business examples are out of date, for example, Abrahamson criticizes Apple Computers, and lauds a New York City restaurant called Tabla, both of which have had reversals of fortune since the book came out, overall the book provides some fascinating concepts of messiness vs. order.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
peter in port, September 13, 2011 (view all comments by peter in port)
If you tend to be sloppy and leave a lot of files out in your work area, you can be made to feel pretty guilty when you read about all the supposed advantages of organization. The authors debunk the myth that organization is the key to success, and argue that a little disorganization can often lead to more creativity. I found the book to be a great source of inspiration that sometimes unintended benefits can arise from the natural state of being a little bit messy. A Perfect Mess is a perfect delight to read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mmmadbroad, February 25, 2007 (view all comments by mmmadbroad)
Must reading for anyone who lives with a packrat.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316114752
Subtitle:
The Hidden Benefits of Disorder--How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place
Author:
Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman
Author:
Abrahamson, Eric
Author:
Freedman, David H.
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Success
Subject:
Conduct of life
Subject:
Business Life - General
Subject:
General Self-Help
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080108
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.66x5.75x1.12 in. .99 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Momentum: Igniting Social Change in... Used Hardcover $4.50
  2. Cat's Cradle Used Mass Market $3.95
  3. Snow
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  4. How to Talk to a Liberal (If You... Used Hardcover $3.95
  5. Professional C# 3RD Edition Used Trade Paper $4.48
  6. The Risk-Free Entrepreneur: The Idea... New Trade Paper $18.99

Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder -- How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-The-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316114752 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The premise of this pop business book should generate reader goodwill — who won't appreciate being told that her messy desk is 'perfect'? But despite their convincing defense of sloppy workstations, Columbia management professor Abrahamson (Change Without Pain) and author Freedman (Corps Business, etc.) squander their reader's indulgence by the end. Their thesis is solid enough: that organizational efforts tend to close off systems to random, unplanned influences that might lead to breakthroughs. But too many of the book's vaguely counterintuitive examples — to cite just one, that Ultimate Fighting is actually less injurious than boxing — stray from the central theme, giving their argument a shapeless, meandering feel. The authors prefer sprawling Los Angeles to fastidiously designed Paris and natural landscaping to lawns, decry clutter consultants, tight scheduling and 'the bias towards neatness programmed into most of us.' Noting that 'organizations can be messy in highly useful ways,' they urge companies to scrap long-term strategic planning, make contracts flexible and relinquish control over some processes. The advice is good and the arguments intriguing, and the book will probably be widely cited by those who have always resented neatniks. Too bad it's, well, such a mess." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A certain messiness probably should be expected in this book, and overall it is a provocative read."
"Review" by , "[As] with Freakonomics and Gladwell's books, the attempt is both thought-provoking and fun."
"Synopsis" by , "An engaging polemic against the neat-police who hold so much sway over our lives." -The Wall Street Journal

Enthusiastically embraced by readers everywhere, this groundbreaking book is an antidote to the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success.

With an astounding array of anecdotes and case studies of the useful role mess can play in business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, hardware stores, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones. From clutter to time sprawl to blurring of categories, A PERFECT MESS will forever change the way we think about disorder.

"A compelling and comical tour of humanity's guilt-ridden love affair with accidents, messes, and randomness... Combine the world-is-not-as-it-seems mindset of Freakonomics with the delicious celebration of popular culture found in Everything Bad Is Good for You to get the cocktail-party-chatter-ready anecdotes of 'messiness leading to genius' in A PERFECT MESS." -Fast Company

"Synopsis" by , Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder can actually make systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder-or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid. No longer With a spectacular array of true stories and case studies of the hidden benefits of mess,A Perfect Mess overturns the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, organization, neatness, and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail, and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, coauthors Abrahmson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions, and are harder to break than neat ones.Applying this idea on scales both large (government, society) and small (desktops, garages), A Perfect Mess uncovers all the ways messiness can trump neatness, and will help you assess the right amount of disorder for any system. Whether it's your company's management plan or your hallway closet that bedevils you, this book will show you why to say yes to mess.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

       
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.