Mystic Management

Author Interviews   *

Q: Why Mystic Management?
A: It's kind of a personal thing. I did not want to write a management text . . . there are literally hundreds available. Moreover, the Introduction to Business texts and the Principles of Management texts have not really changed that much over the years; unlike texts dealing with computer technology which are out dated before they are even published. One day I simply started to write and a fantasy/science fiction theme began to emerge. Then I had an inspiration: what if I combined fiction with fact and worked in my management stuff. And out popped Mystic Management. It was quite serendipitous actually; it occurred to me that from the perspective of another planet I could truly say whatever I wanted without it being a lecture or me trying to force my opinions on anyone else.

Q: The principles of Mystic Management seem a bit esoteric to say the least; do they have any practical application?
A: If you took the Mystic Management principles in total and applied them to your average corporation, I suspect you would go out of business. For example, if you took the first principle, Collaborative Creativity, to its furthest point it would be totally cost ineffective and besides, little if anything would ever get done. However, if you take the germ of the concept and apply it to whatever degree is possible within the constraints of your organization you would definitely end up with a "better" organization and you could easily sustain a "reasonable" profit." I think that's true of all of the principles. One of the characters in the book pretty much sums it up by suggesting we should start at the top with uncompromising principles and work our way into "reality" as necessary.

Q: Have you ever proposed these principles in a real world setting?

A: As a matter of fact, yes. I have given several training sessions to first line supervisors. The first part of the session was an overview of the six principles with opportunity for questions and answers. The second part of the session was actually breaking the supervisors into groups and have them come up with ways the principles could actually be applied to their situations on a day-to-day basis. The final part of the training was a sharing of how the principles might actually be applied in the "real world." The sessions were overwhelmingly positive.

I also wrote an article for the newsletter for California Community College Administrators. The title was "If All Else Fails Try Mystic Management." Again the feedback was positive.

And finally, I use the principles in the management classes I teach, particularly in Human Relations, Leadership and Supervision, and Introduction to Business. You may dispute college classes as not being real world . . . but, I would argue. Besides my students are heading for the real world and why not be armed with a different kind of ammo. Students really like what they see in Mystic Management.

(Also check out the first commentary.)

Q: Why did you choose to self publish?
A: First of all, I chose a publish on demand format (i-Universe). The cost was very reasonable (hundreds versus thousands) and I do not have a garage full of books that I need to peddle. And then there is the practical problem that The Mystic Manager does not fit a particular genre and I am not an established author with a big money track record. Bottom line, money; what's the market and who would be willing to take the risk? Two top New York agents read The Mystic Manager and really liked it . . . but, alas could not figure out who to sell it to. So here I am.

Q: What do you think the message of the book is?
A: There are actually several messages or themes running through the book. A list of words describing these might include: sustainability; identity building; self concept; compassion; creativity; empowerment; kindness; diversity; inclusiveness; community building; spirituality; and just about any other positive trait you would like to see in organizations. Mystic Management is a unique approach to the development of positive corporate culture. Behind all of this is the idea of "prophets" not "profits." Mystic Management is simply an alternative to greed through making reaonable, ethical, and sustainable profits.

Q: Do you have a favorite part of the book?
A: I should say my favorite part is the stuff on Mystic Management, the six principles and what they mean. But, I really love the imagery in the book and the sections dealing with the planet Eyespell. My absolute favorite is the chapter entitled "The Valley of the Blue Noon." Here the spiritual nature of the book shines. There are a couple of clever things I like too. For example the Eyespellians call our economic system "The Species Elimination Model." Then there's the term "systemic concepticide" which I absolutely love. And there's the idea of "prophets" not "profits." And, of course there's "Never Call A Kid A Dirty Kookamonga." I think my favorite character is Leo on Eyespell; I just really would like to meet him.

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