Obliquity : Why Our Goals are Best Achieved Indirectly, Paperback

Obliquity : Why Our Goals are Best Achieved Indirectly Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


If you want to go in one direction, the best route may involve going in another.

This is the concept of 'obliquity': paradoxical as it sounds, many goals are more likely to be achieved when pursued indirectly.

The richest men and women are not the most materialistic; the happiest people are not necessarily those who focus on happiness, and the most profitable companies are not always the most profit-oriented as the recent financial crisis showed us. Whether overcoming geographical obstacles, winning decisive battles or meeting sales targets, history shows that oblique approaches are the most successful, especially in difficult terrain.

John Kay applies his provocative, universal theory to everything from international business to town planning and from football to managing forest fire.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Business & management
  • ISBN: 9781846682896



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With apologies to a previous reviewer, a book about the virtues of the oblique approach to achieving goals would quite possibly contradict itself if it had a "killer payoff", though I think I know what they mean. An interesting book, and admirably direct when it comes to sources and indexing, perhaps unlike some books with a more proselytizing (and commercial) bent. That said, no one writes a book without the aim of selling a few copies.