Hi. I’m Anthony O. Putman — my friends and clients call me Tony — and this is where I publish my explorations of this world of persons and their ways. This is not a blog about my personal life; you won’t find photos of my vacations or accounts of good times with my family or friends. But what I write here is quite personal, in that it represents my best efforts to make sense of people and what they do, from my individual viewpoint as a Descriptive Psychologist, and in my own voice. Right now I’m particularly interested in five areas:
- Supporting people in mastering the art of living. A person’s core competence is living as a person in a world of persons and their ways. This competence pervades our lives and actions. We develop it naturally in the course of growing from infant to adult; as with our native language, we are reliably fluent in its exercise. In other words, with few exceptions, we are all competent enough to fare reasonably well as a person. But it is possible to take your competence as a person to extraordinary levels. I am currently writing a book entitled Ordinary Magic: Mastering the Art of Living; from time to time I will post excerpts.
- Providing a strong conceptual framework to support the work of behavioral scientists. Currently behavioral science — especially behavioral economics — is a peculiar mix of really intriguing research findings with “explanations” that are painfully inadequate. These scientists are not stupid; they are by and large very intelligent, hard-working and well-meaning individuals. But the concepts underpinning their work are woefully inadequate for the job; it’s like trying to build a nuclear reactor out of Popsicle sticks. I have undertaken a long-term development project to address these conceptual shortcomings.
- Helping “in-service” organizations become strong, lean and highly effective. Organizations succeed only when their structure and practices match their purpose. An “in-service” organization exists to make a specific difference in the lives of the people it serves — including the people who comprise the organization itself. Its primary assets are the enthusiasm and commitment of its people, along with the power and integrity of its guiding principles. Structures derived from military or business organizations are a horrible fit for in-service organizations. There’s a much better way, and I help people discern it and put it into practice.
- Helping skilled professionals become highly effective marketers of their services. This is the for-profit side: people who provide valuable services, but struggle to make a good business from doing so. I literally wrote the book on marketing services in 1990 (it’s still in print!) and I have learned a great deal since. Some of that will show up here.
- Engaging leaders in increasing their wisdom about leading. I write an on-going series called Nasrudin on Management just for my own fun, and in hopes that some leaders may find value in reflecting on them. (I have moved all the back posts into an archive on this blog.)
If you’re interested in who I am, what I have done or what else I have written, click the AOP tab above. If you want to know what I’m up to currently, you’ve come to the right place.