Shakespeare in the Workplace

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All the world’s a stage, Shakespeare said, including all the corporate corridors and business boardrooms that account for so much of the drama of modern life.

The Shakespeare director Tina Packer and the takeover-and-turnaround management specialist John Whitney say: there’s more bottom line wisdom in the Shakespeare plays than in those typical B-school case studies. CEOs: learn the lesson of Othello’s failure when he passed up Iago for promotion: and pay close attention to the dynamics of your team. Middle managers on the rise: keep in mind the ill fated Richard the Second — who learned too late that power does not beget power.

Study Henry the Fourth, who had a strategy for being king, not just acting like he had a divine right to be the boss. Start-up dreamers, remember Hamlet’s line: “The readiness is all.” Stop shifting your paradigm and brush up on your Bard.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Tina Packer, Founder, President, and Artistic Director, Shakespeare and Company

John O. Whitney, Professor of Management, Columbia Business School.