• Lesson One. It is important to focus on internal
processes, but a company should never do so at the expense of
forward thinking and looking (literally) to the road ahead.
Laputans' houses are very poorly built because the architects
who design them think that normal, run-of-the-mill geometry is too
simple and vulgar for their refined sensibilities.
• Lesson Two. Stick with what works. Keep things simple
and avoid unnecessary complexity (feature bloat).
Laputans have an elaborate scientific method for tailoring
Gulliver's clothes to fit just so. One small miscalculation leads
to the clothes being very uncomfortable and ill fitting.
• Lesson Three. Be agile, flexible, and open to change.
Quit trying to force square pegs in round holes!
The Laputans use mathematical calculations to write their music.
The result? Horrible stuff to listen to.
• Lesson Four. Don't think that something as creative as
innovation can be inspired by rigid constructs and immutable
Laputans are so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they need
a special type of domestic servant to notify them when someone is
attempting to speak with them. Thus, communications in Laputa are
notoriously slow, often ending without resolution.
• Lesson Five: Don't be too busy to talk to your staff.
Keep the lines of communication open, both up and down the chain of
A great mechanical contrivance, which keeps the island of Laputa
airborne, is the only truly successful application of theory that
the inhabitants have ever come up with.
• Lesson Six. Beware the trap of resting on your laurels
over a single victory. In today's ultra-competitive business world,
you're only as good as your last failure.
One particular Laputan manages to keep his affairs in order,
including a stable, well-made house and an efficient, productive
farm. For going against the grain and established norms, he is
ridiculed and set upon by his peers.
• Lesson Seven. No matter how often your superiors and
colleagues act like lunatics, do what you think is right and best
for the organization. Remember that your own employees may feel set
upon by you. Practice empathy.
A scientist creates a 20 foot by 20 foot device with every word
in the Laputan language written on tiles. All the rows of words can
be shifted by handles and rearranged into billions of combinations.
It takes 40 students working for six hours a day to come up with
only a handful of legible sentences.
• Lesson Eight. Prioritize and pursue only those
opportunities that will provide the greatest ROI for your
The Laputan administrators have many great ideas for improving
crop yields, increasing the number of harvests per year, and being
able to harvest in any season they wish. The problem is that none
of these undertakings are finished yet, and much of the population
• Lesson Nine. Establish formal project management
practices. Don't stretch your resources too thin on too many
projects at once, or you'll wind up with dozens of unfinished jobs
that can never get quite enough staffing to be completed.