Literal Thinking

Real stories of workplace follies


Literal Thinking is a blog that aims to present real stories of workplace follies. While we may occasionally post some interesting high profile cases of corporate missteps and failures that we find in the news, our focus is more on typical working day experiences of typical working people.

Our goal is not to name and shame, but to share stories and experiences in the hope that the reader is able to take away some valuable, practical learning that they can apply in their own workplaces. So they can go to where others have previously gone to and failed, and succeed.

We took inspiration for the term “literal thinking” from a common workplace practice of dogmatically adhering to accepted and learned business practice, without fully understanding or appreciating the principles behind these. We found from our experience that a lot of workplace follies are due to the misguided application of what is perceived to be best practice.

About A Friend

We have over a decade of experience in consulting, mainly around IT-related projects. We have an undergraduate science degree and a master’s degree in management.

A Friend is a pseudonym we use to maintain this blog. We feel the need to use a pseudonym because of the sensitive nature of our posts: a lot of the cases we present come from our own practice. The use of the pseudonym is both to protect us against some parties who may react unfavorably to our posts; as well as to protect the identities of the parties we refer to.

About the case studies

We reiterate that we present the case studies as a learning vehicle, not to name and shame. Names of individuals in the cases we present are altered to protect their identities. Some cases may also not be “as it happened”; we do this for further identity protection as well as to highlight key learning points.

We try to be as objective as we can in presenting the cases, but the reader should note that most of these cases are presented from a specific individual or group’s point of view. It is naturally possible that not all sides of the story or versions of the truth have been considered.


This site is copyrighted under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. You are free to build upon our work for as long as these are non-commercial and with proper attribution.

%d bloggers like this: