1



C. Northcote Parkinson

  • British historian
  • Born June 30, 1909
  • Died March 9, 1993

Cyril Northcote Parkinson (30 July 1909 – 9 March 1993) was a British naval historian and author of some 60 books, the most famous of which was his best-seller Parkinson's Law (1957), in which Parkinson advanced Parkinson's law, stating that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion", an insight which led him to be regarded as an important scholar in public administration and management.


The man whose life is devoted to paperwork has lost the initiative. He is dealing with things that are brought to his notice, having ceased to notice anything for himself.




The chief product of an automated society is a widespread and deepening sense of boredom.




The Law of Triviality... briefly stated, it means that the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.




Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.




In politics people give you what they think you deserve and deny you what they think you want.




The smaller the function, the greater the management.




When any organizational entity expands beyond 21 members, the real power will be in some smaller body.




Make the people sovereign and the poor will use the machinery of government to dispossess the rich.




It is better to be a has-been than a never-was.




The man who is denied the opportunity of taking decisions of importance begins to regard as important the decisions he is allowed to take.




Perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse.




Time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved.




Men enter local politics solely as a result of being unhappily married.




A committee is organic rather than mechanical in its nature: it is not a structure but a plant. It takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts, and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom in their turn.




Expenditures rise to meet income.




Expansion means complexity and complexity decay.




Delay is the deadliest form of denial.



1