|The archetypal waiter: Penelope of Ithaca|
Many professional mistakes are due not to fright but to what might be called institutionalised panic. Rapid deadlines, constant intrusions and an obsession with the clock can scuttle good work. Forget visions of corporate geniuses guzzling double-shot espressos as they invent cold fusion: the ''real-time'' office is often myopic, distracted and depressed. ''Innovation seems like it should be fast but it almost never is,'' Partnoy writes.
Despite his cheeky subtitle, Partnoy's remedy is not procrastination but the mindful management of time. The best workplaces, he argues, give employees hours to themselves and the authority to use them in a variety of innovative ways.(Image: Joseph Wright of Derby, "Penelope Unravelling Her Web", 1783-4, courtesy of the Getty)