Word reached me that Larry Prusak passed away ten days ago.
We coauthored our first book (Managing Information Strategically - Google Books) together. At the time (this was thirty years ago), we were working at the Center for Information Technology and Strategy, which was a think tank in Boston sponsored by Ernst & Young. I got listed at the first author courtesy of the alphabet. As the junior member of the effort, I also took on project management responsibilities for the effort.
Larry’s gifts as a storyteller were clear even then. But they weren’t showing up on the page. His initial drafts tried to capture everything he knew and everything he had previously read. For those of you who knew Larry, you will know that this was approximately everything that had ever been written on the subject.
We needed a different approach.
What we did was to limit Larry to a short outline of bullet points, put him in a conference room with an audience and a tape recorder, and let him tell stories.
I don’t know that he actually needed the outline, but it made me feel more comfortable. The resulting transcripts gave us what we needed with a bit of editing and rearranging.
Larry taught me a lot. I will miss him. But, I’ll always have the stories.