The ancient Greek architect Vitruvius believed in the beauty of balance. Leonardo da Vinci immortalized the architect's name when he created The Vitruvian Man - a drawing showing the symmetry inherent in the human form.

Peter Leeson's book "Vitruvian Quality" explores balance as it applies to quality in goods and services and how organizations can achieve that quality.

Two thousand years ago, Vitruvius defined quality in his building as the presence of Firmitas, Utilitas, and Venustas (Stability, Usefulness, and Desirability.) Leeson applies these concepts to modern businesses. Although these things are difficult to quantify, the author makes an attempt to do so.

We get lessons in this book on history, quantum computing, and zoology. Leeson uses these as metaphors to help us understand what is difficult to define. For example, he uses a zoology to point out that an organization will be more successful emulating the adaptability of an octopus rather than a shark's evolutionary dead end.

Leeson provides some explicit guidance, such as suggesting that managers block focus time for themselves and their employees, but the book focuses more on general advice than on specific recipes.

My favourite chapter compared management with leadership. "You must obey a manager; you want to follow a leader," says Leeson, emphasizing the vision and knowledge sharing that helps leaders to inspire others.

VQ's lessons can be summarized: Try, Listen, Look, Adapt, and Adopt. Peter Leeson articulates these lessons well. He presents these concepts in a straightforward manner with intelligence and wit.