The concept of “obliquity” (the state or condition of being oblique) was first proposed by another famous Scottish medical figure in the form of Nobel Prize winner Sir James Black, who defined it as follows:

“In business as in science, it seems that you are often most successful in achieving something when you are trying to do something else. I think of it as the principle of ‘obliquity’.”

Obliquity has been further developed by Scottish economist John Kay, who argues that often the best way of achieving our goals, especially those which are particularly complex, is to do so indirectly.

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