Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rework - The Notes

Ever since my trip to the Google campus in Mountain View, California I have been interested in corporate culture, and how to create a great work environment. A friend recommended I check out Rework, and after skimming through it in Chapters, I put a hold on it at the Barrie Library.

Well, I just finished reading Rework (for the third time) and this time made some notes as I went along. I thought I'd post them here on the Wonderblog

- Workaholics don't save the day, they use it up. The hero is already home because he figured out a faster way to get it done.

- If no one is upset by what you're doing, you're probably not pushing hard enough. (and you're probably boring too).

- Long projects zap morale. The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to ship. Make the call, make progress, get something out now.

- Interruptions break your work day into a series of work moments. Productivity is like REM sleep, it takes some time to get to that level and each interruption is a reset.

- Being the "Anti-____" (Nike, Microsoft, Starbucks) is a great way to differentiate yourself and attract followers.

- You rarely regret saying "no" but often wind-up regretting saying "yes."

- Some products are in-store good, you want to be at-home good.

- Welcome obscurity. Work out the kinks while no one knows who you are.

- Earning loyalty by teaching people forms a deep bond. Emulate famous chefs, what can you teach people that is informative, educational and promotional?

- Give people a backstage pass and show them how your business works. It works for even the most obscure and dull jobs (crab fishing, truck driving, baking cakes). Letting people behind the curtain changes the relationship. They will see you as human beings, and develop a deeper appreciation for what you do.

- Show your flaws and imperfections. When something becomes too polished it loses its soul.

- Always hire the better writer. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.

- You don't create culture, it just happens. Culture isn't a foosball table or a Christmas party. Those are objects and events, NOT culture.

- The environment has a lot more to do with great work than people realize. There is a ton of untapped potential trapped in grey cubicles, working under lame policies and stifling bureaucracies.

- When you treat people like children, you get children's work. You are creating a boss-vs-worker relationship that screams "I Don't Trust You!"

- Ideas are forever. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk, it expires. When inspiration grabs you, grab it back and put it to work.

Rework was a fantastic read. Head over to the library and check it out!

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