Book Summary: Hacking Work – Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein
In business, infrastructure equals money. In order to scale, you need a flexible infrastructure to handle the growth. With that said, when centralized infrastructure turns into bureaucracy and slow response, the company becomes lethargic. Hacking work examines these problems from the workers point and outlines things you can do to get your work done by working smart.
Why is this important to me?
I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to reach your entrepreneurial goals. Most companies today trust their vendors and customers more than their employees. This is a real problem because brilliant results require team work and you can not have a cohesive team if there is no trust. Companies want transparency and centralization similar to command and control systems. This is not a bad thing until it takes a sales man 2 hours to enter an order or if the company blocks Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Stupid actions like this kill results.
Results are the name of the game. If you do not get results NOW, you are dead. The hub and spoke model for business is not a bad model just as long as the spokes have autonomy to deliver to the customers and are not tied up by bureaucracy.
Hacking work is broken down into four sections. For the sake of time, I will highlight one point from each section.
1. Engaged Team Members – This one point sums up the whole book and separates great businesses from crappy ones. Engaged team members are four times more productive and profitable than disengaged team members. This statistic if focused on can transform any business.
2. Slaves to Infrastructure – I understand the need for procedures and infrastructure because you can not scale without it. With that said, I know that larger companies handcuff their employees with ridiculous rules and procedures that extremely kill the creative spirit. Hacking Work is all about working around these ridiculous rules and procedures. A simple example of this would be locking down file transfer access from one computer to the next. People today can have access to everything outside their work from their phone. Having strict policies in place to limit creative freedom for the illusion of security is bad policy.
3. Three Types of Hackers – Black Hacks are the ones that steal, cheat and create havoc. These are the people who have given hacking a bad name. This book does not advocate black hacks. Gray Hacks and White Hacks are what are necessary to get the job done in a more efficient manner. These types of hacks are simply clever work around that save an awful amount of time and allow workers to use their creative freedom for profit and customers loyalty.
4. Clarity – This one is a big deal. Take a look at the stats: one, three of the top five time wasters all refer to communication. Two, information in companies doubles every 550 days. Three, once every three minutes, the average cube trailer accepts an interruption and shifts her focus, consuming 28% of the day. Creating clarity and simple communication and information sharing networks can cure all of this.
Hacking Work is a good book that every company leader should read. I personally think that if we could eliminate wasted time on stupid procedures, we could create an additional economy the size of Texas.
I hope you have found this summary summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is "What will it take to go great work? This question of yourself and your team will start to shine the light on the procedural crap that is hampering the creativity of every employee in the company.