My good friend Traci Fenton has an excellent op-ed piece in the paper today on democracy in the workplace. From the article:
Command and control ways (as in, “do what you’re told because I’m the boss and I know best”) of the Industrial Age are dead. A Democratic Age demands a democratic approach to business that engages employees fully, taps their reservoir of talent, builds on their strengths, and rewards them in the process.
She cites W.L. Gore, Semco, Whole Foods, GE Durham and Great Harvest as great examples of successful, democratic companies.
I believe that democracy and involving employees in decisions is one of the very best ways to make them happy at work. People want to be involved and become happy, motivated and committed when they are allowed to help shape a company’s future.
You can read more about Traci and her work with freedom-based organizations on her company website www.worldblu.com.
Mark Hurst emailed me some apetizers for the upcoming EureGEL conference.
- Seth Godin talks about broken things at GEL06.
- Jimmy Wales explains Wikipedia at GEL05
I can’t wait to go – GEL looks excellent!
Oneopenwindow is a pretty cool project which aims to collect lots of videos of people telling cool stories and sharing their knowledge.
My absolute favorite video on the site so far is Brad Blanton explaining how to achieve enlightenement in three minutes. Guaranteed. Though the site is in danish, this video is in english and you can find the link at the bottom of the front page. It’s hilarious – check it out!
You can also find 12 short videos of me telling stories about happy companies (in danish).
And over on youtube there’s a video of me doing a 6-minute peach-kucha presentation on happiness at work at Reboot8 (in english).
Slow leadership is an excellent blog and a great way to increase happiness at work. The latest post is about The Cycle of Respect vs. The Cycle of Contempt..
The new Adam Sandler movie about a guy who gets a remote control that controls life inspired Stephen Shapiro of Goal Free Living to ask: What Is Your Slow Motion to Fast Forward Ratio.
Denmark is the happiest nation on earth. Even though we have the highest taxes. In your face, Steve Forbes :o)
The idea that working more does not necessarily mean achieving more, and that we need to end the cult of overwork, seems to be cropping up all over the place these days.
Here are a few great, recent sightings.
Fred Gratzon lists the Top 10 signs you’re made to be an entrepreneur, including “You are unemployable” and “You have the uncanny ability to get other people to do all the work”.
In Spend less time working, get more done Adam Wiggins follows up on my post on why seat time does not equal productivity. Excellent!
Impact of overtime on productivity is on overwork in software development, but applies to all fields.
A common effect of putting teams under pressure is that they will reduce their concentration on quality and focus instead on “just banging out code”. They’ll hunker down, stop helping each other so much, reduce testing, reduce refactoring, and generally revert to just coding.
Interview with vacation advocate Joe Robinson
What is a gross national product when you don’t have a life? A few years ago, the Norwegians found that they were 14 percent more productive than we [Americans] are. So they elected to take more time off.
Tom Hodgkinson tears apart some recent bad business books
The books under review recommend all sorts of immoral actions. In the old days, greed and covetousness were seen as sinful; now they are encouraged. Jack Welch’s Winning sets the tone. The author grins manically from the cover – despite the silver hair, manicured nails and perfect teeth, he looks like Beelzebub incarnate.
A few good links while I’m rebooting:
Great article on abundance in the digital world. Quote: “In the physical world scarcity is what leads to value. In the digital world abundance is what leads to value.”
Karoshi is a japanese word for death by overwork. Yes, it happens. If you want to protest the The Cult of Overwork, why not put it on a T-shirt (thanks, cityzenjane).
Even serious business magazines like Forbes say you should sneak out of work right now.
Bernie deKoven has just launched Finger Golf, which Bernie calls “a simulation game for the business community. For business to build community. For business to help people learn about how to build a better business community. Probably right after breakfast on the first day of a conference”. It looks absolutely amazing and I want one.
There’s an article in “Krop og Fysik”, the danish physio Therapist’s magazine about happiness at work and yours truly. It’s only available in danish though.
Never forget to fasten your dog’s seatbelt when you do loops in your plane.
This is cool in a geeky kinda way: A bicycle with square wheels that actually works. Provided of course that the surface it rides on is an inverted catenary.
Stephen Shapiro (who rocked Copenhagen last week with his presentation on Goal-Free Living) has posted a mind-map that outlines his book, contributed by an Australian reader. Check it out – it’s an excellent overview of the thinking behind Goal-Free Living.
Rich DiGirolamo is making June 15 Recess At Work Day. Excellent!
Bernie deKoven could probably suggest some great activities for Recess At Work Day. The man knows fun! How about a game of Massivel Multiplayer Thumbwrestling?
I’m a huge fan of Fight Club (the book and the movie), but untill now I had no idea that the book’s main characters are really Calvin and Hobbes 25 years later.
The smart people at The Well talk about globalization and China and more. Bruce Sterlings comments are particularly insightful. Via Classy.
Superhero action figures from the office. My favorite: Bossman. “Leading a crusade to reach objectives he empowers, implements change and captures mindshare.”
There’s rising Frustration with Microsoft’s Compensation and Review System. Salaries are stagnant, the stock isn’t rising and their review system is “little more than a closed-door popularity contest in which managers “fight??? for higher scores for their team, or defer to higher-level decision makers who mandate how many workers drop to the bottom of the review scale.” We’ve also been discussing this over at the businesspundit.