We do not have deep consumer insights…Just because my managers consume the products and watch the focus groups, they think they understand consumers. They do not. When I push them to explain a consumer insight that excites them, they often cannot. They have not thought deeply about it. If it did not upset me so much, I might feel sorry for them.
—Marketing executive quoted in Gerald Zaltman’s “Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal About the Minds of Consumers”
To hire a risky and iffy worker, without a competent overseer, simply isn’t worth it, no matter how low the wage.
there are many serious reasons I chose the title. The book is a direct challenge of our biggest assumptions about work:
- Can an organization be productive without email? WordPress.com claimed to be.
- What work traditions no longer serve us?
- Do we need dress codes? 9 to 5 working hours? Are hour long commutes worth it?
- Are teams and managers necessary? Why? Until I arrived, WordPress.com had neither.
- Can I, as a “management expert”, successfully manage a team again?
- What new fangled things are younger companies doing and do they matter?
- How much of my own advice from my books and this blog do I actually practice?
I think the business world takes itself far too seriously and it’s a problem. It’s only when we strip away some of our assumptions that we can figure out what works and why.
Being naked means you have nothing to hide. I did this project to challenge our biggest assumptions about work, management and what the future will be like.
If there’s a doubt about what to do, consider your customer’s perspective.
—Jonathan Rosenberg ex SVP Products. Google. “42 Rules to Lead by from the Man Who Defined Google’s Product Strategy”
These places don’t run out of creativity. You don’t jump the shark because you’re empty, you do it because there’s pressure to be greedy. Google has been found to have hacked and stolen user data, circumventing privacy settings. They’ve recently announced that without asking first or sharing the upside, they may be selling the names and faces of people who use Google to advertisers, to be included in endorsement ads. People expressing themselves online might soon find themselves starring in ads as unpaid, unwilling endorsers.
That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey.
Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide. But, passing over the bad logic and bad philosophy in the phrase, we may take it, as these writers do, in the ordinary sense of success in obtaining money or worldly position. These writers profess to tell the ordinary man how he may succeed in his trade or speculation-how, if he is a builder, he may succeed as a builder; how, if he is a stockbroker, he may succeed as a stockbroker. They profess to show him how, if he is a grocer, he may become a sporting yachtsman; how, if he is a tenth-rate journalist, he may become a peer; and how, if he is a German Jew, he may become an Anglo-Saxon.
This is a definite and business-like proposal, and I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back. Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely and kind of verbal sense.
I have three career rules. Work with smart people so you learn from each other. Work at a company that makes a product you can’t live without. Work at a place that makes you proud of what you do.
In a nonfiction, social media space, only reality counts, because only reality is what is happening in the moment. A company or organization’s best available choice is to walk the walk. This means becoming truly competent. If a company has the best and most inspired employees, for example, then that is the place people will turn to when they are looking for advice, a new product, or a job. It is the locus of a culture. Everything begins to connect. And when it does, the org chart begins to matter less than the fractal of fluid associations.
The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science. —ALBERT EINSTEIN
Knowledge work is not defined by quantity. Neither is knowledge work defined by its costs. Knowledge work is defined by its results.
—Peter F. Drucker
The Effective Executive (Harperbusiness Essentials)
(Via Daniel Reshef)
What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.
Stowe Boyd explains why management theory needs to be turned on its head:
The creative, cognitive work that most workers perform is increasingly indistinguishable from what managers do, except the creative/cognitive worker is managing their own work, and cooperatively co-managing the work of those that they are connected with. Some of these people are called managers, but less so all the time. Management is becoming a distributed and emergent property of people working in social networks, instead of an extrinsic and imposed property of hierarchy.