Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work (Anglais) Relié – 1 février 2011
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Mr. Bishop's book gives excellent guidance. And for me it all started on page 17... we can't control others, but we can control how we respond and influence others. Lesson 1 - it's you who needs to change (not in a negative way - but in the way you behave) to make the work around.
Chapter 4 gives a strong overview of "framing" - the problem is often how the problem is framed. I found a few new techniques here for framing strategies. This is a pretty impressive section of the book.
All sections (page 167 is a perfect examples) have a "checklist" of questions to use in different workaround strategies.
Email etiquette was really a good read too. I think it is my natural tendency to think of workarounds as a face to face communication, the email section keeps the balance of all communication that is necessary.
While a few parts of the book were not new to me (but a good refresher), I discovered some new stuff. And the overall format was a helpful guide. I plan to use as a reference tool (hence I call it a field guide) going forward.
I recommend the book!
There are many practical gems for business people here, but more you read, the more you realize that "Workarounds That Work" is a personal development guide hidden as a business handbook. Spirituality circulates through the book's business meat and management gristle like blood through bone. It's a treat of a read for a much wider swath of readers than its category feel would suggest. Here's hoping that in his next book, this practical sage will be brave enough to cross the line he only touches with his toe in this one and give us his thoughts on the repurposing of business so that profits are not the Holy Grail, but rather merely a tool for the development of employees and community.
I often say that the last of the five greatest generators of waste in our modern working world - the interpretation that we are doomed to a kind of indentured servitude called `work' - is the nastiest and most destructive of the sources of waste in our working lives. `Thank God it's Friday' - the announcement that we toil away five days of every week just waiting for a brief respite of freedom and meaning each weekend - is our declaration that we consider 5/7ths of our lives wasted. A tragedy.
Russell's book is an antidote to work as toil, and full of good things.
However, the more I delved into the read I became increasingly frustrated with its naive stance in certain areas. While it is always best to first assume that people operate with the best intentions, it is clear that there are individuals at nearly all workplaces that serve as a bottleneck for political gain at the expense of the organization. While these types of individuals are mentioned in the work, more focus on working around their motivations would have been useful, especially in light of their prevalence in the workplace. Techniques on diffusing these types of power-seeking individuals and a bit less naivete on the motivations of others would have made this a more complete and realistic work.
I bought this book based on David Allen's endorsement.
I read it last night.
Here's the core message: be upbeat, be positive, act like a manager even if you are not, and though the only employee you manage is you. Make lots of lists of questions. Sit down and talk to everybody.
Fine. I agree.
But what is missing from this long list of workarounds is:
how to workaround fellow employees that undermine you? Bosses that fear success by subordinates? Working in a place where everyone knows what needs to be done but has agreed the best course is not to do it (municipal bureaucracies, for instance)? Where under-performing workers have job protection and can't be fired? Where even if you work better and more gets done you won't be rewarded and someone just above you will?
In short, the organizationally obvious, easy to do, "low-hanging fruit" is all here to be plucked, while the hard questions (above) that everyone I know desperately needs workarounds for, are nowhere addressed.
However, if you are a manager or a unit leader with some power to hire, fire, transfer, and reassign, but have forgotten that it helps to talk to people,, if you have problems making decisions, don't understand what a meeting is for or how to prepare for it, can't prioritize an e-mail inbox (how did this person get in charge, by the way?),and a variety of similar concerns then this book has a lot to teach you.
And author's candid admission: nothing in this book will work for long and a lot of it won't work at all. Nuff' said.
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