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Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results

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Overview

Why work harder than you have to? One manager kept his senior execs happy by secretly hacking into the company's database to give them the reports they needed in one third of the time. Hacking is a powerful solution to every stupid procedure, tool, rule, and process we are forced to endure at the office. Benevolent hackers are saving business from itself.

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated ...

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Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results

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Overview

Why work harder than you have to? One manager kept his senior execs happy by secretly hacking into the company's database to give them the reports they needed in one third of the time. Hacking is a powerful solution to every stupid procedure, tool, rule, and process we are forced to endure at the office. Benevolent hackers are saving business from itself.

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules and procedures. These things are killing us.

Frustrating? Hell, yes. But take heart-there's an army of heroes coming to the rescue.

Today's top performers are taking matters into their own hands: bypassing sacred structures, using forbidden tools, and ignoring silly corporate edicts. In other words, they are hacking work to increase their efficiency and job satisfaction. Consultant Bill Jensen teamed up with hacker Josh Klein to expose the cheat codes that enable people to work smarter instead of harder. Once employees learn how to hack their work, they accomplish more in less time. They cut through red tape and circumvent stupid rules.

For instance, Elizabeth's bosses wouldn't sign off on her plan to improve customer service. So she made videotapes of customers complaining about what needed fixing and posted them on YouTube. Within days, public outcry forced senior management to reverse its decision.

Hacking Work reveals powerful technological and social hacks and shows readers how to apply them to sidestep bureaucratic boundaries and busywork. It's about making the system work for you, not the other way around, so you can take control of your workload, increase your productivity, and help your company succeed-in spite of itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Systems expert Jenson (What is Your Life Work) and Klein, a consultant for U.S. intelligence agencies, who teamed up after they met at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, combine their expertise to suggest innovative ways of subverting ineffective corporate business practices in their first collaborative effort. Successful "performers are taking matters into their own hands. They are bypassing sacred structures and breaking all sorts of rules to get things done" (such as instant messaging during a "stupid meeting" to reset the agenda, a "soft hack"). The authors urge employees to contact programmers to secretly reprogram their company computer so that they can bypass established systems in order to introduce improvements; employees should also breach their company's firewall by using readily available tools to increase efficiency. Jenson and Klein have a trendy take on a modern dilemma but their suggested methods could easily be used for less beneficent purposes. A chapter titled "Do No Harm," however, which includes a "10 Commandments" for hackers (Number 4: Never Compromise Other People's Information; Number 6: Pay it Forward), addresses the murky ethics inherent in what they urge the daring employee to do.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670919505
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin
  • Publication date: 10/28/2010

Meet the Author

Bill Jensen is President/CEO of the Jensen Group, a change consulting firm he founded in 1985. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker and the author of Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster.

Josh Klein is the quintessential hacker - of social systems, computer networks, consumer hardware, animal behavior, and, most recently, the conference industry. He also speaks, writes, and consults on new and emerging technologies that improve people's lives.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Hey

    Where r they

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Clever rallying cry beckons workers to circumvent the restrictions of their workplaces

    This lively book is not a manual or a how-to guide; it's a rallying cry for the community of "benevolent hackers" and an attitude adjustment for those who want to join. Bill Jensen, CEO of the Jensen Group, and Josh Klein, a skilled hacker, offer an enthusiastic spirit and an all-embracing outlook - at times to make up for being reserved about specificity, so as not to enable bad hackers - that clearly deliver their message: Courage and flexibility matter much more than technical expertise when it comes to changing oppressive work conditions. The authors walk a tightrope: They imply that you can alter software, networks and processes, but they never demonstrate how outright, and they advocate hacking only within ethical limits. Their obvious joy at circumventing restrictive or idiotic corporate practices, and their welcome conversational tone, makes this a tremendously fun read - one that will open some readers' eyes to possibilities they might not have considered. getAbstract suggests this gleeful tome to those who feel that work procedures are dampening their productivity and creativity, and to anyone who likes to tweak the nose of authority.

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