Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results

Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results

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by Bill Jensen
     
 

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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.

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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It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules and procedures.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.
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Product Details

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

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