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Not as funny as Dilbert because it's serious
on January 2, 2005
Ten years ago, I worked for a company which was in the midst of a culture crisis. Part of this crisis was due to the owner's insistence on managing from afar and not allowing skilled managers to make decisions based on local needs. This crisis came to a head when the owner met the author of this book on a ski - lift.
The main premise of the author's "philosophy" is this: people play(read: work) harder during their time off than they do at their jobs. [I'm alright with this part.] The reason being, according to the author, is that nobody keeps score at work. This, of course, is patently ridiculous. Almost every company keeps score on their employees in some way and most of us enjoy 'sports' in our off-time that don't keep score.
The author was brought in to train us in his "method'. Keep in mind that we already had complex yearly reviews and most managers were selected after they had met certain criteria in personality tests. Some people may be intrigued by the author's writing but his personal style is boorish. He typically ate while he lectured and his constant reliance on record - breaking sports events as an example of what people at work should do every day not only alienated non - sports minded people but showed the second major weakness in his philosophy. Guys get paid millions of dollars for getting a hit 30% of the time - not grand slams every time they come up to bat. But that was the author's next premise - that we had to perform these types of record feats everyday. (This strategy is not restricted merely to the author, sadly, but seems to be a major strategy of most US companies.)
The author had a difficult time with me especially as most of my hobbies involve physical activities in which one does not keep score - surfing, hiking, gardening, etc. I actually argued the contrary to the author's philosophy - that people actually played harder than they worked precisely because no one was keeping score when they played, as I stated above. However, discussing this with the author was like the narrator of "This Is Spinal Tap" questioning the notion of 'this one goes to 11' with Nigel. The author just kept repeating his litany about needing to keep score.
We started measuring anything that could be measured - this was keeping score. Then, because they could be measured they had to be reduced. Things that were vital to the integrity of the product were cut back on in order 'to win'. The product (and product reputation)was damaged and some of the better people soon left the company. Eventually, we careened into other changes in company philosophy and left this "Game" behind. Sadly, none of these philosophies helped- but that is another matter.
This author's work is dreck. You would do better to read Scott Adams and do exactly the opposite of Catbert, Ratbert, and the Pointy - Haired Boss. Make it interesting, make it fun, treat people with respect and people will work hard. They may still work harder at play but that is probably human nature. After all, there are words for "work" and "play" - they are not one. Keeping score doesn't really play into it.