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The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2004


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2004
$31.36 $3.70

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 1, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 1591840260
  • ASIN: B0009S5AVW
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,737,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Semler, the Brazil-based CEO of Semco, believes corporations and employees can become successful by bucking tradition and thinking wildly outside the box. He attempts to explain Semco’s success (a company with $212 million in annual revenue and "no official structure… no organizational chart… no business plan or company strategy") and how its principles can be applied in other companies to make working environments more appealing and opportunities for growth and achievement limitless. Nine chapters (one for each day of the week, as well as one for "Any Day" and one for "Every Day") explore the ways in which the traditional workweek stifles creativity and fosters distaste for working days. But Semler also looks at how to shake things up. The Wednesday chapter leads off with the following to-do list: attend a board of director’s meeting; dump a deal rather than pay a bribe; tell the company it sucks. While Semler’s ideas often seem counter-intuitive, the idea is not to provide specific guidelines but rather to encourage readers to view their organization and professional lives in a new way. The book’s premise is promising, but the actual steps to achieving a seven-day weekend still seem unattainable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

"Ricardo Semler tells how Semco uses a revolutionary way of working to run a profit making company with a work force who love their jobs" The Sunday Times "The Seven-Day Weekend will certainly encourage managers to look very carefully at their management practices" -- Rocco Forte Management Today "Ricardo Semler is our kind of capitalist" The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Semler's writing style was very enjoyable and easy to read.
Christopher Bisgaard
This book provides an interesting insight into how one company has untethered its workforce from traditional management techniques and structures.
Reader Brown for MI
I think this will be the way all businesses will work in the future.
Oscar C.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on March 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Semco, Ricardo Semler's privately held Brazilian company is hard to describe, mostly because it looks and acts so different from what we expect a company to be. That's why Semler devotes the first chapter of Seven Day Weekend to telling us what Semco is and does and what makes it a different place to work. At the end of the chapter, he says this:

"Although I still can't definitely answer the question about what Semco does do, I can say we've changed the way work works and improved the quality of our lives - and so can you."

After reading Seven Day Weekend, I still can't tell you exactly what it's about. But I can say that it will change the way you think about work and open up new possibilities for you.

There's a lot of talk these days about changing the workplace and making it more democratic and self-organizing and participative. We've seen pieces of this at places like WL Gore and, more recently at Best Buy. We've read the business press articles and pundit opinions.

But the fact is that if we are going to see significant workplace change on a large scale, there will need to be more companies that act like Semco. The owners of those companies will have to try things out and show us. That's what Ricardo Semler has done.

If you want to see how the wisdom of crowds works out in a company, it's in here. If you want to see how democratic principles work out in management, that's here, too. And if you want to see things about self-organizing and self-managing work groups and chaos theory, that's here too.

But Seven Day Weekend is not a how-to manual. You won't come out of it with a bunch of checklists or bulleted lists of sure-fire techniques.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seven-Day weekend is the second (English) book by Richardo Semler, the CEO of Semco. Semco is a weird Brazilian company known for it's modern HR practices. The history of Semco and Ricardo Semler was explained well in his first English book: Maverick.

The author makes a point that the workweek has invaded the weekend via internet and email. Now it's time to abandon the standard week/weekend thinking and have weekend whenever we want and have week whenever we want. So we'll have a seven day workweek AND a seven day weekend.

The book is a collection of stories and opinions by Richardo which are organized according to the days of the week. Every day a couple of stories, mostly about Semco but also about other activities in which Richardo was involved in.

Some of the more interesting points and stories are, for example, where the author is questioning the need to always grow. In business it seems to be the purpose of the business to grow bigger. Richardo questions this purpose and asks why this is. Cannot companies stay small and then still be successful?

Seven-day weekend is certainly worth reading. It's a small book it takes maybe a day to read it. Its well written, it keeps you awake and the stories are interesting. Though, I personally found it less interesting than Maverick (which I had read first). If you need to chose between the seven day weekend or Maverick, I'd go for Maverick. If, after Maverick, you still do not have enough of Semler, then the seven-day weekend is for you.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bill Godfrey on February 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Written with engaging enthusiasm and frankness, the 14 essays in this book have titles like 'Let the Followers Lead', 'Do it your Way - See if I Care', 'Too Much Talent is as Bad as Too Little'.

Collectively they demonstrate the enormous business success - over 20 years - of a philosophy, culture and practices that are totally radical in comparison with 'conventional' business.

Yet they are based on the commonsense principles of democracy, trust, transparency, a shared search for new opportunities and better ways of doing things, and guardianship by the community of a shared set of values, beliefs and principles.

In the process of explaining how these principles work in practice, Semler blows apart just about every piece of conventional wisdom underpinning the behaviour of large public companies - Semler's Semco remains privately owned. It is reasonable to question to what extent it could operate as it does if it were a public company - and whether it could be as successful as it is. Is the classic joint stock form becoming a 'dead hand', rather than a driver of progress?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jeff horn on May 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Semler has downloaded from the brains of so many successful entrepeneurs the key to balancing life and work. People live and people work. People do not need to loathe work or be treated like idiots to operate in the work place. Treat people like adults and afford them adult decision oportunities and they will shine and make you money.
Corporate America has alot to learn and Semler is ready and eager to teach. Start down the road to learning who you are as a successful business person and person by reading "The Seven -Day Weekend." People in control of their lives will self-create, self-improve and self-manage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Jain on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book may be an eye-opener for someone who has been living under a rock, but my guess is that for most people who actually read this book all the talk about loosening control and trusting people will be preaching to the converted. My main interest was to learn about how to make such a setup work. But following the tradition of management literature, the advice is offered through stories and anecdotes. While this makes the book very readable, it does leave some gaps... So until an anthropologist manages to infiltrate the company and produce something more systematic and objective, I guess we'll either have to make do with this book -- or apply for a job at Semco to see for ourselves :-)
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