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Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution Paperback – December 15, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you work, you need this book! Cali and Jody share the secrets of the most radical workplace experiment the Fortune 500 have ever seen. Want 35% greater productivity while going to the movies on a Wednesday afternoon or taking Fridays off? Make the switch from hours to outcomes."
-Timothy Ferriss, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of "The 4-Hour Workweek"
"ROWE is a chance for everyone to learn a better way to work. It encourages people to contribute rather than just show up and grind out their days."
-Brad Anderson, CEO, Best Buy (from the Foreword)
"Now, this changes everything. Buy this book. Act on what you read."
-Cindy Froggatt, author of "Work Naked"
"This is like TiVo for your work."
-"BusinessWeek"
"It is a fundamental shift away from 'face time' or 'chair time' to just one consideration: Did the employee get the job done?"
-"Minneapolis Star-Tribune"
"The freedom, employees say, is changing their li

About the Author

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson are the founders of CultureRx, a company that promotes their passionate belief that there is a better way to work. They met at Best Buy, where they first created the Results-Only Work Environment. They live with their husbands and children in the Twin Cities.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (December 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842927
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love the idea of a ROWE, however, throughout the book I felt like they were trying to sell me on the idea the whole time instead of outlining the details of how it should work. It felt more like a sales pitch than a blueprint. And I think it's geared more towards people who are skeptical of the idea. I was sold before I started reading the book, so who knows maybe it's my fault for expecting something else. Either way like I said I like the principles, it just got redundant at points.
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Format: Paperback
The basic premise of the book is that employees should be trusted with their time and held accountable for their performance. Most corporations actually approach work in exactly the other way, since it's easier to judge attendance than performance (while often confusing the two completely). It's basically the inside story of Best Buy's development and deployment of their Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) program, so it's not just a lot of conjecture based on experimental psychology (for that, see Daniel Pink's Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us).

The ideas in the book are important, but it suffers from an extreme case of "books must be 200 pages long". The main ideas and powerful anecdotes that accompany it are only about 75 pages of content, and the other 125 pages are relentless repetition and unnecessary expansion of simple concepts.

It's worth reading the first three chapters, then skim the rest. More importantly, apply the ideas in this book to your own life and change how you view work and time. The world would be a better place if more people approached work from the viewpoint advocated by the authors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book because it so clearly articulates for me what I've hated about past jobs, and then offers a cohesive strategy (ROWE) for fixing them.

As a professional with 3 kids, I've struggled with negative perceptions from coworkers when I have leave at 4pm to pick up my kids, or have to work from home because one of them has a fever. This is the first book I've read that proposes a truly viable solution that benefits not just working parents, but everyone who wants to have a good job and a good personal life.

The core ideas for here are
1. Rethinking our relationship with time, and
2. Holding people accountable for results

I had my doubts about some of the proposed strategies (e.g., ALL meetings are optional? Isn't that a bit extreme?) so I interviewed one of the authors (Cali Ressler) and she had great answers. You can find the interview here: http://bit.ly/10lTlkP

The bottom line: If you care about making your company a sane, healthy, and productive place to be, read this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So... a lot in this book changed how I think about managing employees. I had some preconceptions about whether a results only environment could work with the plans I had for mixing developers with different skill levels. I came away understanding how I plan to organize my company as we begin to expand. If you don't know anything about ROWE, pick up this book and read it.

So, why only 3 stars? The concepts covered in the book could be covered in a magazine article. Most of the book felt like a rah-rah sales effort on why the results only paradigm is so amazing. I understand that some people will need a lot of pushing to get away from managing by seat warmth, but I bought the book; clearly I was already sympathetic. I ended up skimming most of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One good point made: a ROWE may look substantially the same as it did before; but a host of conversations and anxieties around time management are eliminated.
In my experience people who delivered stellar performance largely were exempt from external time management or detailed supervision.
Could it be that, those who have difficulty asking for liberty in their current environment have few compelling results to report?
Could it be that, those managers who have difficulty answering people who ask for liberty are themselves not stellar performers?
The discussions stirred by this book are stimulating and worth the effort.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Are you treated like children?

You go to work and give everything you have – and you are treated like children who, if left unattended, will steal candy. You go to work and watch someone who isn’t very good at their job get promoted because they got in earlier and stayed later than anyone else. You go to work and sit through overlong, overstaffed meetings to talk about the next overlong, overstaffed meeting. You see talented, competent, productive people get penalised for having kids, for not being good at office politics, for being a little different.

Ditch the mindset

If any of this resonates with you, then you are by definition an employee – and the organisation you work for holds outdated beliefs about work based on assumptions that do not apply in today’s 24/7 economy. This is the message in Why Work Sucks – and how to fix it, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, who claim that there has to be a better way. This better way is only possible when we change our focus from hours to outcomes, when we ditch our traditional Monday through Friday, 9-5 mindset. The 40-hour work week, say the authors, is outdated and outmoded.

ROWE

The authors developed a radical workplace experiment known as ROWE – Results-Only Work Environment, where you control when, where, and how long you work. As long as you meet your objectives, the way you spend your time is entirely up to you. Work is no longer a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. ROWE has no mandatory meetings or fixed schedules, you stop doing any activity that wastes time, no one criticizes you for “leaving early” or “coming in late,” and if you do your best work at midnight or on Sundays, that’s fine.
Read more ›
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