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The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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.
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?
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.
The book is based upon is Semco, a diversified Brazilian company where Semler is the CEO and whose revenue has grown from $4 million in 1982 to $212 million in 2003. His basic theme is that in order harness the full power and talents of your workers they have to be truly engaged and this means they have the power to pretty much do what they want when the want - as long as it focuses on generating results for the company.
While many of the practices he implements might not work so well in your workplace, they will get you thinking of what might be possible and what we may hopefully be heading towards. Overall his approach is similar to Industrial Democracy whereby workers are involved in making decisions, sharing responsibility, and have equal authority in the company.
Below are just a few of my favorite quips from the book...
- Once you define the business you're in you create boundaries for your employees, you restrict their thinking, and you give them a reason to pass up on opportunities.
- Semco has no official structure, no CFO, no HR, no mission statement, no job descriptions, etc. it is a place where people are just considered adults and get their job done.
- Semco cares about the core of what an employee does for the company, not the boarding school behaviors like what time they came in. But it is sooo hard to give up control. People should be involved to the point they shout "yes"!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having been in boarding since I was 7 years of age this is quite refreshing. Definitely my dream lifestyle as I pursue entrepreneurship. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eddie Mugi
Maybe I couldn't change the mega bank that recently "freed me to peruse other opportunities" but I can use these ideas as I begin my own company.Published 6 months ago by E. Schuller
If you have read Maverick by the same author,there is nothing much new. However, Ricardo organises his thoughts better by providing a cogent philosophical framework in this book.Published 9 months ago by anandunnithan
Would recommend it to managers, would be managers or new business owners. Fresh look on how to do things from different angle and perspective.Published 9 months ago by Martins K.
Very interesting view on today's corporations and management styles. I would recommend to any manager or president of a modern company that cares more about the growth of his... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mike
Mr Semler's words are like steroids for all entrepreneurs who are fighting old notional ideologies and outdated practices. Read morePublished 11 months ago by KARAN ARORA
Stop what you are doing. Pull the car out of traffic gridlock. Hit the park, hang a hammock, and just absorb these words. A titanic shift in organizational leadership lies within. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Chad Bracken
The title of the book itself evokes a feeling of interest to any person, who stumbles on it. In these times where people have seven-day weeks, the phrase “seven day weekends” comes... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Abhi...