- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press; 3rd edition (October 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160832253X
- ISBN-13: 978-1608322534
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 306 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less (Revised 3rd Edition, 2019) Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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''Sam Carpenter has brought all the main principles that will lead to success in your work and life together in one book. Some books will change your mind this book will change your life if you apply what it teaches. The author shows that our entire world operates based on systems, from nature to the human body to successful businesses.''
--Steve Burns, Amazon Top 1000 reviewer
''Better than Good to Great, the next Best Seller Business Book.''
--GLR, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer. 5 stars
''Very vivid details captivates this reader. Well done indeed!''
--G.W., Amazon Top 500 Reviewer. 5 stars
''This book will be a life-saver. Highly recommended.''
--SHA, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer. 5 stars
From the Author
There will be a mechanical adjustment in the way you see your world, and when this profound shift occurs, systems Methodology will make irrefutable sense, and your work and life will never be the same. I like to call this mini-awakening getting it, and I describe what it is and how to achieve it in Part One.
The Nutshell Premise? Your life is a collection of individual systems.
To whom is this book intended? It's for anyone who runs a business, from the founder of a brand new mom-and-pop start-up to the seasoned CEO of a multinational. At either extreme and in-between, the tenets apply uniformly because life's fundamental mechanics work the same, all the time, everywhere. This is about acquiring a better view of reality's universal simple mechanics; to viewing the machinations of your world with more precision.
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The book is largely a personal story of how the author turned his business around from something he was putting 80+ hours a week into (and still always on the verge of collapse) to a thriving entity that he only needs to tweak now with a handful of hours. His key insight came on the eve of near-certain failure when he realized he needed to stop working "in" his business and shift to working "on" it. He recognized that developing systems and processes would empower his employees to do the work consistent with his vision. The result is a very healthy company, a happy founder, and happy employees.
The book is enjoyable to read and the author makes a persuasive argument for why every business should be run this way. The way to go about doing this is to create three guiding documents: the Strategic Objective, General Operating Principles, and Working Procedures. Once these are in place, a rigid adherence and occasional modification are all that is needed. The author adds that this methodology can also be used if you are an employee (instead of a business owner) and even in your personal life (although Working Procedures are not needed in this case).
That's the good news. The bad is that there really isn't any instruction given on *how* one would create these all-important documents. It's just the same message over and over: you need to do this. The entire book is dedicated to convincing you that you have a problem and that he has the solution. Want to apply this solution to your own business and/or life? That's where the author's array of coaching, software, and speaking engagements come in, all helpfully described in the numerous appendices.
In fairness, he does provide the documents he developed for his company in the appendices for you to use as a template (or inspiration). So, if you own a telephone answering service, you're in luck. Otherwise, you've got some work ahead of you. It's somewhat ironic that in a book about systems, the author does not provide a system to help you craft your own documents.
I'm giving it three stars and I still recommend getting it. It's an enjoyable read and will certainly help you get some new ideas. That's probably worth the price of the book. Just be aware that new ideas is about all you're going to get from this. It's mostly an introduction to systems thinking and an advertisement for the author's products and services. I plan to read another book in the hopes of getting some guidance on implementation.
Finally, one of my team recommended THIS book. It provided a powerful framework for me to see my entire company from a 'systems' perspective where I could see each element of the company as separate - yet interconnected. I've always felt that each part of my company was connected and different anyway - but until I read this book I could never quite make sense of how to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and how to separate them so I could upgrade each piece individually. In this book, Sam recommends a clear method for a creating high level, big picture overview of your company - and then breaking it down so it's documented and systemized (and can be run by other people so you can experience freedom). I'm currently in the process of documenting all my procedures for running my company and well on the way to freedom from the day-to-day grind of 'fire killing' and confusion. I predict that within 6 months I will have at least twice as much time to do what I love - and have doubled or tripped impact and profits. THANK YOU SAM CARPENTER.
Also - I have come from a spiritually minded background and was more inclined to see things are connected than separate. This book provided a much needed alternate perspective to life and actually enhanced my more metaphysical understanding of life and the universe by allowing me to see how the whole is made up of the parts. I highly recommend you read this book and experience practical improvements in your own life and work!
It is a simple message that after you finish reading the book you wonder how it could fill that many pages but there is plenty of other good information in and around the concept. In many cases it takes an outside perspective to actually help you see what needs to be done and make things plain. This book certainly achieved that for me.
The book is easy to read and contains plenty of examples that keep you engaged but I did feel that things were becoming a little drawn out towards the end. After I finished the book I felt that if I had simply read the conclusion I would have received most of what the rest of the book was saying. However, on reflection I think this book is one of those that you can put up on the shelf and revisit on a regular basis to help keep you on track.
Overall this book is a worthwhile read for those people running their own business who want to understand the process of constant improvement. It help open you eyes to fact that everything is a system and can therefore be taken apart, examined and improved. It can seem daunting at first glance having to do this but the book does say this should be an ongoing process that you don't have to get right on the first pass.
Again, a great business reference book to have in your reference library and revisit regularly to help you understand that things can usually be made much simpler than they appear.