Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hacking Work by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (Book Review)

Have you ever had to work around a company rule or policy that prevented you from doing your job effectively? Ever used non-company software and tools to get things done? Or reached out to a co-worker to skirt a dumb work process? If so, than Hacking Work is your kind of book.

Hacking Work is all about the rising tide of benevolent hacking at work and the people who bypass corporate-centered systems in favor of efficient, user-centered approaches. The text is not anti-work or anti-business. On the contrary, it's about saving business from itself and reintroducing effeciency and human innovation back into the workplace. Because, ultimately, if your organization is not as effective and flexible as it can be, a competitor down the street or across the world will be.

Fortunately, the maturation of available software today, including loads of free, open-source options and the proliferation of social media, make it easier than ever to introduce hacks that create efficiencies and benefit the person doing the work as well as the organization. In this sense, hacking includes everything from the emergence of Gen Y as the major demographic in the workforce, to the return of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) work sensibility, and "a growing openness about challenging the tools and procedures we're handed."

To give you a sense of what you'll find in the book, below are 10 Hacking Work starting commandments:
  1. Be cool
  2. Try non-hacking first
  3. Do no harm
  4. Never compromise other people's information
  5. Play well with others
  6. Pay it forward
  7. The law of attraction works
  8. Be true to yourself
  9. Talent is overrated
  10. Hacking can be a journey of self-discovery
Definitely, definitely read this book. And while you're at it, tell your boss and your boss's boss to read it too.

You can learn more about Hacking Work at

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