Author(s): Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson or Basecamp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
This book was selected because, well, I wanted to know how to "fix" things in our office. I also wanted to have things be not-so-crazy. Our parent company, Danico Enterprises Inc, is a Web & Marketing company, so I thought a technologist who's figured it out could help. If you are not familiar with Basecamp, it is a cloud-based project management tool. Web developers and other technologist use it. It is not limited to that group of users, but it is how I first became aware of it. I dare say it triggered the creation of several of the other tools available today. In any case, so we thought, maybe this book could book provide us with ideas that could help us.
Right at the beginning, I was struck about how in-your-face the writing is. A sentence that resonates with me today, from the first page, "Sustained exhaustion is not a badge of honor, it's a mark of stupidity." We work more and more, taking our work with us all the time, everywhere thanks to advances in technology. They cover how open office space and chat apps don't make for greater productivity but less and emphasize the need for more uninterrupted time. Their stated goal is to make a calm company.
A calm company is a great idea but how? The authors, Fried and Hansson, walk you through what works for their company and how they adjust as needed, all with a constant eye on making and keeping a calm company. Admittedly, some of what they do (paying for employees' actual vacations and locally sourced food delivery) may not be possible for your company (or mine), but it does foster ideas of how to create incentive packages for employees that help them to stay healthy and energized beyond just a bigger paycheck.
While many of the ideas seem to be something bigger, more well established company could adapt and adopt, there are some that any sized company, solopreneur and up could benefit from. One such idea, is "protecting people's time and attention." Time cannot be gotten back. Encouraging employers to be more mindful of providing their employees with the time to do their best work, leads to success for all.
That's the sentiment I came away with after reading this book and immediately began telling others they should read this book. Now, I ask you to do the same. Buy or borrow this book and share your comments below.
© image credit: HarperCollins Publishers