Maverick (not the fighter pilot)

Tim introduced me to yet another book about how running a company can be done without conventional management, and many times run better. The book is called Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace by Ricardo Semler.


Below are some quotes from the book I like…

“Nothing seems more medieval than dress codes…What buyer has failed to do business with a company because a salesman wasn’t sufficiently fashionable?…when they come to work on weekends, people invariably dress in casual clothes. Because they feel more comfortable. Well, why shouldn’t they feel more comfortable every day?”

So what about the times where it’s nice to dress up? Or what if you want to dress up? Well, he offers a simple solution.

“every responsible adult knows how to dress correctly for these occasions”

I have to agree, we all learned back in middle school before our first class dance how to dress. Even churches let patrons decide what to wear, and that’s the Sunday best!

“Fixed working hours, organizational charts, and policy manuals are all so negative. They strip away freedom and give nothing in return but a false feeling of discipline and belonging. They elevate bureaucrats and ennoble conformity. By all means establish and promote a common goal, but recognize divergence and let people determine their own ways of achieving it.”

“Make time to think. Try blocking out a half day a week on your agenda. I find that Monday and Friday mornings are good, because I can clear away post- and pre-weekend distractions. During this half day, avoid your office. Camp out in an unused conference room or, even better, stay home.”

One of the best pieces of advice I received in college, was from a professor who told us to set aside a few hours each week and not work. Instead, think about how you can make your work easier or more efficient. This was so true at my last job, that I by far made up those “lost hours” by becoming much more efficient at my assignments. I was able to get more done in less time because I sacrificed busy work for thinking. Unfortunately, I was not rewarded for my results nor increases in productivity, but rather judge solely on time spent working. This quickly squashed all my motivation to keep improving efficiencies. Instead, it’d make more sense for companies to reward workers who become better at what they do with the freedom to decide how to use that time saved. Throw in some profit sharing and you’ll have one motivated and efficient employee!