Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Absolutely Unique

If you've spoken to me or read this blog recently, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Tim Ferriss. I even follow the guy on Twitter... and this is where I saw one of the boldest statements in Web 2.0 history. Check out the following screen shot:

In a world where imitation is commonplace, mentors are sacred, and internet ego is considered unnecessary, Ferriss tells us that 14,757 people are following him and he could care less about the reciprocation. I think it's awesome. But you decide for yourself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scrabulous, I Mean Lexulous, is Back!

I've blogged about my passion for Scrabulous before. And when those idiots at Hasbro sued the creators, I made my contention very clear. But now, the lawsuit has been dropped, and the game is back under its new name, Lexulous. Best of all, all users' statistics and games have been restored! Here is the new link:

Please let this be a lesson to every business out there. When a third party creates a product that breaks your brand copyright, don't react like a child. If they increase your exposure and revenue, embrace them with open arms! Don't be the next Hasbro.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Work Sucks!

Have you ever wondered why working from 9 to 5 is the social norm? Have you ever thought about how silly and childish it is to gauge people by their attendance in the workplace? Have you ever thought that there must be a better and more productive way to work? How stupid are office politics? Do you think it's time that knowledge workers get treated like adults?

take a second...

This rant was inspired by my latest read, Why Work Sucks and How to Fix it. In this book, Calie Ressler and Jody Thompson of CultureRx completely tear apart the office protocols that exist in most workplaces today. This includes everything from ridiculous work schedules to unnecessary meetings. Their solution, which is really bold, is something they've coined as the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). This new work framework is pretty self explanatory, but can be summarized by the following:
  • People work whenever they want, as long as the work gets done!
  • People work from wherever they want, as long as the work gets done!
  • Every meeting is optional.
  • Nobody talks about how many hours they work.
  • People are measured by results!
I know there are a lot of people shaking their heads right now and saying, "This would be impossible in my big company!" Well, believe it or not, ROWE was actually born in the corporate offices of Best Buy! Today, every single one of their offices works in a ROWE! Furthermore, a lot of big tech companies have worked in similar frameworks for a long, long time.

The school system is an ironic example that bolsters the argument for a ROWE. In college/university, students have complete control over there time. They are also measured by results (marks). Classes, although not recommended, are completely optional. Believe it or not, at the age of 19, students are living in a ROWE! How funny is it that you actually have less control over your life after you graduate? This shouldn't be the case.

In order to go further with ROWE, you need to understand the concept of Sludging. This is "the negative commentary that occurs naturally in the workplace", and its primary purpose is to judge people about frivolous things. Here are a couple examples straight from the book:
  • "Coming in at eleven again?"
  • "Another vacation? How many vacation days do you have?"
  • "I wish I smoked. Then I could always be on break."
Does any of this sound familiar? According to Ressler and Thompson, the first step in creating a ROWE is eliminating Sludge. The way to do this - which is exactly what we started doing at I Love Rewards - is to call people out whenever you see/hear anything that resembles a Sludge. Simply yelling the word is sufficient, and tends to make it funny. But the underlying point is to make it clear that Sludging is absolutely unacceptable.

Obviously, there is lot more more involved in implementing a ROWE. The book goes into great detail about the process, so read it if you get a chance. CultureRx has even created a ROWE Launch Kit which I found pretty amusing.

Ultimately, giving people control over their time and trusting them to get work done is the way of the future. If businesses aren't willing to accept this, then they'll be left in the dust. We have more than enough technological infrastructure to allow people to work whenever they want, wherever they want. Clinging on to labour laws that were created before the Computer is absolutely ridiculous. We need to move forward as a society, constantly questioning the way we do things. A ROWE will do nothing but help employers as well as employees. "When you start to treat people like adults, they will respond like adults." This, in the end, will produce the only thing that maters; results.

Agree? Disagree? Comments are always welcome!