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Hacking Work : Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results

Bill Jensen, Josh Klein
Pre-loved, Hardcover


One Of Harvard Business Review’s Ten Breakthrough Ideas Book

Availability: In stock

Additional information

ISBN 9781591843573
Publication Date 20/12/2010
Pages 210
Weight 404 g
Dimension 23.6 × 16.3 × 2.1 cm
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This Washington Post bestseller in hardcover edition is a preloved book in GOOD CONDITION and nicely wrapped with protective book-wrapper. The original new book is sold at usual price RM100.45.

☞ Why work harder than you have to?

☞ 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.

One manager kept his senior execs happy by secretly hacking into the company’s database, providing them the reports they needed in one-third the time.

Hacking is a powerful solution to every stupid procedure, tool, rule, and process we are forced to endure. Benevolent hackers are saving business from itself.

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules and procedures. These things are killing us. Frustrating? Hell, yes.

But take heart-there’s an army of heroes coming to the rescue. Today’s top performers are taking matters into their own hands:
● bypassing sacred structures,
● using forbidden tools,
● and ignoring silly corporate edicts.

In other words, they are hacking work to increase their efficiency and job satisfaction.

Hacking Work blows the cover off the biggest open secret in the working world. Today’s top performers are taking matters into their own hands by bypassing sacred structures, using forbidden tools, and ignoring silly rules to increase their productivity and job satisfaction.

This book reveals a multitude of powerful technological and social hacks, and shows readers how bringing these methods out into the open can help them maximize their efficiency and satisfaction with work.

Hacking work is the act of getting what you need to do your best by exploiting loopholes and creating workarounds. It is taking the usual ways of doing things and bypassing them to produce results.

Hacking work is getting the system to work for you :

➽ Includes how to focus your efforts where they count,

➽ negotiate for a more flexible work schedule,

➽ and abolish time-wasting meetings and procedures.

In short, this book takes an unflinching look at the ethics, means and motivations of “hacking work” – finding ways to work around difficult bosses, inflexible processes or stubborn technology.

Consultant Bill Jensen teamed up with hacker Josh Klein to expose the cheat codes that enable people to work smarter instead of harder.

Once employees learn how to hack their work, they accomplish more in less time. They cut through red tape and circumvent stupid rules. It’s about making the system work for you, so you can take control of your workload, increase your productivity, and help your company succeed-in spite of itself.

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 introduce efficiencies and benefit the person doing the work and 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

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for pointless bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules. These things are killing us. Frustrating? Hell, yes.

But take heart. Today’s top performers are taking matters into their own hands: bypassing sacred structures, using forbidden tools, and ignoring silly corporate edicts. In other words, they are hacking work to increase their efficiency and job satisfaction.

In this groundbreaking book, consultant Bill Jensen and hacker Josh Klein reveal how to work smarter instead of harder. Once you learn how to hack work, you’ll accomplish more in less time. You’ll cut through red tape and circumvent stupid procedures.

Hacking Work is about making the system work for you, so you can take control of your work load, increase your productivity, and help your company succeed – in spite of itself.

One of Harvard Business Review’s Ten Breakthrough Ideas for 2010

Review From Inside Business :

There’s a problem at work, and you know a solution.

You’ve been using it at home for a long time. It’s technologically risk-free, proven, and almost without cost. But you’ve been told by supervisors that “it’s not the way we operate around here” and “we’ve never done things like that.” So you play computer solitaire and waste time when you’d really rather be productive.

Other than growl and grow an ulcer, what else can you do? In the new book “Hacking Work” by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein, you’ll learn that there’s a new, unstoppable movement coming.

When you were a kid and Dad offhandedly said “no” to something, the quick fix was to go ask Mom, right? That’s hacking: Utilizing an unauthorized alternative to circumvent silly rules to get what you need to get things done.

While the word has unsavory connotations and many businesspeople might gasp in horror at what they perceive as renegade behavior, the facts are that hacking works, it makes a job easier, and employees are more productive. It also keeps you competitive and it can be fun.

Before you start, though, you need to understand that there is a “dark side.” Good hacking benefits everyone and should improve things in the workplace. At the very least, it exposes vulnerabilities. Hacking work should never become an attack or cause malicious harm.

For your first hack, the authors say, choose something easy. It may be a “hard hack,” or something technical. You might attempt a “soft hack” that involves dealing with people and changing a relationship. Most hacks include elements of both. Try hacking something that saps your energy. Hack at the beginning of a project. And if you’re caught and are fired, well, you probably didn’t want to work at that place anyhow, no?

But what if you’re the hackee? If you’re a business owner, you may be sweating right now, pondering your ruination when employees start working willy-nilly without any restraint.

Relax, the authors say. Hacking can solve your most chronic problems at work and it will make your employees happier. Sure, there will always need to be occasional controls, but this is all something you might as well get used to: Millennials – employees born in the early ’80s and after – hack as second-nature.

As I was reading “Hacking Work,” I waffled between excitement and the sure feeling that this was a good way to get fired. Jensen and Klein address that in this book, named as a “breakthrough idea for 2010” by Harvard Business Review. But is hacking really applicable to your workplace?

Like it or not, yes. Hacking, the authors point out, has been happening in business for years. Your employees are probably doing it right now. Learn to embrace it, they say. Learn to love it. Learn to do it.

For both employee and for the person who signs the paychecks, “Hacking Work” is an intriguing, conversation-sparking (and possibly controversial) book. Take a brave new look – it may be the solution your workplace needs.


Review From Publisher Weekly :

Systems expert Jenson (What is Your Life Work) and Klein, a consultant for U.S. intelligence agencies, who teamed up after they met at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, combine their expertise to suggest innovative ways of subverting ineffective corporate business practices in their first collaborative effort.

Successful “performers are taking matters into their own hands. They are bypassing sacred structures and breaking all sorts of rules to get things done” (such as instant messaging during a “stupid meeting” to reset the agenda, a “soft hack”).

The authors urge employees to contact programmers to secretly reprogram their company computer so that they can bypass established systems in order to introduce improvements; employees should also breach their company’s firewall by using readily available tools to increase efficiency.

Jenson and Klein have a trendy take on a modern dilemma but their suggested methods could easily be used for less beneficent purposes.

A chapter titled “Do No Harm,” however, which includes a “10 Commandments” for hackers (Number 4: Never Compromise Other People’s Information; Number 6: Pay it Forward), addresses the murky ethics inherent in what they urge the daring employee to do.


Review From The Washington Post :

Our Hacks Off to You: Josh Klein and Bill Jensen, ‘Hacking Work’

According to the premise of the new book “Hacking Work,” hacking isn’t just for credit card thieves and Cap’n Crunch anymore. (Google it. You’ll see.) But instead of stealing passwords and bringing down government websites, the modern cube hacker is simply a renegade who wants to be more efficient.

Authors Josh Klein and Bill Jensen argue that anyone who uploads a presentation into Google Docs instead of the company software, posts a video on YouTube instead of the intranet or holds meetings via IM is really a workplace hacker trying to operate outside the constraints of corporate America. The book espouses the idea of finding “the cheat codes for work” to create shortcuts to solutions. So, keep on fighting the good fight, hacker. We salute you.

Who is the modern hacker?

Klein: Someone who is willing and interested to learn how a system works so they can rejigger it to work better. It’s the kind of person who sometimes opens the hood of their car instead of taking it straight to the garage.

How do you know when you know enough to start hacking?

Klein: My impression is that you can go on Google [and type] “How do I use Creative Commons [a tool for licensing and sharing creative property]?” and you will get dozens of tutorials. After you’ve looked at the first six to 10 of those, you’ll have a pretty good idea.

So with a few Google searches, you can become an expert hacker?

Jensen: With Google and your network, yes. Send a few questions out to your network, and within a day, you have 80 percent of what you need.

Klein: I mean, if you’re going to remove your kidney, Google will not help you.

Jensen: Hackers are naturally curious about things and love taking things apart and learning. Even if you don’t do anything with it, this is a great skill to develop because that is what all of us need in every workplace. We need to be good learners, listeners, probers, someone who is constantly curious and knows how to get information out of a system quickly. This is a skill the entire workforce needs to perfect, whether you get that from hacking or not.

What’s your favorite example of a hard hack (i.e. changing a tool, a process, or a program, not a person)?

Jensen: My favorite, which I feel is the scariest to the executive, is right up front [in the book] when the guy, Matt, rewrote his performance assessment. It’s the most glaring thumb in the eye, saying, “yes, we will challenge corporate control.” This guy researched, as one person, how to do a performance assessment, then negotiated for it — rewriting something that is normally handed to us, like a contract we are expected to sign saying, “Yes, master, I will do this.”

Klein: Very large consulting firms will spend six months to a year developing an assessment like that. And the fact that one individual did it is indicative of the fact that that individual can get world-class resources by himself. It’s a really good example of how things need to happen much more quickly [in the corporate world].

How about a soft hack (i.e. changing a relationship, not a tool)?

Jensen: We could have done a whole book about how to negotiate. You can only do soft hacks well if you’re focused on the relationship building first. More than any one [standing out] for me was the understanding that people who do it well are the ones with good people skills.

Klein: An example that struck me was the person who tracked the hours of her [chronically absentee] supervisor and when she went to get some vacation time and her employer gave her a lot of trouble, she said, “Well, here’s my supervisor’s hours.” What’s not clear from the book is that when she did it, she had a good relationship with her employer and a reasonable relationship with her supervisor. If she hadn’t had that, I don’t think it would have mattered what her supervisor’s hours were, because that’s just really rude.

What do you do if you get caught hacking?

Klein: Come clean. You can either lie and get fired sooner or later. Or, ideally, you would want to come to your boss first and say, “Look, I found a problem and I think I found a solution.” In the cases where that’s not possible, demonstrate some positive results. If your boss comes to you and says, “Hey, we didn’t talk about this but I noticed you’re doing this,” the worst you can do is not come clean.

Jensen: Josh and I have heard lots of stories where the conversation that starts out as “Hey, you shouldn’t have touched that” ends up turning into a very positive team experience.

What’s the trick to hacking your way out of long meetings?

Jensen: The first step is to stop going to them to begin with. Most meetings are initiated by e-mail, usually, Microsoft Outlook. Most Outlooks don’t give you any information about the meeting. They just say show up. So, never say yes. Say, “yes, tentatively.” Wait for the agenda and if you don’t see a relevant agenda, don’t go. Then, when you see Josh in the hall, lie and say “Josh, I really wanted to go to your meeting. Give me the 30-second synopsis.”

Klein: If you’re stuck in a meeting where your team is going to be addressed in the agenda, solve all those problems ahead of time. Then, just say, “Here’s what we propose as a solution. Does anyone object?” And everyone will want to get out of there, so they’ll say no.

Jensen: One of the key outcomes we hope people take away from this is to be more respectful about life. Everyone has limited time in their day, and the more you take these shortcuts, the more you are freeing up time for what really matters and wasting less time on nonsense.

About Authors:
Bill Jensen is President/CEO of the Jensen Group, a change consulting firm he founded in 1985. He is also an internationally acclaimed speaker and the author of Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster.

Josh Klein is the quintessential hacker – of social systems, computer networks, consumer hardware, animal behavior, and, most recently, the conference industry including TED and the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at DAVOS. He also speaks, writes, and consults on new and emerging technologies that improve people’s lives.

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