Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency
By Tom De Marco
Tom DeMarco, a leading management consultant to both Fortune 500 and up-and-coming companies, has discovered a counterintuitive principle that explains why efficiency improvement can sometimes make a company slow. If your real organizational goal is to become fast (responsive and agile), then he proposes that what you need is not more efficiency, but more slack.
What is “slack”? Slack is the degree of freedom in a company that allows it to change. It could be something as simple as adding an assistant to a department, letting high-priced talent spend less time at the photo copier and more time making key decisions. Slack could also appear in the way a company treats employees: instead of loading them up with overwork, a company designed with slack allows its people room to breathe, increase effectiveness, and reinvent themselves.
In thirty—three short chapters filled with creative learning tools and charts, you and your company can learn how to:
∑make sense of the Efficiency/Flexibility quandary
∑run directly toward risk instead of away from it
∑strengthen the creative role of middle management
∑make change and growth work together for even greater profits
A innovative approach that works for new- and old-economy companies alike, this revolutionary handbook will debunk commonly held assumptions about real-world management, and give you and your company a brand-new model for achieving and maintaining true effectiveness—and a healthier bottom line.
From the Hardcover edition.
"An irreverent counterpoint to treatises about corporate efficiency. Brisk, compelling, and hard to put down." -"Financial Executive
"Tom DeMarco goes after one of the most pervasive and pernicious myths of business--that humans are efficient the same way machines are. "Slack will change the way you manage and understand your business." -David Weinberger, author of "The Cluetrain Manifesto
"In times of many layoffs, shrinking staffs, vanishing 'think time, ' middle managerial heads rolling, and mounting pressure to produce more faster . . . there are few limits on who can get some thoughts from ["Slack]." -"CNN.com "From the Trade Paperback edition.
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