Using games and collaborative play to help motivate and make work fun.
Many of the same elements of a performance evaluation are implemented in games. Which would you prefer? :)
Collaborative play helps to build a climate of trust - and higher levels of trust can lead to greater experimentation and risk taking - which will lead to creativity and innovation.
Our work over the last 5-6 years in productivity games, and later in 42projects, has taught us a lot about how these three - play, trust, and innovation - are closely intertwined - and can lead to a happier, more efficient, and more productive work environment.
"If it's not fun, you're not doing it right" - Bob Basso
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible" - Walt Disney
"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” - Dale Carnegie
We are experimenting - and would love suggestions and input. There's more info at http://www.42projects.org or send mail at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Hipparchus was a Greek astronomer and mathematician whose work surfaced last week, as we recognized the Autumnal Equinox.
Twice a year, the hours of daylight and the hours of darkness are equal across the land. On the day of the fall equinox, the sun crosses the equator, providing the earth with 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. This event initiates the changes that result in winter for the northern hemisphere and summer in the south. After the fall equinox, the northern hemisphere of the earth begins to tilt ever so slightly away from the sun, slowly decreasing the amount of sunshine received until the winter solstice, after which the days begin to lengthen again.
Persephone, of Greek mythology, kicks off the start of autumn when, according to her agreement with Zeus' brother Hades, and her mother, the harvest goddess Demeter--she goes to live with her husband Hades in the underworld for half a year. Demeter suspends all growth and regeneration of the earth's vegetation while her daughter is away.
The September 23rd fall equinox is a time of balance--where the length of the day equals that of the night. According to myth, it is...
The moonshot, Take the Work out of Work talks about blurring the boundary between vocation and avocation. Our goal is to create an environment that supports Douglas MacGregor's Theory Y where work is voluntary and more like play. So, let's congratulate the recent M-Prize finalists and take a look at how many of them are doing the work that supports this moonshot!
We're in the midst of dramatic global change. From constitutional changes in Morocco to the Debt Crisis in the US, from the challenges in global warming to economies in the midst of turmoil--most of us face unprecedented challenges in making our work matter.
In the midst of all this chaos, perhaps we can call a timeout--to highlight a few of those who are standing firm in the face of these challenges to bring greatness into their organizations. There are many facets of the work here that lands these folks amongst the M-Prize finalists, but our job here is to call out aspects of their efforts that "Take the Work out of Work."
2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management. Taylor was a mechanical engineer who, according to Peter Drucker, “was the first man in recorded history who deemed work deserving of systematic observation and study.” Taylor holds forty-two patents , including several for golf and tennis related inventions .
Taylor wrote at a time when the average worker was viewed as inefficient and sluggish. There was a fear among workers that if they were more productive, there would be less work to go around. His Principles of Scientific Management was directed at improving worker efficiency. He felt that the “the remedy for this inefficiency lies in systematic management, rather than in searching for some unusual or extraordinary man.”:
Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks. Scientifically select, train, and develop each employee rather than passively leaving them to train themselves. Provide "Detailed instruction and supervision of each worker in the performance of that worker's discrete task" (Montgomery 1997: 250). Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the...
Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere (even in Seattle!). Children across the globe are enjoying time away from their studies. After a long year in the classroom, the anticipation and excitement around the first day of summer vacation runs high - and then quickly turns to boredom. That first day of vacation, so highly anticipated for months, almost immediately dissolves into tedium.
This time of year, much of the world owes a nod of thanks to Willis Haviland Carrier, the inventor of the air conditioner . Carrier was an engineer for the Buffalo Forge Company, who was trying to solve a problem for a Brooklyn printing company involving the effect of heat and humidity on paper and ink. In the early 1900's, Carrier was waiting for a train on a foggy night and had, as he described, a "flash of genius" about the relationship between temperature, humidity and dew point which lead to the invention of the air conditioner. His persistence in gathering data, combined with his imaginative thinking about the problem, led to a solution that changed lives everywhere.
For a kid on summer break, this is absolutely the best time of...
Editor's Note: Ross Smith has worked in every corner of the software industry for over 20 years and is currently a Director of Test at Microsoft. You can read his M-Prize-winning STORY Organizational Trust: 42projects .
In 1855, Robert Browning published a poem about the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Sarto , introducing the term "less is more." The phrase was adopted by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to describe minimalism as an "aesthetic tactic of arranging the numerous necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity, by enlisting every element and detail to serve multiple visual and functional purposes (such as designing a floor to also serve as the radiator, or a massive fireplace to also house the bathroom)."
A few weeks ago, a manager I know said something great as we discussed his influence on his team's culture. He quipped, "I need to work on adding less value ." This could be one of the greatest aspirations for the future of management ever articulated, and the perfect slogan for management 2.0. Call it "minimalistic management." It takes a confident leader to recognize that the natural...