Great book….but I wonder if the people that need to read it will read it. I’m talking about the CEO’s and other leaders of organizations who need to be on board with the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) mentality to actually fix the problem of why work sucks.
According to the book, work sucks because we are all still stuck in the industrial age mentality of what it means to “work”. I agree. You no longer need to be ‘in the office eight hours a day’ to do your job….in fact, I can’t think of any knowledge worker position in existence today that shouldn’t be allowed to move into a ROWE position….if you can think of any, feel free to leave me a comment.
The biggest piece of knowledge that any manager/leader should take away from this book is the following:
Trust your employees. If you trust them, they’ll deliver.
A ROWE doesn’t work unless there is trust. Managers must trust their team to do the job. Team members must trust each other and they must trust their manager.
NOTE: This book was provided by the publisher as an advanced review copy.
This book (which I haven’t started reading yet…but I plan to start soon) seems to follow the Ricardo Semler approach to organizational developing as outlined in “Maverick” and “Seven Day Weekend“.
The book introduces the concept of a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). An excerpt from Cali and Jody’s website describes ROWE as:
In a ROWE, people are paid for a chunk of work, not for a chunk of time. This simple idea creates a workforce that is energized, focused, disciplined, and happy, and it’s already transformed the corporate work culture at Best Buy – a Fortune 100 retailer.
In a “Results-Only” company or department, employees can do whatever they want whenever they want, as long as business objectives are achieved. No more pointless meetings, racing to get in at 9:00, or begging for permission to watch your kid play soccer. No more cramming errands into the weekend, or waiting until retirement to take up your hobbies again. You make the decisions about what you do and where you do it, every minute of every day.
Results Only Work Environment’s (ROWE‘s) are an ideal situation for any organization who wants their employees to truly be happy. This environment makes it OK for employees to go grab a coffee with a friend at 10AM or go run a few errands whenever they need to.
ROWE seems counter-intuitive to some people…but makes perfect sense to anyone who’s ever sat through a 8 hour day thinking about how they will get their errands accomplished for the week.
One particular area that I’m interested in exploring, and what has touched off my book idea, is integrating ROWE with a common sense approach to business. How do we remove the layers of bureaucracy that exists in many organizations (e.g., adherence to antiquated procedures, 4 hour meetings with no outcome, etc).
Specifically, I’m interested in exploring the topic of ROWE in the IT space. How would this type of environment work in an IT organization with the strict focus on process and procedure? How will a project based IT organization adapt to a results focused environment where people have the freedom to work when and where they want?
Look for more thoughts on these questions in the future. Until then, read more on ROWE and Semler’s approach to organizations with the following articles.
Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a technology consultant, investor and entrepreneur with an interest in using technology and data to solve real-world business problems. He currently runs his own consulting practice focused on helping organizations use their data more efficiently. Additionally, he is the Chief Information Officer of Sundial Capital Research, publisher of sentimenTrader
Eric received his Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Information Systems in 2014 with a dissertation titled “Analysis of Twitter Messages for Sentiment and Insight for use in Stock Market Decision Making”. His research interests are currently in the areas of decision support, data science, big data, natural language processing, sentiment analysis and social media analysis.In recent years, he has combined sentiment analysis, natural language processing and big data approaches to build innovative systems and strategies to solve interesting problems. You can read some of his research here: Eric D. Brown on ResearchGate
In addition, he is an entrepreneur that has launched a few companies with the most recent being a company focused on proving data analytics and visualization services to the financial markets.