home cooked theory

productivity outside the enterprise

Stop the Meeting: I Want to Get Off!

Notes from Stop the Meeting: I Want to Get Off! How to Manage Your Team Without Meetings by Scott Snair, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2003. • Managers tend to hold meetings because that’s what their peers are doing • Managers hold meetings because of corporate mandates requiring that certain types of meetings be convened. […]

Reflections of a McDonalds manager

…You don’t fire. You would only fire for cause like drugs or stealing. But what happens is he signed up for thirty hours a week and suddenly he’s only scheduled for four. So either he starts being more available or he quits… The only qualification to be able to do the job is to be […]

Foucault Live

I dreamed that a day would come when I would know in advance what I meant and would only have to say it. That was a reflection of old age. I imagined I had finally reached the age when one only has to reel out what’s in one’s head. It was both a form of […]

Super rich kids with nothing but fake friends

On Katherine Losse’s The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network, Free Press (2012) and Dave Eggers’ The Circle, Knopf (2013) Even before opening the books, you can see why Losse is annoyed with Eggers. It’s not that the content is the same, exactly – although there are overlaps that lead […]

Missing out

Notes from Adam Philips (2012) Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York We make our lives pleasurable, and therefore bearable, by picturing them as they might be; it is less obvious, though, what these compelling fantasy lives – lives of, as it were, a more complete satisfaction – […]

To reduce ‘rushaholism’

Decelerate: • Take brief time outs throughout the day • Treat delays as found time • Do nothing on a regular basis • Nap if possible; should inhibition keep you from doing so, confront the inhibition • Take an occasional bath • When hurried, ask yourself, “Do I really need to rush? What’s the worst […]

The Swiss Cheese approach

What is it about corporate strategy and cheese? According to Louis C. Feuer, the ‘Swiss Cheese Approach to White-Collar Stress’ is a practice of ‘selective mingling’ that enables workers to navigate the corporate hierarchy and arrive in a better place. As he puts it: Getting through to the other side of the cheese is easy, […]

White-collar stress

Notes from Louis C. Feuer (1987) White-Collar Stress: A comprehensive, practical approach to relieving stress and insuring professional and financial success. Federick Fell Publishers, Hollywood (Fl). A book ‘for those who will play some games, for those willing to engage in some non-offensive manipulative behaviors, and for those willing to take on a new consciousness […]

How we became professional, part 1 – Mayo’s missing women

Before joining Intel, I was planning a project on the history of professionalism. Specifically, I wanted to study genres of popular pedagogy devoted to teaching office workers self-management skills. I was interested in two areas, to be explored in the next series of posts: 1. The establishment of human relations as a discipline, particularly the […]

Avoiding telephone interruptions

Notes from Alec Mackenzie (1990) The Time Trap: The New Version of the Classic Book on Time Management. Published by The Business Library – an imprint of Information Australia [anyone with further info on this imprint and its history, please get in touch] The number-one underlying cause of telephone interruptions is your presumption of legitimacy. […]

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  • @melgregg

    One of many knockout passages in Temp, by @louishyman - important, deeply historical labor scholarship for our times pic.twitter.com/dfkxGyJv92

    About 2 days ago from Mel's Twitter via Twitter for iPhone

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