Title: Work Rules!
Author: Laszlo Bock
Page Count/Review Word Count: 406
This book was interesting, but it also dragged a bit and got a little tedious towards the end. In fact, the only reason that I picked it up is because I had to write a review of it for a client, although with that considered it was actually pretty good. Bock used to work for Google and spearheaded many of their innovative HR campaigns, and in this book he shares his secrets on how they approached people management.
It’s interesting because they ran all sorts of different tests to see what worked and what didn’t. Many of their findings were counterintuitive, which Bock explains by comparing it to aircraft design during the war. The designers noticed that certain parts of the plane such as the wings and the tail were more likely to be damaged on the aircraft that were returning from combat, and so they focussed their attention on reinforcing the cockpit. Why? Because the planes that were damaged in the cockpit weren’t returning at all.
Because of all of this, it’s a pretty interesting read. It’s a masterclass in thinking outside the box and has a bunch of great ideas on how to keep people happy and engaged in the workplace. I just think it would have been more enjoyable if it had been 100 pages shorter, and I don’t think that Bock’s writing style did it any favours. It’s not that he’s a bad writer, it’s just that writing isn’t his main thing. He does a good job of conveying information here, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it flowed well or that it built up and conveyed a sense of emotion.
Still, if you want to learn how Google does things then there aren’t any better books than this one to help you to understand the way their minds work. Bock also sources pretty much everything he says and so there’s also a comprehensive appendix at the end if you want to read any further on any of the topics that are covered. I just wouldn’t recommend picking this up as your main read because it might put you in a bit of a slump. I read it a chapter at a time in bed and it worked out just perfectly.You can make of this review what you will. Read it or don’t bother!