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If you run a company

If you run a company or are in change of managing anyone, you *need* to read Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams (reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4). The book was first published in 1987, but surprisingly few of the several companies I’ve had experience with over the past few years have applied the knowledge contained within; in fact, that’s pretty much why I left my last job. There’s so much good info in the book that it’s hard to pick out some examples (I want to excerpt the entire part of the book on the office environment), but here are a couple snippets I found particularly interesting:

- “If you find yourself concentrating on the technology rather than the sociology, you’re like the vaudeville character who loses his keys on a dark street and looks for them on the adjacent street because, as he explains, ‘The light is better there.’”

- “We all tend to tie our self-esteem strongly to the quality of the product we produce โ€” not the quantity of product, but the quality. Any step you take that may jeopardize the quality of the product is likely to set the emotions of your staff directly against you.”

- “Your people bring their brains with them every morning. They could put them to work for you at no additional cost if only there were a small measure of peace and quiet in the workplace.”