You are previewing What's Wrong with Work?: The 5 Frustrations of Work and How to Fix them for Good.
O'Reilly logo
What's Wrong with Work?: The 5 Frustrations of Work and How to Fix them for Good

Book Description

Work isn't working.

We all love to hate our jobs. Everyone moans about the same things: we're not listened to; we're not trusted; we spend our time in pointless meetings; we're weighed down by bureaucracy; we hate our boss; we're overloaded and work saps time and energy from the rest of our lives.

It shouldn't be like this. Work ought to be, and can be meaningful and fulfilling.

In What's Wrong with Work? Blaire Palmer shows how work can change. Confronting all the big problems head-on, the book shows what you can do about each one, to make work better for you and those around you, now.

Packed with case studies and tips, What's Wrong with Work? is essential reading for the modern office.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction: The 5 Frustrations of Work and How to Fix them for Good
    1. A TYPICAL DAY AT THE OFFICE ...
    2. THE FRUSTRATIONS OF WORK
    3. THE TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGING ...
    4. THE BOW TIE EFFECT
    5. 5 AREAS OF FOCUS
    6. FROM THE MANAGER'S MOUTH
  4. When Work Works
    1. THE ARGUMENT AGAINST A "HAPPY" WORKFORCE
    2. THE FLAWED ASSUMPTION
    3. THE ARGUMENT FOR A "HAPPY" WORKFORCE
    4. THE TROUBLE WITH "THE MIDDLE" ... AND THE OPPORTUNITY
    5. IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU
    6. BACK TO THE 5 FRUSTRATIONS
  5. 1. Frustration 1: Waste-of-Time Meetings
    1. 1.1. THE COST OF BAD MEETINGS
    2. 1.2. THE PROBLEM WITH MEETINGS ...
    3. 1.3. WHY DO PEOPLE PUT UP WITH BAD MEETINGS?
    4. 1.4. WHAT KIND OF MEETINGS ARE THERE?
      1. 1.4.1. Separate operational issues from strategic issues
      2. 1.4.2. Four meetings
    5. 1.5. WHAT SHOULD THE GROUND RULES OF MEETINGS BE?
      1. 1.5.1. How to create ground rules
    6. 1.6. WHY DO CERTAIN PEOPLE DOMINATE AND OTHERS HOLD BACK?
    7. 1.7. MISSING MEETINGS
    8. 1.8. THE POLITICS OF MEETINGS
    9. 1.9. HOW TO MAKE A DECISION
    10. 1.10. WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU DON'T RUN THE MEETING?
    11. 1.11. MEETINGS – FINAL THOUGHTS
  6. 2. Frustration 2: Mis-Leadership
    1. 2.1. WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? AND WHAT IS MANAGEMENT?
    2. 2.2. WHY ARE THERE SO FEW GREAT LEADER-MANAGERS?
    3. 2.3. BE YOURSELF AND GET BETTER AT IT
    4. 2.4. UNDERSTAND WHAT DRIVES OTHER PEOPLE
      1. 2.4.1. Don't make assumptions about other people
      2. 2.4.2. Differentiate between intrinsic motivators and hygiene factors
      3. 2.4.3. Know if your people are "towards" or "away from"
      4. 2.4.4. Understand and capitalize on work-style preferences
    5. 2.5. WHAT SHOULD A LEADER-MANAGER DO ALL DAY?
    6. 2.6. THE ROLE OF EMOTIONS
      1. 2.6.1. Be able to name emotions
      2. 2.6.2. Know when to fight
      3. 2.6.3. Listen to inklings
    7. 2.7. MIS-LEADERSHIP – FINAL THOUGHTS
  7. 3. Frustration 3: Blurred Vision
    1. 3.1. WHY DO COMPANIES (AND TEAMS ... AND THEREFORE MANAGERS) NEED A DIRECTION?
    2. 3.2. WHAT IS A VISION?
      1. 3.2.1. Bland values
    3. 3.3. VISION MINUS COMMUNICATION EQUALS DANGER
      1. 3.3.1. Vision/reality mis-match
    4. 3.4. WHAT CAN A REAL VISION DO?
      1. 3.4.1. Visions provide meaning
      2. 3.4.2. It is what people look for in leaders
      3. 3.4.3. It feels great when you get there
    5. 3.5. CAN A TEAM HAVE ITS OWN VISION, MISSION AND VALUES?
      1. 3.5.1. Make the vision relevant to you
      2. 3.5.2. What if the company doesn't have a vision?
    6. 3.6. TEAM VISION AND THE ART OF COMMUNICATION
      1. 3.6.1. Listen
      2. 3.6.2. Ask the right questions
      3. 3.6.3. Communicate to different populations
    7. 3.7. TURNING VISION INTO ACTION
    8. 3.8. NATURAL RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
    9. 3.9. BLURRED VISION – FINAL THOUGHTS
  8. 4. Frustration 4: Silo Mentality
    1. 4.1. WHY SILOS WORK
    2. 4.2. THE LOST OPPORTUNITY
    3. 4.3. START WHERE YOU WILL GET THE BIGGEST RETURN
    4. 4.4. GO TO THE SOURCE
    5. 4.5. CREATE AN INFLUENCE PLAN
    6. 4.6. END THE GOSSIP
    7. 4.7. CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CROSS-FUNCTIONAL WORKING
      1. 4.7.1. Cross-functional problem-solving
      2. 4.7.2. Rotation
      3. 4.7.3. Get a mentor
    8. 4.8. SILO MENTALITY – FINAL THOUGHTS
  9. 5. Frustration 5: Unfairness
    1. 5.1. THAT'S NOT FAIR
    2. 5.2. BMWS
      1. 5.2.1. Hypocritical organizations
      2. 5.2.2. Poor workplace conditions
      3. 5.2.3. The wrong people get ahead
    3. 5.3. FAIRNESS AND GOOD BUSINESS
      1. 5.3.1. Quick Quiz Questions
    4. 5.4. CHALLENGE WHAT IS UNFAIR
      1. 5.4.1. Seek to understand
      2. 5.4.2. Challenge what you see
      3. 5.4.3. Whistle-blowing
    5. 5.5. CHALLENGE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
      1. 5.5.1. Accommodate values
      2. 5.5.2. Walk the talk
    6. 5.6. START SMALL
      1. 5.6.1. Demonstrate gratitude
      2. 5.6.2. Be more politically savvy
      3. 5.6.3. Operate outside the cultural norms
    7. 5.7. OVERWORKED, UNDERSTAFFED
      1. 5.7.1. What is your problem?
      2. 5.7.2. Use your time wisely
      3. 5.7.3. Get organized
      4. 5.7.4. Recognize counter-productive patterns
      5. 5.7.5. Other unfairness frustrations
    8. 5.8. UNFAIRNESS – FINAL THOUGHTS
  10. Final Thoughts: The Real Work
    1. 5.9. FIGHT OR FLIGHT
    2. 5.10. WORST-CASE SCENARIO
    3. 5.11. IT TAKES TIME
    4. 5.12. THE LEARNING CONTINUES
  11. Notes
    1. 5.13. INTRODUCTION: THE 5 FRUSTRATIONS OF WORK AND HOW TO FIX THEM FOR GOOD
    2. 5.14. WHEN WORK WORKS
    3. 5.15. Frustration 1: WASTE-OF-TIME MEETINGS
    4. 5.16. Frustration 2: MIS-LEADERSHIP
    5. 5.17. Frustration 3: BLURRED VISION
    6. 5.18. Frustration 4: SILO MENTALITY
    7. 5.19. Frustration 5: UNFAIRNESS
    8. 5.20. FINAL THOUGHTS: THE REAL WORK
  12. About the Interviewees
  13. About the Author