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From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. "We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumani From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. "We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing." So says Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge. This insight is the heart of WORK RULES!, a compelling and surprisingly playful manifesto that offers lessons including: Take away managers' power over employees Learn from your best employees-and your worst Hire only people who are smarter than you are, no matter how long it takes to find them Pay unfairly (it's more fair!) Don't trust your gut: Use data to predict and shape the future Default to open-be transparent and welcome feedback If you're comfortable with the amount of freedom you've given your employees, you haven't gone far enough. Drawing on the latest research in behavioral economics and a profound grasp of human psychology, WORK RULES! also provides teaching examples from a range of industries-including lauded companies that happen to be hideous places to work and little-known companies that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees. Bock takes us inside one of history's most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world, distilling 15 years of intensive worker R&D into principles that are easy to put into action, whether you're a team of one or a team of thousands. WORK RULES! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do.


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From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. "We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumani From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations comes a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work-and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring that they succeed. "We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing." So says Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge. This insight is the heart of WORK RULES!, a compelling and surprisingly playful manifesto that offers lessons including: Take away managers' power over employees Learn from your best employees-and your worst Hire only people who are smarter than you are, no matter how long it takes to find them Pay unfairly (it's more fair!) Don't trust your gut: Use data to predict and shape the future Default to open-be transparent and welcome feedback If you're comfortable with the amount of freedom you've given your employees, you haven't gone far enough. Drawing on the latest research in behavioral economics and a profound grasp of human psychology, WORK RULES! also provides teaching examples from a range of industries-including lauded companies that happen to be hideous places to work and little-known companies that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees. Bock takes us inside one of history's most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world, distilling 15 years of intensive worker R&D into principles that are easy to put into action, whether you're a team of one or a team of thousands. WORK RULES! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do.

30 review for Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Otis Chandler

    I think this is a must read for any leader in a modern business. Google has done a lot of things right both in their products and also in how they run their company and build their culture, and this is a fairly detailed account of how they've built an impressive culture, and is written by someone who knows - their head of HR. I'm a little surprised he told as much as he did - but I suppose it will only help for recruiting. Goodreads is now a subsidiary of Amazon, and I have spent significant tim I think this is a must read for any leader in a modern business. Google has done a lot of things right both in their products and also in how they run their company and build their culture, and this is a fairly detailed account of how they've built an impressive culture, and is written by someone who knows - their head of HR. I'm a little surprised he told as much as he did - but I suppose it will only help for recruiting. Goodreads is now a subsidiary of Amazon, and I have spent significant time learning to integrate the best of Amazons culture with ours. And I'm happy to say that many - perhaps most - of the best practices listed in the book are also used by Amazon. Things like hiring people smarter than you, hiring committees and having objective people on them, committees to approve promotions, focusing on the two tails, and more. These don't seem to be things all companies do yet - but should. So while much of the practices were things I'm already doing or aware of - there was a lot I learned from the book too. Here are some of the bigger takeaways I had. One of the more interesting ones was the notion to separate performance reviews from compensation discussions. This makes a lot of sense, is something we have already been making progress towards, and is something I'm going to think about more. “Traditional performance management systems make a big mistake. They combine two things that should be completely separate: performance evaluation and people development. Evaluation is necessary to distribute finite resources, like salary increases or bonus dollars. Development is just as necessary so people grow and improve." If you want people to grow, don’t have those two conversations at the same time. Make development a constant back-and-forth between you and your team members, rather than a year-end surprise." Another one was giving managers a bi-annual scorecards from their directs on how they did on ~10 dimensions that Google has determined are the determinants of a great manager. And no surprise (but very important to keep in mind), the book found that "manager quality was the single best predictor of whether employees would stay or leave, supporting the adage that people don’t quit companies, they quit bad managers." While we do a lot of surveys, we haven't packaged up the managers feedback into a report like this, and I think that would be powerful. Laszlo was impressive in citing lots of research to prove his points. It was one of my more favorite things about the book - he is clearly a student of human development. This led to lots of tidbits that apply pretty broadly, and which are great things to keep in mind when building a business. The chapter on nudges was I think my favorite in the book. Pretty cool the depth to which they have taken these - reminds me a lot of the onboarding funnel analysis I've done for Goodreads - paying attention to where you can message timely, relevant, easily actionable messages that will result in people taking desired actions, and a/b testing the results. Pretty impressive they a/b test that kind of stuff at Google! Examples given were around lists on how to onboard someone as a manager, how to be onboarded as a newbie, how to get more people to save money earlier in life and enroll in the 401K program (his data here was impressive - on how people of the same income bracket vary widely on wealth accumulated in their lives based purely on how much they save when they are young), and how to get people to eat healthier by putting the healthier foods in the kitchens more prominently. "Nudges are an incredibly powerful mechanism for improving teams and organizations. They are also ideally suited to experimentation, so can be tested on smaller populations to fine-tune their results." Laszlo did a great job of explaining a lot of the psychology behind nudges too. My favorite was the research about checklists, and story about how the Airforce found that even the smartest, best trained pilots can make mistakes, but having checklists reduces their error rates significantly. "I realized that management too is phenomenally complex. It’s a lot to ask of any leader to be a product visionary or a financial genius or a marketing wizard as well as an inspiring manager. But if we could reduce good management to a checklist, we wouldn’t need to invest millions of dollars in training, or try to convince people why one style of leadership is better than another. We wouldn’t have to change who they were. We could just change how they behave." "It turns out checklists really do work, even when the list is almost patronizingly simple. We’re human, and we sometimes forget the most basic things." Another thing I loved was the focus on identifying the people who are best at a specific skill, and designing a program for them to teach that skill to others. G2G (Googlers 2 Googlers). "Giving employees the opportunity to teach gives them purpose. Even if they don’t find meaning in their regular jobs, passing on knowledge is both inspiring and inspirational." I liked his descriptions of deliberate learning. He gave examples of asking after every meeting "what did we learn and how could we do better in the future". And the story about Tiger hitting golf balls at 4am in the rain was pretty sweet. "Ericsson refers to this as deliberate practice: intentional repetitions of similar, small tasks with immediate feedback, correction, and experimentation." My favorite tidbit - which I know to be true but is something great to keep in mind - is how to motivate people: let them connect to the people their work is helping. "even a small connection to the people who benefit from your work not only improves productivity, it also makes people happier. And everyone wants their work to have purpose. Bock, Laszlo (2015-04-07). Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead (pp. 340-341). Grand Central Publishing. Kindle Edition.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    Laszlo Bock's Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead Overall, I really liked this book. I learned much and discovered even more. Multumesc mult, Laszlo! Main positives: 1. In the end, and in bits throughout the book, the reader discovers that Google uses not so much a ground-breaking process, but rather a data-driven iteration of well-known HR (and to some extent also managerial) processes. 2. Very good analysis of many HR processes, including detailed an Laszlo Bock's Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead Overall, I really liked this book. I learned much and discovered even more. Multumesc mult, Laszlo! Main positives: 1. In the end, and in bits throughout the book, the reader discovers that Google uses not so much a ground-breaking process, but rather a data-driven iteration of well-known HR (and to some extent also managerial) processes. 2. Very good analysis of many HR processes, including detailed and important references. I particularly liked the identification of references from a few decades ago, such as Andrew S. Grove's High Output Management (Intel processes, mid-1990s). I enjoyed the summary dismissal of tradition: "Command-oriented, low-freedom management is common because it’s profitable, it requires less effort, and most managers are terrified of the alternative." Also, good reference to Dave Eggers' The Circle (2013), a dystopian novel that seems to describe Googlife. 3. The analysis of the "two tails", the best and the worst performers, is nicely done. In traditional management, with narrow remuneration bands, best-performers should always quit after a great delivery, to seek to maximize their value through competitive market forces. Good observation that "most talented people on the planet are increasingly physically mobile, increasingly connected through technology, and—importantly—increasingly discoverable by employers.". At Google, they are rewarded much closer to their contribution. In traditional management, worst-performers are fired, and failures are never acceptable. At Google, risk is encouraged and failure from which much is learned is rewarded. 4. The simple but powerful idea of using checklists, including the 10-point checklist that summarizes the book. 5. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) must be specific, measurable, verifiable (so, achievable, relevant, and timed). SMART criteria exist already for many decades (Laszlo cites I believe George Doran's 1980s paper on "the S.M.A.R.T. way"), but here OKRs are revised each quarter and employees are supposed to set goals that far exceed their performance (and results of "achieved 70%" are considered very good). Other positive aspects: 6. The inspiring text about "trusting first", which works in an environment of positive and ethical people. 7. The notion that "public recognition is one of the most effective and most underutilized management tools". Very good point, albeit gamification could have been mentioned more here. The cafeteria setup and the difference between a job, a career, and calling also points to gamification, with its many tracks of advancement and support for Achievers/Explorers/Socializers/Winners. 8. The simple but powerful idea that full transparency is necessary in modern institutions. (This goes in contrast to the politicking seen in so many traditional companies.) 9. The focus on 'spreading the wealth', here, to make the best share their knowledge to others, and to analyze the best vs the worst to identify true best-practices. 10. Description of new interview practices at Google. All more standardized, enabling cross-comparisons. Focus also on candidate experience with the process. Loved the data. 11. Success at job depends on personal 'scope, impact, and leadership'. Title follows leadership, and, even then, no more pompous titles. Also helps with retention: bad for people trying to move to another company, because it is more difficult to explain what your work was about. 12. Googlegeist as tool to collect feedback about each person, also from peers. 13. Performance assessment focusing on personal development, instead of ratings and rewards. At least the two processes should be separated. (This is an old HR approach, with obvious pros and cons.) 14. Lesson learned: "Expanding the proportion of people receiving the top rating better reflected their actual performance". 15. The calibration processes used at Google, especially the peer-review of decisions by collectives of managers, match those used in so many other companies... 16. The discussion about primary and secondary education vs training is very interesting. In short: annually, companies spend on training about a quarter of what is spent on primary and secondary education, but get less than a tenth of the results of education. In the US, $156 billions spent in 2011 for training that resulted in disappointingly little. 17. Discussion about training practices that work, mention to Ericsson's "deliberate practice: intentional repetitions of similar, small tasks with immediate feedback, correction, and experimentation. Simple practice, without feedback and experimentation, is insufficient." 18. Interesting observations about what many of us do. Among others: how we ascribe aesthetic and personal value based on how much we paid. 19. Excellent tips for onboarding starters. This follows up on the long-running thread on the importance of having high retention of employees (is it useful? or just a way to justify HR's practices? the author does not address these questions) 20. Laszlo's hierarchy of needs for HR departments. (Personally, I also liked that the author presents a chain of though that matches my own "Modern West vs Old Russian education system" analogy: "You either believe people are fundamentally good or you don’t. [...] If people are good, they should be free. [...vs...] Taylor, who told Congress in 1912 that management needs to tightly control workers, who were too feeble-minded to think for themselves". Very funny!) Main negatives: 1. Running against own claims (see main positive 1), the author tries occasionally to emphasize how new a part of the process is. (The title is an example in this sense.) We see claims of novelty regarding processes and mechanisms that have been identified and studied before, sometimes even decades before Google started using them. This claim for novelty could be correct, as much larger scale and a very different environment can change things, but not if the findings are the same and the process seems to have been trivially adapted. There is one more inconsistency here, in that for some of the processes (such as awards), even Google only has a few samples (real people put under the microscope) to base its decisions upon. 2. The defense of failed Google products. Wave, "an entirely new way of interacting online"?! Please, more geek speak and less corporate talk. 3. The defense of failed Google policies. For example, "Our efforts to draw more women into computer science started before we had thirty employees" is correct, but fails to even mention how this ended: in Jan 2015, only 17% of Google's tech employees were women (see Google's official statement and an analysis)). This is pretty much the status quo in the Sillicon Valley, and Google is here on par with the other top tech companies, such as Yahoo, Facebook, and Apple (Business Insider's analysis from Jan 2015, and the ratios discovered via volunteered information and crowdsourced). 3. The unnecessarily manipulative text. The ode to HR departments. The constant jibes at Yahoo and other competitors of Google; Marissa Meyer is in particular a target. The thinly veiled attempt to discredit competition. For example, near the end, the author identifies several major companies that now use People Operations instead of Human Resources; he immediately claims having spoken to one of the top people running this at a nong-Google organization, who purportedly claims that it's just a word trick, not the real thing ("it’s just regular HR. We just like calling it that [n.b.: People Operations]."). As another example, Bill Gates is quoted out of context with a complaint that his foundation's actions do not get the same recognition as Google's (smaller) deeds; this makes Bill Gates sound petty, whereas his claim is correct: eradicating malaria in Africa vs a mug-shot. 4. (a critique on Google, rather than this book:) Nudges. Nudges are ways to influence behavior, stopping only short of enforcing it; for example, building a corridor with only one exit would enforce using it, but building one with two doors, of which one is highlighted, would nudge people to use the highlighted door instead of forcing them to do so. The argument for using "nudges" at Google looks very similar to what Big Brother would argue in 1984 (all is fair for the greater good). The extent to which Google seems to already apply nudges is already scary (hint: everything is measured, many things are engineered to manipulate people). "Would the results hold for thousands of Googlers?" seems a question commonly asked; "Would it be ethical to try?" not so much. (Recently, Facebook has been involved in a scandal) As a consequence, I am reconsidering my career options. 5. Many of the stories are personal, often funny, but do not advance the cause of this book. They do match the author's useful story 'Frank Flynn, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, once told me the secret to high student evaluations: “Tell lots of jokes and lots of stories. Grad students love stories.” He went on to explain that it’s a constant trade-off between being engaging and imparting knowledge.'

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jurgen Appelo

    This should be the new gospel for HR.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Disclosure: I've worked at Google for 8 years, and have known Laszlo for much of that time. I'm a big fan of his, and have worked closely with several of his teams over the years. With that out of the way: This is a spectacular book, and would be well worth your time whether you're early in your career and trying to figure out what kind of company you want to work for, or you're later in your career and are responsible for the careers of those who work for you. Laszlo lays out much of what makes Disclosure: I've worked at Google for 8 years, and have known Laszlo for much of that time. I'm a big fan of his, and have worked closely with several of his teams over the years. With that out of the way: This is a spectacular book, and would be well worth your time whether you're early in your career and trying to figure out what kind of company you want to work for, or you're later in your career and are responsible for the careers of those who work for you. Laszlo lays out much of what makes Google tick - in far more detail than has ever been shared publicly before - and provides ample supporting data to make the case for what has worked, and dissuade you from repeating our mistakes. Regardless of industry, I think most readers will find many take-aways in the book: how to hire (and fire) well, how to grow your teams and improve their skills, how to cultivate a culture that attracts and retains the talent you want, and how to experiment to find the things that make the biggest difference in your workplace. Can't recommend this book highly enough. Even though much of this was already known to me, it was nevertheless a refreshing reminder of what makes Google a great place to work - and gives you plenty of ideas to apply to your own environment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Did this book transform how I live and lead? No. It's nowhere near as revolutionary or life changing as its subtitle would have you believe. It has a lot of interesting ideas, made even more interesting since they're from the context of Google. I'm sure most people have heard or seen glimpses of how Google supposedly works and treats their people, so having a book where those are explicitly divulged was nice. As with most business books, there were concepts I agreed with and a bunch I didn't see Did this book transform how I live and lead? No. It's nowhere near as revolutionary or life changing as its subtitle would have you believe. It has a lot of interesting ideas, made even more interesting since they're from the context of Google. I'm sure most people have heard or seen glimpses of how Google supposedly works and treats their people, so having a book where those are explicitly divulged was nice. As with most business books, there were concepts I agreed with and a bunch I didn't see eye-to-eye with the author with, but luckily there were more of the former. In terms of the writing, it wasn't the best. A few topics were very long-winded and unnecessarily repetitive. There also seemed to be a lot of statistics thrown around which I understand the desire for, especially coming from someone at Google, but they bogged the book down at times. On that note, I think it could have used a bit more editing. I'm sure they could have cut a third or more of the length easily without sacrificing on content. They could even have replaced that with more cases of failed initiatives and issues they've faced, which were some of the more interesting points in the book. There are too many topics to go through all of them in a review like this, but I'll highlight some of the ones I agreed with or liked. *Advocating for organisations to give their employees freedom and trusting them to use it wisely *Knowing that people are more important than the processes *Utilising the company's existing employees to teach others *Striving for transparency from not only higher management but from everyone *Embracing change in general, but making sure it's implemented with care and then tested and reviewed to make sure the changes are continuously working *Disconnecting performance evaluation from developmental feedback *Highlighting importance of intrinsic motivation and the counterintuitive benefits of monetary rewards *How they used 'nudges' in an effort to improve their employee's lives without needing to resort to explicit rules Here are some of the topics I didn't agree with or disliked. Most of these were because they were too specific to Google. *Resources and time apparently needed in the hiring process *Obsession with constant performance evaluation and the supposed 'need' people have for it *Oversimplifying how they handle poor performance *Not talking enough about how they handle entitlement issues amongst their workforce stemming from all the perks they offer *Lack of info on aftermath of cases where projects failed *Taking tracking and feedback practices too far. Seemed very 1984 at times. Sounded like a lot of time is spent on spying on people, making them fill out surveys or obsess about statistics in general *After reading some better-researched reviews, I see now that the book isn't as sincere as it claims with employee turnover rates and female employment rates being very much within the industry norms and not significantly better as the author implied This book made me think about a lot of aspects of how the company I work for does things. I thought starting the book emphasising how more employees should have a 'founder' mindset was quite clever since it makes the reader feel empowered to bring up possible changes within their own organisation. Despite the three stars, I'd definitely recommend this book to most people. There are a lot of good ideas here and it could be the nudge a lot of people and companies need to change and improve the way they work for the better.

  6. 4 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    This is a superb book about making work happier, better, and more productive that should be read by...well, everyone who works in an organization of any size. The author is the head of Google's People Operations. Page after page of Bock's book highlight the unconventional and successful approaches Google has taken to its employees: from the big upfront investment in hiring, to taking authority away from managers, to Googlegeist, to interest clubs. Moreover, Bock and his team make an extraordinary This is a superb book about making work happier, better, and more productive that should be read by...well, everyone who works in an organization of any size. The author is the head of Google's People Operations. Page after page of Bock's book highlight the unconventional and successful approaches Google has taken to its employees: from the big upfront investment in hiring, to taking authority away from managers, to Googlegeist, to interest clubs. Moreover, Bock and his team make an extraordinary effort to quantify current practices and test new ones. It is HR done the Google/big data way, something that has allowed this team of engineers to expand from two people in Silicon Valley to fifty thousand across the globe. I have a few negative points; however, they don't change my recommendation. 1) Readers should understand that in California, where Google is headquartered, a legal clause known as a non-compete cannot be enforced as it can elsewhere in the U.S. Bock never mentions this, but it is the reason and basis for the lavish, and thoughtful, benefits tech companies offer. They have to try harder to get employees to stay. 2) I was surprised to see very few mentions of child care and none of elder care. There are also no references in the index. For two parents who work full-time, child care is the third full-time job--on-site child care can become more significant a benefit than any other. Small start-up energy companies offer on-site child care. Google apparently does, too, but there is no mention of it in the book. 3) While there is ample mention of the discussions behind Google's decision to operate in and then pull back from China, I see no similar discussion or transparency about Googler head Eric Schmidt's decision to line up vast amounts of tech and human resources for Obama's 2012 campaign (that is for the Democratic presidential campaign, but not the Republican or even libertarian presidential campaigns) http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/... Thus, there's no transparency and no discussion for a company that wouldn't consider similar micro-targeting and big data usage to, for example, buy and sell stocks.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Meursault

    Probably would have made a better Powerpoint presentation than a book. Laszlo Bock starts Work Rules by telling the reader the names of all the important people Laszlo Bock has met and worked with, and it goes downhill from there. Did you know that Laszlo cold-called 8 HR executives at GE and Pepsi because he wanted to work there, but only Anne Abaya at GE (I've never heard of her either) returned his call? Six weeks later, he was hired as (please note the capital letters) Vice President of Compe Probably would have made a better Powerpoint presentation than a book. Laszlo Bock starts Work Rules by telling the reader the names of all the important people Laszlo Bock has met and worked with, and it goes downhill from there. Did you know that Laszlo cold-called 8 HR executives at GE and Pepsi because he wanted to work there, but only Anne Abaya at GE (I've never heard of her either) returned his call? Six weeks later, he was hired as (please note the capital letters) Vice President of Compensation and Benefits of the Commercial Equipment Financing Division of the GE Capital Division of the General Electric Company because Laszlo is the f**king sh*t. His first boss was Michael Evans. Haven't heard of Michael Evans? What about his CEO at the time Jack Welch? Or his chief HR officer Bill Conaty? Maybe you know Martha Josephson, the recruiter at Google who begged Laszlo to join them? No? Well, f*ck you. When he isn't reciting the phonebook, Laszlo likes to tell you about how hard were the early lives of all the rich people at Google. It's not enough just to say they started out as normal, moderately wealthy, middle-class people who had good education and opportunities offered to them at the right time. No. Every one of them came from a harrowing history. Laszlo's parents were persecuted in Communist Russia and didn't even see a banana till their thirties. Larry Page and Sergei Brin weren't just the founders of Google, Larry's grandpa suffered class warfare in his bluecollar job, and Sergei's family were nearly slaughtered in Soviet anti-Semitic progroms. Thank Jehova that they all ended up becoming very very very rich, because according to this book nobody deserves it more than them. It's like how every winner of a TV singing contest needs a tragic backstory before they can win the finale. And this is before you've even finished Chapter One. If you can keep your eyes open, the rest of this 406 page self-laudatory wankrag is a thick sticky wad of empty platitudes, virtue signaling and utter tosh. I was forced to read this book and honestly it was only because I was forced to read this book that I could finish it. Tears of boredom were rolling down my cheeks as I read through Laszlo's 112th back-slapping reach-around. Don't read this book. It has a high rating on Goodreads because idiotic middle managers who want to be seen to have the right thoughts and/or hope they can get noticed by Google one day will award this book five stars. They're idiots. Don't be one of them. If you really want to transform your life, learn plumbing or start doing weight lifting. You'll learn far more than this waste of paper thinks it can teach you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Izette

    It's a tough one to review as it's possibly quite personal for me being in HR. I can so relate to some of the issues experienced but also find it helpful to look at it from a more data driven perspective. I am always struck by how your frame of mind impacts your experience of a book. If you're ready to hear it, you want to hear more. When you're not ready, it's not so fun to read. I had a bit of both during this both. One thought I had was that this book will make more people want to apply at Goo It's a tough one to review as it's possibly quite personal for me being in HR. I can so relate to some of the issues experienced but also find it helpful to look at it from a more data driven perspective. I am always struck by how your frame of mind impacts your experience of a book. If you're ready to hear it, you want to hear more. When you're not ready, it's not so fun to read. I had a bit of both during this both. One thought I had was that this book will make more people want to apply at Google, it's a really great recruitment tool! The author had quite a job to bring all the information together in a sensible structure, where to start, what to focus on, what their lessons were and how they share that with the reader. It really fits for me that he would want to share this with any reader because that is part of their culture - to make information available as it can bring change and move you forward. If you want this book to have impact on your business, you'll need to go and start with the suggested Work Rules and apply them one by one. In our case, do some internal work and see where we need to improve, then see what suggestions there are and start making changes. In my mind this is a workbook now, something you can reference back to from time to time and evaluate progress. I really appreciated the last section on HR/People Operations. My experience with HR has never been great, so being just that now is quite a challenge because you want it to be relevant, to add real value and improve the lives of the staff within the business. I quite like the label: People Operations - it feels more appropriate. I gave it a good rating because I think it's packed with relevant tips for someone in my role. I don't think everyone would want to read this, but I think anyone in HR should read this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim Leandersson

    Actually one of the best books I've ever read in the area of people management and about HR organization. Of course the book is filled with google anecdotes but if you filter out the propaganda there is a deep and very interesting understanding about performance management, about what drives people and result, about that you need to be unfair instead of looking at bell curves, about constant feedback and most interesting of all, lots and lots of examples of how to be data driven in your HR work. Actually one of the best books I've ever read in the area of people management and about HR organization. Of course the book is filled with google anecdotes but if you filter out the propaganda there is a deep and very interesting understanding about performance management, about what drives people and result, about that you need to be unfair instead of looking at bell curves, about constant feedback and most interesting of all, lots and lots of examples of how to be data driven in your HR work. This is an absolute must read for anyone working with HR or people operations on a strategic level.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Omri Reis

    This book is extremely recommended to three types of readers: First, managers, who will find it useful for developing talent and getting more value and productivity from their existing teams. Second, any HR professional who will find great insights about hiring, interviewing and empowering people, and lastly, any employee who wants to grow, “be a founder” (as Bock puts it) and achieve meaningful impact with their work. Personally, I think the book can also serve as a great branding book for anyo This book is extremely recommended to three types of readers: First, managers, who will find it useful for developing talent and getting more value and productivity from their existing teams. Second, any HR professional who will find great insights about hiring, interviewing and empowering people, and lastly, any employee who wants to grow, “be a founder” (as Bock puts it) and achieve meaningful impact with their work. Personally, I think the book can also serve as a great branding book for anyone who wants to build a people-driven organization, that fosters a unique culture and community. Despite the title, and Laszlo Bock’s position, this book is not about Google but rather an inside look on Google’s experience of implementing insights drawn from academic research (including behavioral economics, organizational psychology and business management, among others) or other companies’ experience (like GM or McKinsey). While it is true that the writer, naturally, advocates Google’s culture products and services (this is part of his life’s work after all), he is also very honest and forthcoming about Google’s failures and the mistakes. More specifically, I found these ideas especially compelling: 1. The simple insight of always hiring people better than you. Companies believe that as they grow, they increasingly require more “labourers”, when in fact, the opposite is true - the more a company grows the more it requires talented people to maintain its success. This also connects with Bock’s idea of “becoming a founder” - meaning that not only at work (but also with family and friends) people want to leave their own, unique legacy and make a personal impact on a collective. Later, this also connects to academic research validating the importance of intrinsic motivations (like a belief in the company’s mission, values and people) over extrinsic motivations like pay or benefits. 2. The two tails chapter, in which Bock shows that people in organizations do not follow a normal distribution pattern but more of a power low distribution pattern. This happens since the hiring process is supposed to ensure that only the top people even enter the company. Therefore, the reality is that any company has a just a handful of superstars and a lot of more “average” or “weaker” employees. Bock’s solution for this is two-fold - first, he shows how paying unfairly to top talent is immensely important for retaining the best employees, and second he focuses on why it is paramount to focus on your weakest employees (which are not weak at all since they were hired in the first place) and help them find their place in the organization, grow and thrive. 3. The chapter on training is quite convincing in showing how companies actually save money by letting their employees teach and train one another. This follows the idea that the majority of a company’s budget should go to hiring, and not to training. The second part of this chapter follows a winning process for building a learning institution, which starts by practicing simple tasks, getting very detailed, timely and meaningful feedback, and eventually testing training results based on employees’ behavioral change instead of just testing knowledge. 4. The illuminating chapter on Google’s hiring process which attempts to avoid the inevitable interview bias and favoritism. Candidates evaluation comes from many sources, including third parties and people from unrelated fields and departments. 5. The separation of performance and development, followed by the separation of pay discussions and performance reviews. Bock shows the behavioral and psychological effects this standardized, formal procedures have on employees, and explains how to avoid them buy tweaking and playing with the timing and nature of feedback. For me, this managed to show the difference between “HR”, top-to-bottom corporate thinking and “People Operations” - which views these procedures from the employees standpoint. This whole process is sliced and deconstructed even further with a very useful “calibration” mechanism that essentially “filters” any feedback that is unjustified, counterproductive or just not constructive enough. The book is written in a very straight-forward style (it actually reads like a TED talk on occasion) and makes for a very smooth and easy read. I also found it useful that every chapter has a Google-style checklist that summarizes the main ideas. This style makes it read more like a guide-book sometimes, but you’ll soon find out it is a very convincing, data and research-driven guide book, with invaluable lessons for the way you think about work and life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori Tatar

    I received Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock from Goodreads and am so glad I did! This book will take what you "know" about leadership and employees and throw it out the window. Okay, sure, there are inevitably people who will need to be micro-managed...but you don't want them to be your employees. Learn to manage how you like to be managed. Learn to encourage productivity and remove obstacles instead of drilling down to the minutiae I received Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock from Goodreads and am so glad I did! This book will take what you "know" about leadership and employees and throw it out the window. Okay, sure, there are inevitably people who will need to be micro-managed...but you don't want them to be your employees. Learn to manage how you like to be managed. Learn to encourage productivity and remove obstacles instead of drilling down to the minutiae of every day. Lead instead of drive. The results are waiting to happen, and when your employees own them, the results are more savory than ever. You can rule like an overlord, or you can be a mentor and coach. You can trust your employees or you can permeate a culture of distrust and selfishness. In an open, honest environment, employees and leaders alike own the problems, the solutions and the results. It is easier to be a team when everyone is a member. Ideas will be shared more freely, results will be more immediate and creativity will abound. This is a must-read for anyone who is on the fast-track for 21st century innovation and solutions.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)

    While I haven't quite drank the kool-aid that Google is the bestest place ever to work and has HR all figured out, they certainly have studied it more than anyone else and this book is thought-provoking and definitely gets the juices flowing on better ways to do things! While I haven't quite drank the kool-aid that Google is the bestest place ever to work and has HR all figured out, they certainly have studied it more than anyone else and this book is thought-provoking and definitely gets the juices flowing on better ways to do things!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This book was given to me by my supervisor with the intent that I would find some takeaways that we could apply to our office. This was an interesting read, and the author provided many, many anecdotes supporting his main statements. It was well-written, and there are indeed several things that could be applied to an workplace, large or small. Google isn't a perfect company by any means, but they do good by their employees, that's for sure. This book was given to me by my supervisor with the intent that I would find some takeaways that we could apply to our office. This was an interesting read, and the author provided many, many anecdotes supporting his main statements. It was well-written, and there are indeed several things that could be applied to an workplace, large or small. Google isn't a perfect company by any means, but they do good by their employees, that's for sure.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Great read - lots of valuable information presented in an engaging way, with just the right amount of humor. Kudos to Laszlo Bock for being so willing to share what they've learned works at Google. One interesting sidenote: Google uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to set its business goals. John Doerr, from Kleiner Perkins, introduced this system to Google when the company was only a year old. He also introduced them to Amazon. Part of me is wondering just how many other companies have been Great read - lots of valuable information presented in an engaging way, with just the right amount of humor. Kudos to Laszlo Bock for being so willing to share what they've learned works at Google. One interesting sidenote: Google uses OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to set its business goals. John Doerr, from Kleiner Perkins, introduced this system to Google when the company was only a year old. He also introduced them to Amazon. Part of me is wondering just how many other companies have been influenced by Doerr in this way. You can learn more about OKRs here: https://www.gv.com/lib/how-google-set... I also have to share this: Google offers five months of maternity leave. New parents receive full salary, bonus and stock vesting for the entire time they are on leave. Plus $500 bonus to help make life a bit easier - eg. ordering home delivery of meals for the first few weeks. What data did they use to make the decision to offer this? When they looked at attrition for women after childbirth, it was twice their average attrition rate. They found that many moms coming back to work after 12 weeks felt "stressed, tired, and sometimes guilty." After Google introduced the new leave, the difference in attrition rates vanished. Interestingly, moms were often using the extra two months to transition slowly back to work, which helped make them more effective and happier when the leave ended. “When we eventually did the math, it turned out this program cost nothing. The cost of having a mom out of the office for an extra couple of months was more than offset by the value of retaining her expertise and avoiding the cost of finding and training a new hire." I also thought this was good perspective for thinking about culture in a company: "If you embark down this path [culture of transparency, etc], the road will be bumpy. Culture isn’t static. Googles, for example, have said: 'Google’s culture is changing and it’s not the company I joined anymore.' 'I remember when we had just a few hundred people - it was a totally different company. Now we feel like any other big company.' 'We’re just not a fun place anymore.' Each of these quotations is from someone bemoaning that Google has lost its way. The first quote is from the year 2000 (less than a few hundred employees), the second from 2006 (six thousand employees) and the last is from 2012 (fifty thousand employees - especially ironic because the word Googlers most used to describe Google’s culture in that year was “fun”!) In fact, at every point in Google’s history, there has been a sense that the culture was degrading. Almost every Googler longs for the halcyon days of Google’s youth … which they tend to define as what Google was like in their first few months. This is a reflection of both how wonderfully inspiring the first few months at Google can be and how quickly Google continues to evolve. We enjoy a constant paranoia about losing the culture, and a constant, creeping sign of dissatisfaction with the current culture. That is a good sign! This feeling of teetering on the brink of losing our culture causes us to be vigilant about threats to it. I’d be concerned if people stopped worrying. One way to address this worry is to be open to the discussion and to channel any frustration into efforts to bolster the culture." Highly recommended read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Gebski

    Damn you Googlers! It's the 3rd book "by-Googler-about-Google" I've read & it's at least as good as the prev ones ("How Google Tests Software" & "How Google Works") - and most likely even better. Quite surprisingly, because it's written by an HR guy & it presents his perspective (which is obviously insanely extensive & thorough, but it's not an engineering perspective - something that majority of readers expects). Anyway. Pros: * tons of RL examples & stories - not trivial ones that could & have ha Damn you Googlers! It's the 3rd book "by-Googler-about-Google" I've read & it's at least as good as the prev ones ("How Google Tests Software" & "How Google Works") - and most likely even better. Quite surprisingly, because it's written by an HR guy & it presents his perspective (which is obviously insanely extensive & thorough, but it's not an engineering perspective - something that majority of readers expects). Anyway. Pros: * tons of RL examples & stories - not trivial ones that could & have happened around you, but some that really nicely describe Google's values, culture & mindsets * very practical advices through whole book - it's a set praising mumble-memoires without rhyme or reason, but a well structured & thought synthesis of Google HR philosophy * it doesn't avoid most tricky (& quite internal) topics like compensation, evaluations & career development * chapter 13 rocks -> it's the one about things that didn't work, about the consequences of Google's courageous approach to give more freedom to people, etc. It seems very honest & it does a lot to make the book more credible Cons: * chapter 12 (Nudge) is the least clear one - there were moments when I had an impression that either author's idea was not 100% polished (maybe he wanted to express too much in this one topic) or maybe the concept was too vague & it needed a better intro No other cons detected. Seriously, get this book - it's ridiculously good. What DOESN'T mean you can read it & transform your company to next Google on the very next day, but it will sure make you thinking.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sajith

    This book ‘Work Rules’ by Laszlo Block is very nice book and its regarding the work culture, recruitment process and regarding the performance management in Google. Best part which i like was their recruitment process in google - they take lot of effort to take their googlers because they conceder their employees as a valuable resource. They all do lot of activities in google to develop go oglers skill by ask question from different department so the employees will start learning from something This book ‘Work Rules’ by Laszlo Block is very nice book and its regarding the work culture, recruitment process and regarding the performance management in Google. Best part which i like was their recruitment process in google - they take lot of effort to take their googlers because they conceder their employees as a valuable resource. They all do lot of activities in google to develop go oglers skill by ask question from different department so the employees will start learning from something which is no where related. Overall book was very nice and interesting. I recommend this book to everyone. Thanks.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lukasz Nalepa

    Without a doubt, this is THE most valuable book I have read this year. Goes directly to my "must read" shelf, that I'm constantly recommending to everone I know :) For me, this book is not necessarily about Google, or HR department. This book is about how to stay sane and humane on daily basis. Moreover, many ideas in this book just lay there and beg to be implemented! :) Without a doubt, this is THE most valuable book I have read this year. Goes directly to my "must read" shelf, that I'm constantly recommending to everone I know :) For me, this book is not necessarily about Google, or HR department. This book is about how to stay sane and humane on daily basis. Moreover, many ideas in this book just lay there and beg to be implemented! :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Piotr Uryga

    Very insightful and interesting on how one could build successful company. I'm not fan of heavyweight performance review process, but Google's data driven approach to run HR people operations is amazing. Focus on hiring great talent is also something that every executive should read about. Very insightful and interesting on how one could build successful company. I'm not fan of heavyweight performance review process, but Google's data driven approach to run HR people operations is amazing. Focus on hiring great talent is also something that every executive should read about.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eirika

    Read the two-three sentence summaries at the end of each chapter, skip the rest.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Azzaz

    For HR professionals and People who want to learn how to live and lead reading this book. ■●■Reread■●■

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rob Thompson

    About the book: Work Rules! takes us through the inner workings of Google, one of the most powerful and successful companies in the world. Bock tells us precisely how Google pulls off this feat while consistently being ranked as the best employer in the world. About the author: Laszlo Bock is the senior vice president of People Operations at Google. He is responsible for attracting, developing and retaining more than 50,000 “Googlers” based around the world. During his time there, Google has been About the book: Work Rules! takes us through the inner workings of Google, one of the most powerful and successful companies in the world. Bock tells us precisely how Google pulls off this feat while consistently being ranked as the best employer in the world. About the author: Laszlo Bock is the senior vice president of People Operations at Google. He is responsible for attracting, developing and retaining more than 50,000 “Googlers” based around the world. During his time there, Google has been recognized as an outstanding employer over 100 times, holding a number one spot in rankings in the United States and 16 other countries. My highlights: The secret to Google’s culture is its mission, transparency and voice. Google’s mission is simple and powerful: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”It’s a profound mission because firstly, it gives moral, rather than commercial meaning to employees’ work. Second, the mission has no ceiling. Another key tenet of Google’s successful culture is its transparency. Hire the best people by looking beyond their degrees and focusing on the right kind of training. There are two ways to have an exceptional employee: hire the best or train the average. As you may already have guessed, Google does the former. Let your people – with the help of data – run the show. If you really want employees to own their jobs, do as Google does, liquidate status symbols and reduce bureaucratic hierarchy.Google’s most senior executives receive the same support, like resources and funding, as new employees and there are only four levels in the hierarchy: individual contributor, manager, director and vice president. Both your best and worst employees represent opportunities for your company – seize them! If you’ve worked in an office before, you’re probably familiar with the classic pattern of employee performance: a small number of top performers are responsible for most of the successes, and everyone else trails behind them with gradually decreasing performance.The best and worst performers make up the two tails of the performance curve. Both are the minority, while most employees are average performers, sitting in the middle of the curve.Most companies fire poor performers, then hire new employees who require extra training and can’t guarantee excellent performance. Even worse, companies also tend not to utilize their top performers.So how does Google use these two tails to its advantage? They place outstanding performers under the microscope and help out those who need to make improvements.Most companies also don’t think to study their best performers. This a missed opportunity, as these are the people most familiar with best practices.How, then, do you study the best performers? Harvard professor Boris Groysberg’s research shows high performance is dependent on context. That means studying other companies’ best practices won’t help; you must study your own. Stop wasting resources on bad training, and use the best teachers within your own company. the best way to master a skill is to split the work into smaller tasks and aim for a specific improvement in one of these small tasks through repetition, feedback and correction. Training should deliver specific information that people will retain. First, the basic principles are taught, then consultants roleplay a scenario, and observe and discuss a video of their training. This process is repeated until the desired consultant behavior is achieved. When Google needs a trainer for sales representatives, it seeks out the best sales manager with the maximum amount of total sales and asks them to instruct lower performing sales representatives.When employees train other employees, not only does it save money, but it also creates a more close-knit community. Sometimes Google rewards failure and pays people unfairly. Why? Google also learned there are often more effective ways to retain employees: offer experience rather than money. Their mistake was rewarding with money instead of experiences, like a dinner for two or a team trip to Hawaii. It turned out these special occasions created more memories and brought teams together far better than cash could.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Some useful insights. Nothing earth-shattering, but there's some practical stuff that I think I can use as a manager. Even though there are some innovations coming from Google, I find their approach surprisingly traditional. For example, they haven't made any "out there" changes like making everyone's salary public, or similar fads. It's good to hear that they also try new things and bump their heads like any other company. I guess the luxury they have is that they can run small scale experiment Some useful insights. Nothing earth-shattering, but there's some practical stuff that I think I can use as a manager. Even though there are some innovations coming from Google, I find their approach surprisingly traditional. For example, they haven't made any "out there" changes like making everyone's salary public, or similar fads. It's good to hear that they also try new things and bump their heads like any other company. I guess the luxury they have is that they can run small scale experiments on groups of staff, where other companies cannot. The most value that I'll get out of this is in my approach to recruiting. Although I'm not in a position where I have to recruit new staff members often, I am currently going through this process, so it's at the forefront of my mind. I like the term "People Operations" over "Human Resources", but I think it's pretty a difficult sell to convince anyone that it's anything other than a semantic or psychological difference. Likewise, I can imagine it would be very difficult to practically change a "Human Resources" department to a "People Operations" department in a meaningful way. Ultimately if you have multi-skilled, empathetic people in this role, then I think you can have some success, regardless of names and titles. I does get a little repetitive from time to time ("and then back to step 1"), but that seems to be what the author is going for, to try ingrain the checklists in the mind of the reader.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matt McAlear

    A very thought provoking book! I don't agree with everything in the book, maybe 70% or so, but even the stuff I don't agree with is very interesting to think about. Here's a few takeaways I got from the book: - Everyone can look at themselves as a founder even if it's within their own department. Having this outlook instills ownership and responsibility that invokes positive action. - Typical management responsibilities don't always make sense at every level of the company and could be beneficial A very thought provoking book! I don't agree with everything in the book, maybe 70% or so, but even the stuff I don't agree with is very interesting to think about. Here's a few takeaways I got from the book: - Everyone can look at themselves as a founder even if it's within their own department. Having this outlook instills ownership and responsibility that invokes positive action. - Typical management responsibilities don't always make sense at every level of the company and could be beneficial to remove certain responsibilities from managers such as hiring / firing / performance reviews / compensation / etc... - Hire people in collaboration. Have the manager, the peer, and the subordinate all come in on the interview. Have a third party or two involved in the interview process as well. The goal should be to hire exceptional people only. - Google allows you to pick your own job title in an attempt to deemphasize its importance. As Google strives to be non-hierarchical this approach seems in line with what they stand for. I wonder how something like this would work in the army?? - People at Google make up their own work hours essentially. They work as needed and are driven by results not time. They are then assessed by their peers and others to determine whether or not they are cutting it. - Google institutes a concept called 20% time that they informally track to empower their employees to think outside the box and use their ideas for the company. -Laszlo argues that you should pay your top employees unfairly. That your best employees produce work 2, 3, or even 10 times what your average performer do. He argues that your work resembles more of a power law distribution than a normal distribution being that your top performers bring up the median significantly. Thus, you should pay your super stars 2, 3 or even 10 times what you pay your average person. This seems odd to me personally that someone on the team could be producing 10X the average performer on the team. Need to research this more. - Google Gyst is Google's annual survey of the company they do each year. 90% of the company participates. 100 questions are asked on a 5 point scale and 30 to 50% of the questions are changed each year to reflect the companies changes. To be fair on both sides of my thought process, I find it hard believe that Google is a company run by committee (or wisdom of the crowds). I believe that this is a good concept until things are completely run by the masses. Would a company loose it's identity? Can a company really stand for anything if it's ran by the masses? Does the company loose agility and speed to the market? All and all, I am very thankful Laszlo put together this book and have found it immensely helpful. Thanks!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    yes! a book with actionable steps - overviews and teeny details. will read again. I loved the surveys to see how people are collaborating in teams and which managers are doing well and what that means to their teams. double blind manager studies show 8 (admittedly bland) traits of good managers: 1) be a good coach - think about employee strengths and circumstances before 1:1s to partner with employees t make solutions 2) empower without micromanaging 3) express interest in team-member success and pe yes! a book with actionable steps - overviews and teeny details. will read again. I loved the surveys to see how people are collaborating in teams and which managers are doing well and what that means to their teams. double blind manager studies show 8 (admittedly bland) traits of good managers: 1) be a good coach - think about employee strengths and circumstances before 1:1s to partner with employees t make solutions 2) empower without micromanaging 3) express interest in team-member success and personal well-being 4) be productive and results oriented 5) listen and share information 6) help with career development - career conversations and problem solving 7) clear vision and strategy for the team 8) important technical skills believe people are good, let them be free and trusted - things to do: 1) give work meaning [people who touch the mission do better work] 2) trust your people [transparency, give voice, ask your employees what they would do if they owned it; changes are small steps and experiments] 3) hire only people who are better than you [don't compromise, hire by committee] 4) don't conflate managing performance with development [criticism with consequence makes people afraid to fail and cheat. separate these conversations, constant feedback for development] 5) focus on the two tails [id best people for each expertise to teach to others; help low performers find new roles or exit quickly] 6) be frugal and generous [some things cost nothing and make people so happy; save your generosity for big humans moments/ life/ death] 7) pay unfairly [performance is power law; best people are worth more by large factors - pay them that way] 8) nudge [make them save and do the right things for themselves; checklists for new hires] 9) manage rising expectations [make sure you explain perks and process changes are experiments so you have supporters not an critics] 10) enjoy, go back to 1 They've release a blog that I suspect has much of the book in it: https://rework.withgoogle.com/ Quotes and notes: "You must default to openness. Otherwise, you're lying to your people and to yourself. You're saying people matter and treating them like they don't." "What are the beliefs you have about people? and do you have the courage to treat people the way your beliefs suggest?" Work sample tests explain 29% of performance - best interview predictor. Behavioral ask tell me about a time when. Situational are what would you do if. "[data] transforms [managers] from being providers of intuition to facilitators in a search for truth." "Having goals improves performance. Spending hours cascading goals up and down the company, however, does not." >>marketplace. top are known. everybody's visible. weird would stand out. "The ratings really should have been, as Meagan put it, 'banded by error'....performing somewhere within level 3.3 to 3.5" otherwise small insignificant changes may look significant "Release products when they're close enough to be far more useful that what's already out there but before they're 100% polished and perfect." "Without calibration our rating system would be far less fair, trusted, and effective" manager does draft. groups of managers review all drafts together to make sure they all have the same expectations. "OKRs influence performance ratings but do not determine them." "Making sure our people are developing is not a luxury. It's essential for our survival." "Split reward conversations from development conversations. Combing the two kills learning." About upskilling management: 1) care about upgrading your org - consistent over time 2) "Gather the data. group your manager by performance in employee survey results and see if there are differences. Interview them and their teams to find out why." 3) "Survey managers twice a year and see how they are doing." 4) "have the people who are best at each attribute train everyone else. We ask our Great Manager Award recipients to train others as a condition of winning the award." "Addressing the two tails is where you'll see the biggest performance improvements." Deliberate practice: shard actions. observe. make minor changes and observe/ improve. "Demand for what you can do will always outstrip what you can deliver because you're doing something that helps people learn and makes them better....Our challenge is to teach our googlers how to teach themselves." "Giving employees the opportunity to teach gives them purpose." "Simple public recognition is one of the most effective and most underutilized management tools." "I defaulted to trusting first. Nine times out of ten it works out just fine." "Ease the pain of failure to leave room for learning. As Larry often says 'If your goals are ambitious and crazy enough even failure will be a pretty good achievement'." "It's very easy to find reasons to say no. But it's the wrong answer because it shuts down both employee voice and the chance to learn something new. Find ways to say yes. Employees will reward you by making your workplace more vibrant, fun, and productive." "One could argue that all management is an attempt to get people to be more productive. Though I'll grant you that increasing happiness is not a universal management goal. Although it should be - it works!" (nudges) "Nudges raise all kinds of questions about desire, ...choice, ...identity. If the choices I make are a product of my environment and history are any of my choices truly free?" "The five actions for nooglers were 1) ask questions, lots of questions 2) schedule regular 1:1s with your manager 3) get to know your team 4) actively solicit feedback - don't wait for it. 5) accept the challenge - ie take risks and don't be afraid to fail. other googlers will support you." "In an environment with such a focus on values even the slightest perceived compromises are felt disproportionately by people in the organization." "Entitlement, the creeping belief that just because you received something you deserved it." "Innovation thrives on creativity and experimentation, but it also requires thoughtful pruning." "Too many organizations and managers operate as if absent some enlightened diktat people are too benighted to make sound decisions."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pritesh

    Interesting insights on how Google works, Googlers make decisions and learn from their wins and losses. A couple things that stood out for me were 1) the willingness to experiment - there are always a number of small experiments running. Without the fear of, we may be stuck with this if it does not work. 2) Learning and systemizing from what makes the successful people successful in Google. Overall a good read. Can be a tad self congratulatory at times :) My notes. 1. Checklist for managers is ver Interesting insights on how Google works, Googlers make decisions and learn from their wins and losses. A couple things that stood out for me were 1) the willingness to experiment - there are always a number of small experiments running. Without the fear of, we may be stuck with this if it does not work. 2) Learning and systemizing from what makes the successful people successful in Google. Overall a good read. Can be a tad self congratulatory at times :) My notes. 1. Checklist for managers is very useful. 2. Checklist for new hires. Newglers 3. Crises is an opportunity to have an impact. Always spend time on crises 4. Don’t be shy about admitting a mistake. Teach the moral behind the mistake 5. Separate in space & time performance discussions from development discussions. 6. Focus on the 2 tails. What are your best people doing well? 7. A lot of things follow the power law distribution. There is a tendency to classify patterns as a bell curve 8. Figure out where we can save and save some more 9. Run a large number of small experiments. 10. People are happy when they receive what they asked for. They are delighted when we anticipate and provide what that they did not ask for. 11. Give people more trust & authority then what you are comfortable with. If you are comfortable then you are not giving enough

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacques Bezuidenhout

    This book shouldn't be taken as some sort of HR Bible. It is purely the perspective of how Google does things, and what works for them. A lot of the things they do, simply isn't practical or possible in small / non-billion dollar revenue companies. That being said, there are a tons of small things in the book that any company can do to: 1. Hire the right people 2. Keep your best people 3. Build a strong culture 4. Be transparent 5. Show compassion 6. Trust people I fully agree with a bunch of ideas: 1. Fl This book shouldn't be taken as some sort of HR Bible. It is purely the perspective of how Google does things, and what works for them. A lot of the things they do, simply isn't practical or possible in small / non-billion dollar revenue companies. That being said, there are a tons of small things in the book that any company can do to: 1. Hire the right people 2. Keep your best people 3. Build a strong culture 4. Be transparent 5. Show compassion 6. Trust people I fully agree with a bunch of ideas: 1. Flat structures where titles doesn't matter 2. Managers should have the technical know how of their department 3. Managers should serve as mentors / counsellors / trainers 4. Pay unfairly 5. Separate performance management with people development 6. Cash vs non-cash bonuses/incentives Then certain things simply doesn't make sense if you don't have a 1000 employees and and endless supply of money. 1. Managers not being involved in the hiring process for themselves, seems like it simply wont work in small companies, since you might be one of a few with the skill to identify what you need. 2. Spending so many involved employees time on recruitment It is quite awesome that Google has all the data around everything to measure change in any process. But I somehow don't see how all the employees constantly fill in questionnaires / polls. From personal experience, it seems to be a select few people that ever use these channels to state happiness/problems. I love the fact that they are willing to try things out, and simply adjust or abandon things that don't work, and keep doing the things that does work. Lots of discussion points in here for any company. And forms part of the transparency / openness if people are actually willing to talk about these items. Worth the read for any manager or employee. Since it is not just about employee entitlement, but also what everyone can do from their own side to contribute towards the culture.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    Very insightful. I enjoyed this book a lot, though I did find it a bit lengthy and repetitive at times. Overall, I got a lot of valuable information. I can't currently apply most of the principles to my own work, but I think it's still good to be aware of them. Very insightful. I enjoyed this book a lot, though I did find it a bit lengthy and repetitive at times. Overall, I got a lot of valuable information. I can't currently apply most of the principles to my own work, but I think it's still good to be aware of them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    RC1140

    Reasonably ok and interesting book regarding some of the directions that google have taken , as usual dont cargo cult what is presented. There are some interesting concepts and information presented, but they would be best applied by someone in HR.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Askorbinka

    I am sure, somewhat idealistically, that work shouldn’t be miserable, it can be energizing and exciting. This book is about how to make a work such a place from the Google HR’s perspective. A lot of cases, examples, even cases of failures. Very clear structure, tons of references I’d like to read someday, too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Justina Viržikauskaitė

    I learned much and discovered even more by reading this book. Transparency is necessary in modern companies and Google share guidelines how to do it. As HR specialist, I really enjoyed reading about good analysis of many HR processes (data -drivin). Strongly recommend. 🙏

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