Rework – Great Read on Work, Operating Models, and Organizational Design

REWORKRework Book Cover by Jason Fried & David Heinemeir Hansson (founders of Basecamp) offers a fresh look at work, Operating Models, and Organizational Design. If you are a manager, leader, organizational designer, or someone who wants to positively influence organizational design and culture you’ll find that this book is just packed with interesting observations, insights and inspiring ideas.

“You don’t create culture. It happens. This is why new companies don’t have culture. Culture is the byproduct of consistent behavior…. Culture isn’t a foosball table or trust falls. It isn’t policy. It isn’t the Christmas party or the company picnic. Those are objects and events, not culture. Culture is action, not words…You can’t install a culture. Like a fine scotch, you’ve got to give it time to develop”. –  From the chapter “Culture”.

“Welcome to Flatland” – Valve Software Employee Handbook


Want to read about an interesting management model? Check out the Valve Software Employee Handbook which they kindly published on their web site. If you are not familiar with Valve Software, they are the makers of the  STEAM digital distribution and gaming platform.

By 2011, over half of digital PC game sales were through Steam, and Valve was the most profitable company per employee in the United States *

Some interesting concepts revealed in this handbook are 1) A flat management model 2) Stacked Ranking for compensation rewarding combinations of depth and breadth 3) Cabal multidisciplinary teams 4) Employees choose the projects they work on and more.

“Why does your desk have wheels? Think of those wheels as a symbolic reminder that you should always be considering where you could move yourself to be more valuable. But also think of those wheels as literal wheels, because that’s what they are, and you’ll be able to actually move your desk with them.”

The Pirate Compensation Model Mindmap

Click here to view the full and interactive mindmap I made on this exhibit.

On April 26, 1717, the Whydah was caught in a violent storm and wrecked. Whydah and her treasure eluded discovery for over 260 years until 1984… Whydah is the only fully authenticated Golden Age pirate shipwreck ever discovered.

In 2011 I went to the “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah” Traveling Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. I fenced competitively for 20 years, so this sort of exhibit was right up my alley.

The exhibit had more than just artifacts and also introduced me to the intriguing culture and operational practices of pirates –  which were quite evolved in regards to logistics and management.

Oh, and if you are ever on Cape Cod you can see this exhibit at the Whydah Pirate Museum.