Book Report: The Dilbert Principle
The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions
While The Dilbert Principle does rely heavily on previously published comics material, Adams seamlessly weaves his prior work into longer examinations on office phenomena such as Great Lies of Management, Pretending to Work, and How to Get Your Way. Most of these topics are very tongue-in-cheek and you might get fired for taking some of his suggestions. Still, all of them ring true for the various jobs I've had over the years and reader emails he integrates into the text suggests that I'm not alone.
Most of this book is about stress relief, really. It depicts ridiculous office situations we've all had to sit through while justifiably pointing a mocking finger. This is why I've read it 3 times. When I get frustrated at some new policy or irritated at somebody to the point where my head feels like it will explode, I pick a random chapter and find myself laughing at the absurdity of it all.
The last section, though, surprisingly offers very useful productivity suggestions for how Adams would run a company were he the CEO. Some things, like letting employees dress any way they want and keeping managers out of peoples way you can't implement on your own. Others, you can, including (from page 332-3 of the first edition):
- Do creative work in the morning and do routine, brainless work in the afternoon.
- Keep meetings short. Get the the point and get on.
- Blow off low-priority activities and make it clear why.
- Respectfully interrupt people who talk too long without getting to the point.
- Be efficient in the little things.
Labels: Book Reports