Make Work More Fun: Ditch The Crap

Pim
Written by in Practices
- 2 min read

Recently I came across a very simple but powerful post on LinkedIn. It reminded me of pioneering organizations we've visited. Unfortunately, it's an approach that's often-overlooked.

adapted from Niels Willems
adapted from Niels Willems

Whatever management book you read, or TED Talk you watch, or (virtual) conference you attend, you will be bombarded with tips on improving your business, career or life. Do this, do that, start this, start that.

If you followed all this well-intentioned advice, you'd be kicking off initiatives every hour of the day. Not a good idea.

Ditch the crap

Instead, try stopping things—to progress. It's true in many aspects of life, but especially when making work more fun.

The most successful workplace experiments often focus on not doing something. For example, we've visited organizations that ditched 95% of their rules and policies—and flourished as a result. There's even a company which based it's entire way of working on the concept of 'less is more'.

Here's a starter list of inspirations to liberate yourself at work:

What's not to like here?

The to-don't list

What would you advise others to stop  doing? Do you have tips on what to ditch in order to make work more fun?

Drop your suggestions in the comments below.

PS: Follow Corporate Rebels on LinkedIn for more practical inspiration. And connect with me personally here.

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Replies (13)

Adrian

Adrian

Love this and encourage people to do this in my brain dump exercise. The amount of energy, thinking time you can waste on adopted ‘good ideas’ is huge. If you choose consciously to either do or not do something the world changes

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Patrick

Patrick

Lisa Bodell wrote a book (a while ago) called "Kill the Company". In it she describes a simple exercise called 'Kill a stupid rule'. Less unnecessary rules free up time for value added activities.

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Keely Maitland

Keely Maitland

I agree that our organisations would be more effective and efficient if we stopped doing these types of things. Unfortunately, they are woven into the fabric of traditional organisations. They make the organisation work (or should I say limp along). We won't stop doing them until we've designed our organisations so that it makes sense to everyone not to do them. This is how we "pull" the changes that we want to make. Until then we'll keep on doing them.

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Pim

Pim

How about just killing one stupid rule at a time and therefore incrementally redesigning a new type of organization? Instead of waiting for a redesign of the entire system?

I agree that our organisations would be more effective and efficient if we stopped doing these types of things. Unfortunately, they are woven into the fabric of traditional organisations. They make the organisation work (or should I say limp along). We won't stop doing them until we've designed our organisations so that it makes sense to everyone not to do them. This is how we "pull" the changes that we want to make. Until then we'll keep on doing them.

Keely Maitland

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Pim

Pim

Cool, never heard of it before. Will check it out, thanks!

Lisa Bodell wrote a book (a while ago) called "Kill the Company". In it she describes a simple exercise called 'Kill a stupid rule'. Less unnecessary rules free up time for value added activities.

Patrick

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Anita

Anita

Such a simple, yet important message. Thanks for being bold about it! I couldn't agree more.

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Albert Phelps

Albert Phelps

Great concept. The time spent on 'busy work' I've had to pick up over the years as a result of too many rules- and a lack of clarity on how to apply them - probably outweighs the actual productive work I've managed to do. Ever hopeful this will change- love the concept of killing one stupid rule at a time.

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Rob Baines

Rob Baines

There’s a lot to be said for this , I guess it’s embodied in lean waste methodology, if it’s nit something a customer would pay you for, it should/could be eliminated. One thing I’ve found over the years is that most people work to their own individual standards of quality, not what’s needed to solve the problem , the term minimum viable product goes a long way here , especially when it comes to the production of governance paperwork and PowerPoint presentations!

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Stefano Bruni

Stefano Bruni

STOP to draft pre-determined job descrpition for your staff using HR departmemt resources and time (never corresponding to real content and skill of the job)

STOP helding daily reports and meetings to make people feel the pressure and focus on immediate execution

STOP using Finance and HR and/or management time to review the travel expenses and check if somebody spent 3€ more than the policy

STOP creating new management position to make sure that somebody "keep everything under control"

STOP keeping the info on the company performances and projects as a "confidential" and not to be disclosed to employees

| | 4 | Flag
Pim

Pim

Cheers to this list!!

STOP to draft pre-determined job descrpition for your staff using HR departmemt resources and time (never corresponding to real content and skill of the job)

STOP helding daily reports and meetings to make people feel the pressure and focus on immediate execution

STOP using Finance and HR and/or management time to review the travel expenses and check if somebody spent 3€ more than the policy

STOP creating new management position to make sure that somebody "keep everything under control"

STOP keeping the info on the company performances and projects as a "confidential" and not to be disclosed to employees

Stefano Bruni

| | 0 | Flag
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