Make Work More Fun: Ditch The Crap

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)



For many established organisations this can be a powerful approach.

Stop or significantly cut back on one activity at a time and see what happens.

If nothing bad happens (and hopefully there may be some positives) then you can target the next area.

If there was an adverse reaction it is still likely there will be opportunities to prune or reduce parts of the activity.

But an iterative and focussed approach can feel comfortable for those involved and reduce the corporate risk.

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These “stop the crap” or “no bosses” etc. rules work only when you have the right team. That’s not a small achievement. But this is where every business, and startups and SMBs in particular should start: align the team on values, get rid of the people whose values do not align with the target culture.
Values drive behavior, not the other way round, so all smart advice from “top-100 thinkers” – or whatever they call themselves – is useless until the team is well aligned.
And then(!) everything starts working magically well: flat structures, Lean, Agile, etc., etc., – all methodologies appear to be working great. Except that those advanced teams rarely care about mainstream terminology.

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The mantra of "actively reflecting on what not to do" reminds me of the main message in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (by Greg Mckeown). Reduction is another form of growth.

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