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Paperback The Seven-Day Weekend : A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century Book

ISBN: 0099425238

ISBN13: 9780099425236

The Seven-Day Weekend : A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century

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Book Overview

Ricardo Semler thinks that companies ought to put employee freedom and satisfaction ahead of corporate goals. ? Imagine a company where employees set their own hours; where there are no offices, no... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The business of Cultural dissidence and freedom in the work place, and how it can sustain and make p

The seven day weekend was such a great read. Ricardo Semler set something in motion with the company Semco, that has worked. A multi facaded, and diverse, slightly chaotic management system. The word democracy is thrown about these days, usually by governments trying to gain some justification in their mismanagement of the masses. But as the masses become more and more autonomous, and self reliant - democracy takes on new paradigms. Democracy in the work place has rarely been touched upon. As western society boosted it's economic wealth, and power, this was inevitably done by conformity, uniformity and general slave mentality working in the job. Almost a masochistic expectation, that you hate your job, but you still go, work pay your bills - but suffer stress, palpated heart rhythms, and high blood pressure. This isn't normal. The seven day weekend, is more on an insight into Semco, a once Brazilian ship building supply company started by Ricardo Semler's father, Antonio Semler; but as the first chapter of the book explains, once Ricardo was ready to inherit the company; he immediately rearranged the rigid middle upper management (in other words sacked them) and commenced on democratizing, or allowing freedom in the work place, which allowed Semco to grow. Which it did. Semco now expands it's business infrastructure to IT management, corporate real estate management through partnership with Cushman and Wakefield SEMCO, and human resource management. Semco seems almost organic in it's approach in creating start up companies, all done with staff participation input and critique. But it doesn't end there, all staff are allowed to check audit reports, look at internal accounts, and adjust their pay accordingly within their work input. Hierarchy and secrecy in the work place have been removed, rather an open source management line - where staff hold as much power in decision making as management. Great concept. As Semler points out, it creates just enough chaos, a little unsettledness to push a new idea out. And this can be only done, with all participants, not the management 'rulers'. I love the idea of chopping up hierarchy, moving ideas, and decisions around - and in some cases looking at errors as possible achievements. Why didn't they teach us that at school? Ideas, imagination and the trial and error that occurs is the initial background mechanics to business, management and social economics in the workplace. As (imposed externally) new work place rules are put in place and unions become less and less visible in the modern workplace. Businesses now offer 'incentives' and 'rewards' to it's workers. Semco and Semler would rather not treat workers as children. Issuing punishment and rewards. It creates morale problems, and staff end up behaving like spoiled or agitated children; useless in a growing, profitable company. The mixing of cultural integration is crucial, and such a good anthropological experiment in the work

A brilliant story well told

It's almost unbelievable - an experiment in culture change that worked wonders. This is an inspiring tale of Ricardo Semler's successful 'quest' to run his company in the interest of all it's stakeholders. It may well be easier to influence the direction of a business when you're the owner but this book will help you look at and adapt your own management style. I guarantee that you will only put it down when you have finished or are too dog tired to continue.

Radicalism that is fun - and works

Written with engaging enthusiasm and frankness, the 14 essays in this book have titles like 'Let the Followers Lead', 'Do it your Way - See if I Care', 'Too Much Talent is as Bad as Too Little'. Collectively they demonstrate the enormous business success - over 20 years - of a philosophy, culture and practices that are totally radical in comparison with 'conventional' business. Yet they are based on the commonsense principles of democracy, trust, transparency, a shared search for new opportunities and better ways of doing things, and guardianship by the community of a shared set of values, beliefs and principles. In the process of explaining how these principles work in practice, Semler blows apart just about every piece of conventional wisdom underpinning the behaviour of large public companies - Semler's Semco remains privately owned. It is reasonable to question to what extent it could operate as it does if it were a public company - and whether it could be as successful as it is. Is the classic joint stock form becoming a 'dead hand', rather than a driver of progress?

Eye-opening and thought provoking

This book made me question how I run my business and what its future will be. Semler's writing style was very enjoyable and easy to read. (I finished the entire book in about 24 hours, a testament to both the content and the pace of the writing.) Even if one chose to not implement a single suggestion that Semler offers, I think that the book would still be worthwhile, if for nothing else to see how dramatically different a business can be run.

work and life balance

Semler has downloaded from the brains of so many successful entrepeneurs the key to balancing life and work. People live and people work. People do not need to loathe work or be treated like idiots to operate in the work place. Treat people like adults and afford them adult decision oportunities and they will shine and make you money.Corporate America has alot to learn and Semler is ready and eager to teach. Start down the road to learning who you are as a successful business person and person by reading "The Seven -Day Weekend." People in control of their lives will self-create, self-improve and self-manage.
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