Thursday, March 5, 2009

Great book about the jerks at work...

Robert Sutton, author of Work Matters blog, has written a great book about broken organizational cultures and how we might begin to fix them or at least survive them. The book has a provocative title, "The No Asshole Rule", which has garnered as much attention as the content. Mind you, I am the mother of two small boys who enjoy endless giggles and find much amusement in the words "poo" and "fart", so I can understand how some types might pay more attention when a "body opening" word is used in the title of a book.

However, if you can get beyond the title, or if the title is the ONLY reason you picked up the book, the purpose and message of the book is great. "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't" is well worth a read because Bob Sutton offers some strategies and solutions for building a culture of civility within an organization. One rule is, No Assholes Allowed - Be careful who you hire.

Those who know me are aware that I am a champion of free speech, so one part of the story of this book that I find REALLY interesting is the attempt to censor or silence people who use the word "asshole". You can read about this uproar on Sutton's Work Matters blog: Weird Censorship Part 1 and Part 2.


Anonymous said...

Hey girlprof, sounds like you are busy but "not complaining" -- I believe you should complain. Are you in control of your schedule?

GirlProf said...

Interesting question - am I in control of my schedule? As a professor, I have the option to schedule certain meetings and tasks; I am also subject to the schedules and availability of others. University and Faculty level committees are usually scheduled far in advance and without consulting every member affected -- so, no control. If a PhD committee needs to meet, the chair needs to coordinate three professor's and the student's schedules - therefore, I have some control, but not unlimited control. My classes are scheduled by others, as are division meetings. So, when I look over my daytimer, I have some discretion over the times not affected by University, Faculty and Division level committees and meetings, centrally scheduled courses, and "found" times for group meetings. In reality, that doesn't leave too many discretionary time slots.