Like their previous effort, Rework, Remote is short, sharp and eschews lengthy management book pontification in favor of to-the-point ideas and exampl...moreLike their previous effort, Rework, Remote is short, sharp and eschews lengthy management book pontification in favor of to-the-point ideas and examples. As a book, it's very much an illustration of how Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have built their company, 37signals into the success it demonstrably is; absent of anything not necessary.
Reading Remote, I was reminded often of the kind of culture espoused in Rework, and felt Remote makes a fine companion to it. While both are eminently readable on their own, they make a fine pair together, espousing a view on 21st Century business and how things should be done (I should say ought, but that would be a cop out, as I believe the authors are absolutely right in their views).
If you want to explore remote working for yourself or your staff, you're well advised to read Remote to avoid the pitfalls common in doing it badly, and for some sage advice on how to get it right and the necessary corporate culture shift that comes along with it.(less)
For such a short read, Umair Haque's second book offers up more of this profound thinker's forward-looking ideas on reimagining the way we do business...moreFor such a short read, Umair Haque's second book offers up more of this profound thinker's forward-looking ideas on reimagining the way we do business. Not an anti-business screed, Haque is perfectly happy for us all t make money. But what else is there? Where is the real, tangible, actual good for humanity in the way we do things.
Haque's vision of changed business will make me sit down and articulate how my business behaves in a world where we conduct "betterness" instead. So too, to evaluate who I do business with.
I've never been one to conform, and Havas Media Lab Director and HBR blogger, Umair Haque isn't either. The radical re-imagining of economics and capitalism he proposes in The New Capitalist Manifesto is an idea for the 21st Century, rising out of the ashes of a still-burning post-Industrial economy. Illustrating his new economics through comparisons between old economics (and the companies living off it) and the new "betterness"-based economics, Haque argues extensively and convincingly that what organisations need to do in the 21st Century to continue to survive is focus on an operational model:
The twenty-first century capitalist’s agenda, in a nutshell, is to rethink the “capital”—to build organizations that are less machines, and more living networks of the many different kinds of capital, whether natural, human, social, or creative. And, second, to rethink the “ism”: how, when, and where the many different kinds of capital can be most productively seeded, nurtured, allocated, utilized—and renewed. What we need, then, is a new generation of renegades, laying deeper, stronger institutional cornerstones.
Haque's argument resonates super-powerfully with me. While I certainly don't have the chops to have written The New Capitalist Manifesto, it articulates many of the arguments I've put to people in the past 10 years; business today is no longer sustainable in the way it was before. It can't go on cannibalising profits and circulating the same money (and making more and more "pretend" money that only exists in a computer somewhere. Business needs to act to add real social value and not only make money but make social goods as well, as Haque suggests, the paradigm needs a shift thus:
- Loss advantage: From value chains to value cycles -�Responsiveness: From value propositions to value conversations -�Resilience: From strategy to philosophy - �Creativity: From protecting a marketplace to completing a marketplace - �Difference: From goods to betters
I can't recommend The New Capitalist Manifesto strongly enough, and also highly recommend Umair Haque's new, short ebook, Betterness, which extends his articulation of some of the themes in this book. If it was mathematically possible to give a book 6/5, I would give it here.