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Publisher's Summary

From the visionary head of Google's innovative People Operations - a groundbreaking inquiry into the philosophy of work and a blueprint for attracting the most spectacular talent to your business and ensuring the best and brightest succeed.

"We spend more time working than doing anything else in life. It's not right that the experience of work should be so demotivating and dehumanizing." So says Laszlo Bock, head of People Operations at the company that transformed how the world interacts with knowledge. This insight is the heart of Work Rules!, a compelling and surprisingly playful manifesto with the potential to change how we work and live.

Drawing on the latest research in behavioral economics and with a profound grasp of human psychology, Bock also provides teaching examples from a range of industries - including companies that are household names but hideous places to work and little-known companies that achieve spectacular results by valuing and listening to their employees. Bock takes us inside one of history's most explosively successful businesses to reveal why Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work in the world, distilling 15 years of intensive worker R&D into delightfully counterintuitive principles that are easy to put into action whether you're a team of one or a team of thousands.

Cleaving the knot of conventional management, some lessons from Work Rules! include:

  • Take away managers' power over employees
  • Learn from your best employees - and your worst
  • Hire only people who are smarter than you are, no matter how long it takes to find them
  • Pay unfairly (it's more fair!)
  • Don't trust your gut: use data to predict and shape the future
  • Default to open: be transparent, and welcome feedback
  • If you're comfortable with the amount of freedom you've given your employees, you haven't gone far enough

Work Rules! shows how to strike a balance between creativity and structure, leading to success you can measure in quality of life as well as market share. Read it to build a better company from within rather than from above; read it to reawaken your joy in what you do.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2015 Laszlo Bock (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A human resource professional and natural-sounding speaker, [Bock] delivers his book with a combination of boyish wonder and a matter-of-fact conviction." (AudioFile)

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Review from a former Google Software Engineer

Pretty accurate depiction of how work culture was at Google, both the good and the bad.

I've experienced both the failures and successes of the People Operations team, and witnessed the data/experimentation driven approach to continually improving the workplace to be an interesting and meaningful place. A good listen for anyone interested in the answer to "Why is Google seen as a great place to work?"

My eventual departure was unrelated to culture (I'll be back in a heartbeat if I need stable work).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Multifaceted

Overall Works Rules! offers insights into why Google is exceptionally difficult to enter as an employee and some reasons why being a Google employee is desirable.

Work Rules! is a multifaceted work and could have easily been several thousand pages or spanned a full college course.

One topic discussed: Laszlo disclosed that Google created a sophisticated screening and recruiting system which requires vast amounts of resources and and executives for every new hire.
Google doesn't let functional managers make decisions on who to hire, fire or promote but has adopted a panelling system with the understanding that each panel member provides a unique frame of reference. Laszlo also added reasons as to why hiring only the best people is worth the extra burden.

Without boring you further: Read/Listen to Work Rules!
Help shatter outdated paradigms, Recognize People as People, that unfair is fair and that "Culture eats strategy for lunch"

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Solid Advice

Great examples paired with sound advice about some out of the box ideas. From paying unfairly when its unfair to do otherwise to gathering as much data to support decisions and reducing the amount of times you go on gut feel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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After the memo published today on 8/7/2017 you have to take a second look into this

After the memo published today on 8/7/2017 you have to take a second look into this. People's Operations seems overrated even by the internal googlers perception.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent HR philosophy and practice

Those in HR and especially recruiting will enjoy learning and reflecting on what made Google unique under Bock. Entrepreneurs can utilize this work as they plan and build their company structure during its infancy. Listened through several times already and highly respect how Google and Bock relied so heavily on data not intuition, perception, or normality to guide their HR pursuit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ahhhmaayyyyzing!!!

As someone who has entered the People operations field just a few years ago after another career, I found this book to be refreshing and full of great information. this book inspired me and let me know that the things I want from my second career are within reach!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable but one sided

I enjoyed this book. There were numerous key insights in business and people leadership practices that were helpful. Overall though this book didn't quite reach the heights of classics like Good to Great or 7 Habbits, mainly due to the sometimes scattered narrative. Also, this book only follows the story of Google and sometimes feels one sided. A good read though, especially if you work in HR.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing to hear from inside Google

Any additional comments?

This was a good book. I do not work in HR, but was interested in hearing about the inner workings of Google from a people perspective. At times, I felt I was forcing myself to keep listening, but I busted through and finished the book. If you work in HR this is a GREAT book for you. Otherwise, it's ok. The best books I listen to will make me want to listen to them again in the future. However, I think once was enough for me on this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow. Insightful. Simple. Powerful.

Transformational insight that is embarrassingly simple and really powerful. Every employee should read this, not just leaders.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sop
  • Johannesburg, GP, South Africa
  • 07-17-15

A must-read for HR everywhere

Brilliant insights to make your workplace better, attract the right people and create an environment where people can do their best work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful