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Hacking Work cover art

Hacking Work

Written by: Bill Jensen,Josh Klein
Narrated by: Walter Dixon
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Publisher's Summary

Why work harder than you have to? One manager kept his senior execs happy by secretly hacking into the company’s database, providing them the reports they needed in one-third the time. Hacking is a powerful solution to every stupid procedure, tool, rule, and process we are forced to endure. Benevolent hackers are saving business from itself.

It would be so much easier to do great work if not for lingering bureaucracies, outdated technologies, and deeply irrational rules and procedures. These things are killing us. Frustrating? Hell, yes. But take heart - there’s an army of heroes coming to the rescue. Today’s top performers are taking matters into their own hands: bypassing sacred structures, using forbidden tools, and ignoring silly corporate edicts. In other words, they are hacking work to increase their efficiency and job satisfaction.

Consultant Bill Jensen teamed up with hacker Josh Klein to expose the cheat codes that enable people to work smarter instead of harder. Once employees learn how to hack their work, they accomplish more in less time. They cut through red tape and circumvent stupid rules. It’s about making the system work for you, so you can take control of your workload, increase your productivity, and help your company succeed - in spite of itself.

©2010 Bill Jensen, Josh Klein (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

“Anyone frustrated by burdensome rituals and processes can now take responsibility for their own success. Jensen and Klein irreverently and cleverly show us the power of hacking work and taking responsibility for one’s own success. The ideas within Hacking Work will foster the innovation and creativity so badly needed in these times.” (Dave Ulrich, professor, Ross School of Business, and coauthor of The Why of Work)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-10


Far too much time, over half the book, is spent explaining why one needs to hack work and giving a pep talk to encourage the reader to be OK with the concept of "it's easier to ask forgiveness, not permission" instead of actually giving ideas for and examples of hacks. The hacks themselves are quite banal and generic, geared more towards non-technical manager types, such as "use Google Docs instead of the company document management system". From the title, I was expecting more of a book-length version of the Lifehacker blog - and I think the book would have benefitted more from the Lifehacker-style technical depth. Instead the book is geared more towards folks who find the Lifehacker style daunting.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Shawn
  • 25-10-10

Summarized in one sentence

Break the "rules" to enable you to be more productive.

This isn't a handbook, but rather anecdotal stories of how bypassing the rules and regulations to be more productive have helped others. If you are looking for the hows/whys/tips/techniques you'll find it lacking.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Laurent 2
  • 04-04-12

As Expected

I listened to this book and tbh, I could not finish it. I think there's just too much fluff in here for my liking. I'm sure other people will like this book and think it's a valuable resource but it's just not for me.