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This Lockdown DOES Feel Different

Seven Or So Rules For Collaborating Professionally And Still Staying Friends

I discovered this article, 7.5 Rules for Working Together, quite some time ago and it's been sitting in the "drafts" of this blog waiting for a good moment. Now seems to be a good time as the previously understood hierarchies of organisations are stripped away due to "cost cutting" and the need to collaborate through a much more meshed/networked environment both within the corporate walls and more and more through and beyond these walls.

Having said that I'm not convinced that these "rules" are perfect and may even come from a time of "to hell with the costs, let's just play at being a business because there's money to burn!"

Here's the opening blurb:
Honm Friebe is an economist and journalist and one of the managing directors of Zentralen Intelligenz Agenturin Berlin.

Holm Friebe’s book, Wir nennen es Arbeit (”We call it work”) is a bestseller in Germany, describing how to work creatively and with integrity in “the hedonistic company.”


Please note the original article has a 25 minute (ish) video with Homme Friebe and Philipp Albers presenting the main parts of the book and particularly the "Seven or So Rules for Collaborating Professionally and Still Staying Friends"

And so, the "rules" which they admit are constantly in flux but have been "road tested" at their company for some time.

Rule 1, The 7 Nos - No office. No employees. No fixed costs. No pitches. No exclusivity (company doesn’t own your life). No working hours (results only). No bullshit.

Rule 2: Work-Work Balance - balance projects for clients with your passion projects, given equal priority and attention.

Rule 3: Instant Gratification - profit immediately with work; no salaries, billable time/project, always keep 10% of profit for the company for play money; pay bills immediately as well

Rule 4: Pluralism of Methods - tech solutions for social problems, use online tools for collaboration; Skype, Google calendar, Google Docs

Rule 5: Fixed Ideas - live up to your intellectual obsessions and dark desires at work; take them seriously; don’t be afraid to offend people;

Rule 6: Responsibilities Without Hierarchies - each project as to have one person incharge, but it can be anybody; beginning of year retreat in the country; rethink the business model; sift through projects and leaders take them on;

Rule 7: The Power of Procrastination - don’t try to be too efficient; good deas will adapt and catch on, even if you neglect them for a while; they have to ripen; there is a natural Darwinism of ideas

Rule 7.5: Marketing by Feuilleton - no adverstising, no PR; do something interesting and press coverage will be yours; they get coverage in the culture section

As I said I am struck by how the "rules" have a pre-recession feel to them with a "build and they'll come" and don't worry about the money (particularly 3 and 7). The "rules" would also challenge the more traditional/longer lived organisations out there and are probably aimed at the more fleet-of-foot/agile "start ups".


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