Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency

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Broadway Books, 2002 - Business & Economics - 227 pages
3 Reviews
Why is it that today's superefficient organizations are ailing? Tom DeMarco reveals a counterintuitive principle that explains why efficiency efforts can slow a company down. That principle is the value of slack, the degree of freedom in a company that allows it to change. Implementing slack could be as simple as adding an assistant to a department and letting high-priced talent spend less time at the photocopier and more time making key decisions, or it could mean designing workloads that allow people room to think, innovate, and reinvent themselves. It means embracing risk, eliminating fear, and knowing when to go slow. Slack allows for change, fosters creativity, promotes quality, and, above all, produces growth. This book debunks commonly held assumptions about real-world management, and gives you and your company a brand-new model for achieving and maintaining true effectiveness.

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User Review  - ennui2342 - LibraryThing

A quick, but powerful read. Tails off a little towards then end - I felt the section on risk management could have been dropped. However, really makes you question the value of some common wisdom ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jorgearanda - LibraryThing

An informal and lighthearted argument against mindless efficiency. DeMarco's main claim is that a humane workplace makes business sense. It's a short and convincing book, but if it was half as long it'd be twice as good. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Tom DeMarco is an international management consultant with clients in numerous industries. His previous books include The Deadline (a business novel with more than 40,000 copies sold) and Peopleware (nonfiction, with more than 100,000 copies sold). He divides his time between New York City and Camden, Maine.

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