It’s time to give up

I borrowed Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead from the library. It seemed like required reading for people who manage teams.

This year I began managing a team and so I plucked it from the library stacks. The author, Laszlo Bock, was once Google’s VP of People Operations. His path from debate-class instructor to Google is inspiring. There are some great insights in there. But it’s damned hard to replicate.

Google’s experiments to hire the best people, testing and learning as they went, is why most companies will never be like Google. Injecting this type of change at your average company would cripple it. There are things to adopt, for sure. Would companies experience less turnover and more productivity? Yes, in the long run. But most companies are short-sighted. You need to pick

The worst part arrives at the end of each chapter. Bock’s bullet points share how you can adopt Google’s method. It’s meant to help. The issue is that you just read about how it took Google years and millions to get there. And that’s with some of the smartest people in the world.

Here’s a sample:

“Work Rules…For Finding Exceptional Candidates”

• Get the best referrals by being excruciatingly specific in describing what you’re looking for
• Make recruiting part of everyone’s job
• Don’t be afraid to try crazy things to get the attention of the best people”

from WORK RULES! Insights from Google That Will Transform How You Live & Lead

That makes sense. But it’s time for me to give up on this book.

I’m going to scan the remaining 280 pages. I’ll write down things I can apply and return Work Rules to the library. Transforming how we live and lead is an important mission. But we’re not all Googlers.

Not yet.