I haven't written much recently, because I have too much to say, but can't find the right words to say it.
And then I come across this (via Doc Searls), What Business Can Learn From Open Source.
This a phenomenal essay you must read, and I know it will put in words what some of you have been trying to express.
It's not so much the support of Open Source and Weblogging, as what it says about corporate and business culture.
I think the most important of the new principles business has to learn is that people work a lot harder on stuff they like.....That's why the business world was so surprised by one lesson from open source: that people working for love often surpass those working for money.....The average office is a miserable place to get work done. And a lot of what makes offices bad are the very qualities we associate with professionalism. The sterility of offices is supposed to suggest efficiency. But suggesting efficiency is a different thing from actually being efficient.......Often as not a startup begins in an apartment. Instead of matching beige cubicles they have an assortment of furniture they bought used. They work odd hours, wearing the most casual of clothing. They look at whatever they want online without worrying whether it's "work safe." The cheery, bland language of the office is replaced by wicked humor. And you know what? The company at this stage is probably the most productive it's ever going to be.
And here come the bits that make it for me;
The basic idea behind office hours is that if you can't make people work, you can at least prevent them from having fun. If employees have to be in the building a certain number of hours a day, and are forbidden to do non-work things while there, then they must be working. In theory. In practice they spend a lot of their time in a no-man's land, where they're neither working nor having fun.....The other problem with pretend work is that it often looks better than real work. When I'm writing or hacking I spend as much time just thinking as I do actually typing. Half the time I'm sitting drinking a cup of tea, or walking around the neighborhood. This is a critical phase-- this is where ideas come from-- and yet I'd feel guilty doing this in most offices, with everyone else looking busy.
This expresses exactly how I
feel about work. I too pace around thinking and looking out of
the window. But that's not acceptable in corporate culture.
You have to sit at your desk, head down, like a battery hen.
I don't think this culture can change in The Corporation. It's too ingrained. All that can happen is that new companies and start-ups come along that make these practises redundant by putting these companies out of business. But it's gonna take a long long time.