Rework: Jenny Holzer on Work

In Pattern

37 Signals has recently published Rework, a collection of essays that review and reassess — rework — and debunk business myths.  They challenge new ways of interpreting paths to success and the value add.  Here are the titles of some of their essays.  They’re like Jenny Holzer’s Truisms, turned anti-matter business mantras.

These essay titles are also a kick-butt version of inspiration cards: Reflect on a different one daily, group them into logical sets, separate the pile into those that are already who you are — they’re great for vision statements and other anchor points — and those that will ‘never be’.  Then, transform the never nevers into fiction: turn the list into meeting themes, program them into LED displays, turn them into poster-sized floor stickers, use them as T-Shirt slogans, guess what you think they mean and then find a point of difference with the book … let them help you rework your corporate strategy.

November is storytelling month (nanowrimo).  Use these rework manifestos to craft a new story for your business, or for yourself.

ASAP is poison Be a curator Be at-home good
Build an audience Build half, not half-ass Building to flip is building to flop
Decisions are temporary Decommoditize your product Do it yourself first
Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority Don’t write it down Don’t be a hero
Don’t copy Draw a line in the sand Embrace constraints
Emulate chefs Focus on what won’t change Forget about formal education
Forget about the Wall Street Journal Go behind the scenes Go to sleep
Good enough is fine Hire great writers Hire managers of one
Hire when it hurts Ignore the details early on Ignore the real world
Inspiration is perishable Interruption is the enemy of productivity Learning from mistakes is overrated
Let your customers outgrow you Long lists don’t get done Make a dent in the universe
Make tiny decisions Making the call is making progress Marketing is not a department
Meetings are toxic No time is no excuse Out-teach your competition
Own your bad news Pass on great people Pick a fight
Planning is guessing Press releases are spam Put everyone on the front lines
Say no by default Scratch your own itch Sell your by-products
Send people home at 5:00 Skip the rock stars Sound like you
Start a business, not a start-up Start at the epicenter Start making something
Take a deep breath Test-drive employees Throw less at the problem
Tone is in your fingers Underdo your competition Welcome obscurity
You don’t create a culture You need less than you think Your estimates suck