Aurora ran a list of commandments for the workplace. The purpose, according to her, is to ensure that, “you do not end up with high blood pressure or choked arteries.”

Fair, I’d say.

There’s however, more to the list than just that. There’s a way we have been told about how a workplace works. The pundits generated questionnaires, rummaged through psychological theories, did 112 interviews and extrapolated that to the general population that is us.

It is very heartening to see that people who are breaking, not just bending, the rules of the workplace culture and the dogmas that have circumscribed our actions and behaviour at the workplace, are succeeding. They infuse fresh thinking about work-culture.

My all-time favourite company, Automattic (the wonderful people who gave us WordPress) does things differently, and succeeds. Recently, I came across the philosophy of how 37Signals works. (The link to David Heinemeier Hansson’s video, “Unlearn your MBA”, along with a few more links to thinking about culture, systems and a plan, is on Selaphor.)

It has been a while since I stopped reading the I’ll-change-your-life-if-you-read-my-book type of books. These are written with inputs from a very narrow audience and extrapolated with great aplomb for the entire world. So, do Aurora’s new ten commandments make perfect universal sense? I’d guess not; they may for her, but all of them may not make sense for all of us.

Taken for Granted?

When you consider specific factors that go into making a company a success (or a failure), it is very easy to see why there is no universal rule that works like a charm, all the time. I see more instances of of our traditional commandments failing.

And we end up doing a disservice if we just replace a commandment with an opposite.


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