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Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love Kindle Edition

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Länge: 290 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
Sprache: Englisch



Joy Inc. is about a way of organizing work so logical, so effective, and so rewarding that you have to wonder why everyone doesn’t do it.”

Bo Burlingham, author, Small Giants


The moment you walk into Menlo Innovations, you can sense the atmosphere full of energy, playfulness, enthusiasm, and maybe even . . . joy. As a package-delivery person once remarked, “I don’t know what you do, but whatever it is, I want to work here.”

Every year, thousands of visitors come from around the world to visit Menlo Innovations, a small software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They make the trek not to learn about technology but to witness a radically different approach to company culture.

CEO and “Chief Storyteller” Rich Sheridan removed the fear and ambiguity that typically make a workplace miserable. His own experience in the software industry taught him that, for many, work was marked by long hours and mismanaged projects with low-quality results. There had to be a better way.

With joy as the explicit goal, Sheridan and his team changed everything about how the company was run. They established a shared belief system that supports working in pairs and embraces making mistakes, all while fostering dignity for the team.

The results blew away all expectations. Menlo has won numerous growth awards and was named an Inc. magazine “audacious small company.” It has tripled its physical office three times and produced products that dominate markets for its clients.

Joy, Inc. offers an inside look at how Sheridan and Menlo created a joyful culture, and shows how any organization can follow their methods for a more passionate team and sustainable, profitable results. Sheridan also shows how to run smarter meetings and build cultural training into your hiring process.

Joy, Inc. offers an inspirational blueprint for readers in any field who want a committed, energizing atmosphere at work—leading to sustainable business results.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 5544 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 290 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1591847125
  • Verlag: Portfolio (26. Dezember 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 3 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #141.565 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Taschenbuch
In this very well told book Richard describes how coming from a dreadful time of IT projects that were executed as death marches he built Menlo Innovations based on the believe that aiming for joy would be the highest value of his enterprise. He defines joy as working on meaningful projects in an environment where fear is absent and everyday actions have the purpose of delivering a product that customers love.

This notion in itself is not surprising or new but what makes this book an exemption from the many Make-Your-Employess- Happy-To-Build-Great-Products-Books which describe organizations that are great places to work at he describes what methodologies Menlo Innovations uses in great and applicable detail. In addition he doesn’t fall short in explaining how his ideas are able to enable a sustainable and growing business with happy clients while creating a working environment that is free from overtime, has full vacation flexibility and leaves room for employees to engage in social community and educational work.

Joy, Inc. leaves no excuse to go on the pursuit of joy at the workplace on your own.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Richard Sheridan ist ein grandioser Manager und Erzähler - nicht umsonst steht auf seiner Visitenkarte Chief Story Teller. Ich hatte das Glück ihn persönlich kennen zu lernen und mit ihm über das Buch zu sprechen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Thank you for the inspiration and sharing your ideals and your way of realizing with me and others. Very motivating!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x9ffedbdc) von 5 Sternen 88 Rezensionen
90 von 112 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9ffc37ec) von 5 Sternen I actually worked at Menlo, ... here's the part Rich doesn't want you to know. 6. Februar 2014
Von Eric William - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
If low pay, constant lay-offs and cheating the IRS brings Joy, well, then you'll love the book.

First, I'll tell you what Menlo does right - they make great software. I was really proud of the software we wrote when I was there. And you'll learn what it is like to work in a collaborative environment. I would recommend any company hire Menlo for software development.

That said, workers at Menlo are not as joyous as Rich makes it sound. Like any business, SOME people love it, some people hate it.
Any "joy" at Menlo comes at a price.

Rich has admitted on a podcast that the pay at Menlo is on the low side. Maybe "joy" is worth it ... but keep reading.

For all this talk of "joy", I think most people want a job with consistent work (and pay). For all the hype, Menlo has not been able to keep people employed. Rich tried to open a second office in Chicago - it failed. As a Menlo employee, you'll face constant layoffs as the company struggles to get work. Layoffs are common. Part of this is due to having too much process. Menlo charges a high fee (as admitted by their head project manager in a blog post). The high fee is due to large teams assigned to every project. In theory, the team means high quality, but process is taken to extremes at Menlo.

One competitor to Menlo is Thought Works. Both companies have a similar model. They compete in the Agile Software market. Thought Works employs sales people to get work. Menlo has openly shunned a sales force - and the lack of consistent work is the result.

The on-again, off-again part was a bit too much for me.

When I was being hired, other employees took me aside and told me the contact was illegal. So I had my employment contract reviewed by an attorney. The Menlo employee contract is one sided (like that of most companies), but it has language to cheat the IRS by classifying employees as "contractors." I was not too bothered by that. But other employees - I mean "contractors" - were really bothered by the hypocrisy.

And it is the hypocrisy that you'll read in this book. I got my copy at a trade show last week.

A lot of the hype that Rich promotes is based on his style to "bend" the truth. Menlo was founded on a study called The "Chaos Report." It's a report that concluded that most software project fail. That caused a movement to try to improve how software is written - which sounds great. Well, it turns out that the conclusion was hogwash. [Search for "Debunking the Chaos Report"].

Rich likes to take a good story and use it to promote what he is selling. The Chaos Report helped him sell jobs. His new book takes the same approach. From someone that worked at Menlo, the book is not really what happens there. We'd all like to work at a wonderful job for an idyllic company.

Don't get me wrong, the product is great. People may "love" the idea of the Menlo workplace, but don't confuse the IDEA with the REALITY of working there. People who visit fall in love with the IDEA, the CONCEPT, the DREAM - not the reality of ACTUALLY working there.

All the comments posted to date, are people who are falling in love with an idealized workplace. Yes, Menlo gets a lot of press, but a workplace includes the pedestrian also. Things like PAY, regular WORK and the employment CONTRACT. While these are boring, they are the part of the picture not included in the book. All the idyllic prose does not change the fact that - it is a workplace we are talking about.

Reviewers don't have to work there. So it is easy to read a nice book and comment on it - without the work part. This book separates WORK from PLACE. This book is about a PLACE, an environment, a dream. But it ignores the WORK - things like pay, hours and how one is treated in the contract. And these items are very low on the "joy"scale at Menlo.

So ... if you want a fantasy book about an idealized work environment, get the book. If you're a manager looking to steal talented people with a best-places to work ... avoid this book. Workers exit Menlo for more traditional corporate gigs at a fast pace. Why ... it's not all that joyful to work for low wages.

P.S. Since this post first aired, threatening emails have been sent by guess who? I think if you write a book, you should just let people review it. I think it's a bad idea to threaten a reviewer. I'm only saying, this book is a story about an idealized workplace. It's not a guide book.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9ff8c498) von 5 Sternen Old Leadership is Dead, Long Live Leadership 31. Januar 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
After furiously blogging about this to HR audiences, my conclusion was the most important aspect of the book is not just the one very clear, simply presented example of what works to create happier staff and far better results in one organization, but the model this provides for what organizational leaders have been missing for a very long time. Many others are writing about the need to change the old model of command-and-control to a new one that includes everyone, gets everyone engaged and participating and shares decision-making. The problem has been only a few examples existed and none made it sound as easy, with such clear explanations and step by step guidance.

Kudos to Richard Sheridan for not pulling any punches about what's wrong in old-style organizations and for being very clear that his is only one model of what works, but contains very obvious elements that will be necessary no matter how one chooses to try to structure new experiments in better ways of managing and leading.

As a long time, former VP HR, I have no hesitation recommending this book, though quite a few are going to point out that it shows how you can operate without HR (in this one structure). As a long time defender of HR and the value it adds to organizations that doesn't worry me a bit. HR will continue to play a pivotal role in helping understand and implement these sorts of better organizations and training people, especially in leadership, that are needed to make them effective. Of course the nature of the HR role will change - for the better I might add - just as all the other roles will change as well. It won't go away, but like the others will become more fun and more satisfying as it begins to deliver all it can.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa00779e4) von 5 Sternen Clear vision for purposeful work and life 26. Januar 2014
Von Charles Stout - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Several hours after I finished reading Rich's book, I sent him an email saying how much I enjoyed and appreciated what he had to say. After all the books I pored over back when I was a business consultant, Joy, Inc. shows wisdom and heart that truly make for great business and fulfilling work life. From the blurbs I had read before opening the book, I expected dramatic crises with big salvation, which seems to be standard fare among business books. But Rich isn't a crisis, confusion, scream and heroic savior kind of guy, and I already knew that from working with him and his team a few years ago. And my company adopted and has used for at least five years our own hybridization of Menlo Innovation's the "ten o'clock shout out"/"weekly show and tell", so I know the value of these practices. I'm sure this isn't the only reason the current staff at my company is the best team I've ever had the pleasure to work with, but I believe it is an important factor. Rich shows the everyday work flow and problems in good economic times and bad and how his team has chosen to succeed across all situations. A couple of things he mentions, but may be lost on the reader, the successes of Rich's company had already proved themselves in his previously failing company: what it took was confidence he and his partners could do it again without the part of the company that had failed. Rich's company is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is an incredibly creative, accepting and forward thinking town, which during Michigan's deepest unemployment, peaked at around 7%. If you're going to start or relocate a business, or go to work for one, you might want to find a town like Ann Arbor. Also, something Rich doesn't mention is that he himself is an imposing personality of great good, patience and knowledge. His partners, whom he credits highly, are as worthy of the superlatives his gives them in his book. As you read, it would be worthwhile to make a mental note of these things. I plan to re-read it a few times and recommend it to everyone.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0918e64) von 5 Sternen MUST READ for ALL managers! 30. Dezember 2013
Von David Siegel - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I know that a 5-star rating looks a bit too good to be true, but this book is exactly the right thing at the right time. Rich takes you through the motivations for a complete overhaul of your work environment and processes. It's simple, actually: if you are reading this in a cubicle, you should read this book. If you're reading it from your corner office, you NEED to read this book. Stop doing business as usual and start doing what works. Most people are not energized or engaged with their jobs. Most projects are late and overbudget, often ending in death marches and people feeling treated poorly. Joy, Inc, shows the way out. In ten years, we'll probably be doing a number of things slightly differently, but this basic way of people working together, side by side, enjoying it, making "the sound of people working," even if their kids and pets are nearby, is going to lead us out of cubicles and command/control hierarchies.

I would suggest reading this book, along with "The Leader's Guide to Radical Management" and the Valve Company Handbook, which you can find by searching online.

It's time for a management revolution. This is one of the key playbooks. It should be part of any MBA program - in fact, it should be how they RUN the MBA programs!
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa014abac) von 5 Sternen A truly inspirational vision 26. Januar 2014
Von J Wolf - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
For those of us who have long suspected there is a better approach to work, Rich Sheridan has now documented proof of what is possible! And it's not a fairy tail being told by some theoretical professor who hasn't had to actually make things happen in the real world. It was done by real people in the real business world and in an industry plagued by professional burn-out and high-dollar project failures!! Personally, I can't wait to begin shifting the culture of my own workplace and trying mini-Menlo experiments of our own... Even though we don't make software, I can see how these basic principles and strategies can apply to transform any workplace into one that fosters a culture of joy - and all the positive things that follow!
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