Even more pertinent in the current downturn,
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This review is from: Slack : Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency (Hardcover)Slack by Tom DeMarco. Dorset House
Another superb piece of work from the legendary Tom DeMarco. The book, as he so aptly puts it is for people who don't have time to read it, so it's designed to take the length of a flight from New York to Chicago to read.
For all that it's short, it's packed with good advice. The central thesis is that many modern corporations are unable to respond to changes in the marketplace because they are now completely optimised for what they already do and sell, and have pared the staff down to a minimum which gives them what they believe is total efficiency.
The problem is that this leaves no one, especially the middle management, at whom the book is especially aimed, with any time for innovation when something comes along which undermines the current way of doing business. Along the way the book looks at Busyness, Burnout, Aggressive schedules, leadership, and risk, to name but a few topics covered.
This book is a great read for anyone interested in modern business, but I'd especially recommend it for anyone who is just starting to take up management responsibilities.