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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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37. Chaos and Order

There is something about human nature that makes us the implacable enemies of chaos. Whenever we encounter chaos, we roll up our sleeves and go right to work to replace it with order. Man-made order is everywhere . . . in the home, in the garden, in the way we comb our hair or organize our streets into neat grids. But it does not follow from this that we’d be happier if there were no more chaos. On the contrary, we’d be bored to tears. What chaos is left in modern society is a precious commodity. We have to be careful to conserve it and keep the greedy few from hogging more than their share.

We managers tend to be the greedy few. We often see chaos as our particular domain. We assume that it’s our job to clean it up, all of ...

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