Universal Principles

The Universal Principles represent the underlying philosophical shifts we need to make as prerequisites to starting the Work Revolution. These principles suggest we radically alter our work relationships, and get a new attitude for thinking about how to approach problem solving.

  • Focus on the value, and all else will follow.
  • Redefine what work looks like.
  • Embrace mistakes, failure, and imperfection.
  • Be kindly honest, not passive aggressive.
  • Apply the Apollo 13 challenge to organizational problem solving.


Table A.1 Guiding Principles for Organizations

Principle Major Idea
Impact, Not Activities Focus on the impact of individuals and teams; drop all rules, policies, and processes fixated on activities alone.
Energy, Not Schedules Define True Urgency, and enable teams and individuals to pivot their schedules around this determination, to best suit their energy needs.
Strengths, Not Job Slots Hire people who belong in your organization, and create fluidity to enable them to find their true home within it.
The Right Things, Not Everything Define the scope of your organization in terms of which opportunities you will pursue and which you will reject.
Grassroots, Not Top-down Tap into the collective intelligence of every individual in the organization to solve problems and make decisions.

Lay the Foundation

  • Develop a problem-based mission statement.
  • Articulate the character of your organizational culture—the personality of the collective; ...

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