Good work wanted Who knows good work? If you have read this far and aren’t sneaking a peak at the end to find out whether I have anything interesting to say, I won’t have to remind you that I have been poking around inside knowledge-work and the mindset we call management in order to understand work practices. Whatever they do, you can assume people want to do a decent job and, whether it is cleaning out the garage or preparing a report, they need to be properly organized. So, one-on-one, or in groups, knowledge workers spend much of their time talking—planning, negotiating, and arranging; preparing to do something. Even when everyone is doing it with the best of intentions, organizing can be a tricky process, requiring persistence and agility. The relatively minor matter of coordinating schedules can turn out to be a small trial in itself. Or it may take a good deal of negotiating and maneuvering back and forth to reconcile divergent interests. Then someone new comes into the picture and you start all over. At work an array of practices makes the cir- cumstances for organizing far from ideal. Bureaucratic rules, for example, limit individuals’ discretion and flexibility. Hierarchy makes superiors and subordinates out of colleagues, driving a wedge between their interests. And work-place culture discourages talk, hence sharing knowledge. Ves- tiges of the industrial era, and devised under circumstances far removed from today’s knowledge-work environments, these practices were not intended to help people get organized. Factory-work didn’t require it. Knowledge workers, however, who have to organize, are frustrated by an enormous apparatus of top-down control. It restricts their authority and constantly diverts their energy and attention from their work. This is not a recipe for good work.