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Robert I. Sutton

The Friction Project

The Friction Project

How Smart Leaders Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder

Summary

The definitive guide to eliminating the forces that make it harder, more complicated, or downright impossible to get things done in organizations. Find out why Adam Grant says "If every leader took the ideas in this book seriously, the world would be a less miserable, more productive place."

Every organization is plagued by destructive friction. Yet some forms of friction are incredibly useful, and leaders who attempt to improve workplace efficiency often make things even worse. Drawing from seven years of hands-on research, The Friction Project by bestselling authors Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao teaches readers how to become “friction fixers.”

Sutton and Rao kick off the book by unpacking how skilled friction fixers think and act like trustees of others’ time. They provide friction forensics to help readers identify where to avert and repair bad organizational friction and where to maintain and inject good friction. Then their help pyramid shows how friction fixers do their work, from reframing friction troubles they can’t fix right now, so they feel less threatening, to designing and repairing organizations. The heart of the book digs into the causes and solutions for five of the most common and damaging friction troubles: oblivious leaders, addition sickness, broken connections, jargon monoxide, and fast and frenzied people and teams.

Sound familiar? Sutton and Rao are here to help. They wrap things up with lessons for leading your own friction project, including linking little things to big things; the power of civility, caring, and love for propelling designs and repairs; and embracing the mess that is an inevitable part of the process (while still trying to clean it up).

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