Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency, by Tom DeMarco (Amazon)

I re-read this book periodically to re-learn some of the many lessons in it. DeMarco says a lot about “the white space” in your organization and Slack was one of the books I quoted from in my presentation earlier this year (2008) on Managing in the White Space of your Organization. He writes about being a leader, what this really means and what it doesn’t mean. He writes about efficiency and effectiveness and how it is easy to have one or the other and very difficult (but ideal) to have both.

And mostly he writes about slack: that extra bit of time to think, to re-invent, to create and communicate, that extra bit of resources that you need to adjust quickly to changing environments.

By being too efficient (going somewhere fast), we sometimes forget about being effective (where are we going?) — quoting Yogi Berra, he observes “We’re lost, but we’re making good time.”