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Loosen Up!

If every hour of every day is all planned out, you may actually be hurting your business.

This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Despite everything you've probably ever heard about efficiency, businesses may be doing themselves damage by trying to be too efficient, according to a contrary view of efficiency presented by bestselling author and project management expert Tom DeMarco in his book Slack (Broadway, $23).

DeMarco, who sharpened his management skills in the software development industry, takes on practically every management trend of the last century when he declares, among other things, that working too efficiently isn't working very smart. His central point: When everybody works at 100 percent efficiency, they don't possess the time, energy or leisure to be flexible. In this age, when lack of flexibility is considered a serious business failing, DeMarco's criticisms ought to be well-received, notwithstanding their iconoclastic tone.

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