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Crunch Model

During my speech at SDA Bocconi in Milan last week, I cited Theresa Amabile’s creativity research and the idea of a “time-pressure hangover” — a decline in innovation because of strict deadlines.

Evan Robinson’s essay Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work bolsters the argument that overtime and overly aggressive deadlines actually decrease the quality of work. Written primarily for people in the video game industry (and perhaps inspired by the uprising at Electronic Arts), the piece is still worth a read.

Robinson’s argument is sound, as the math behind it seems to be, but I wonder. Some of the most fun I’ve had while working has been bumping up against an “impossible” deadline. How did the romanticized vision of the “all nighter” or “death march” arise?

[via Managing Product Development]

Update: France has gotten rid of its 35-hour work week, originally instituted just a few years ago.

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