Look what I found, the Little Red Games Workshop Management Book, this opus to Empire building was written by GW CEO Tom Kirby, and was given to me way back in 2003 during my last few of months at Games Workshop USA before I was ‘let go’. Actually it was more like issued to us like an infantry primer with a speech and all, but I will get to that after the jump.
I uncovered this piece of Games Workshop epoch during our great house clean up (now on day three as I write this), I had forgotten I had it. The Little Red Book is Tom Kirby’s hints and tips on how to be a better manager at Games Workshop, each section has a handy note pages after it for amendments that Dear Leader should issue, and to be fair if my memory serves it does have some good practices. And also a lot of bad practices written in it including how to score an Employee as a threat to company culture (which has led to Managers using it to justify fire good Employees they didn’t like – yep, the employment environment at Games Workshop at that time was that toxic – they score a 3.5 on Indeed.com)
However I digress…
The day I was issued with this book (and I still don’t know why I got a copy), we sat through a speech that was bizarre to say the least and worrying Nuremberg rally like. Along with the book I was given a piece of paper by a very fanatical Games Workshop Middle Manager (I swear he was wide-eyed and drooling) that stated I should sign and hand in the paper as receipt of my book, and also that I agree to memorize the words within said book, repeat them rote if required and if I could not repeat the words my job would be jeopardy. I stared at the paper in disbelief and point-blank refused to sign it. It was just a book, mainly for management, something I didn’t have the brown-nosing skills to ever become, nor wanted to be (I think I would score low on the company culture index). After all Games Workshop is just a company, (one I greatly enjoyed working for) not a form of conscripted service, or a wacky cult (although sometimes I wasn’t too sure), and I bet even GW’s USA based HR (as laughable as it was at the time) would have balked if they knew it was being issued.
Oh, those crazy days… If you are ever around my house I will let you look through it, it certainly makes for an eyebrow raising read and makes you wonder how Games Workshop ever survived the 00’s.