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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The patterns of cultural relationship between the tops, middles and bottoms of organizations, 26 Mar 2011
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Angus Jenkinson "angusjenkinson" (Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life (Easyread Large Edition) (Paperback)
This is not about systems in the sense of process mapping or organization design, but about the functional and dysfunctional cultural systemic patterns that take place within the tops (leaders), middles (management) and bottoms (co-workers).

The book shares powerful, simple and important insights. It is based on many years of experimentation in the form of clinical interventions with teams. The descriptive logic of the pattern will be extremely helpful to many thousands of leaders, consultants and people engaged in organizational life at any level.

Basically, it shows how leadership groups tend to fragment and feel burdened, middle management groups tend to become torn and lower level staff form oppressed group think (and the reasons, characteristics and ways to overcome these patterns). The patterns with customers as well as other related dynamics are also illuminated.

The book also benefits from many simple and useful diagrams as well as a creative approach. The language is clear and helpful - there are dances not covalent interactions, for example. And often there are dialogues, dramatic scenes, case examples and poetic scripts that bring the situations and patterns to life. Useful summaries bring together the patterns.

Where the book falls short is that like many others it writes to try to persuade those not already aware of the core scenarios. They are not the audience for the book. It is the aware who will get the most from it and they need to skim through lots of material to get to the heart and key issues, hence my 4 score. But it is very much worth the skim and using the insights; they are terrific.
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Seeing Systems: Unlocking the Mysteries of Organizational Life (Easyread Large Edition)
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