Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable, important book on Organisations - deserves to become a classic, 13 Nov. 2008
This review is from: The Fractal Organization: Creating Sustainable Organizations with the Viable System Model (Paperback)
Patrick Hoverstadt is a new name to most in business systems, but he has truly hit the ground running with this excellent book. He has taken the ideas developed over fifty years ago by Stafford Beer and others and makes them real to a modern audience in a highly readable debut work.

After defining the concepts used in the Viable Systems Model, he moves on, in the body of the book, to showing how they apply to real organisational issues. As well as showing what causes organisational problems, he characterizes pathological archetypes that will be only too familiar to anyone working in an organisation of any size. In passing, almost every approach to business you have ever heard or read of is also mentioned and put into context! Although this may sound messy, it is a consequence of the Systems approach and is done in such an elegant way that it actually brings great clarity.

The author's experience as a consultant is well used to provide many real world examples and this, and the easy flowing style, make this book a delight to read. The points made are not only relevant to the real world, the ideas are based in a deep understanding of business thinking (presumably originating in his "part-time academic" activities).

It is a big claim, but having read many business books over the last 15 years or so, I believe this could be the most important since the Fifth Discipline. I recommend it to managers, consultants and students alike - it deserves to become a classic.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Sep 2010 12:03:09 BDT
This was a useful, succinct review that has helped me to decide to get this book.

Many thanks.
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Location: Berkshire, UK

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