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Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness Paperback – 10 Feb 2014
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About the Author
Frederic Laloux works as an adviser, coach, and facilitator for corporate leaders who feel called to explore fundamentally new ways of organizing. A former Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company, he holds an MBA from INSEAD and a degree in coaching from Newfield Network in Boulder, Colorado.
His groundbreaking research in the field of emerging organizational models has been described as groundbreaking, brilliant, spectacular, impressive, and world-changing by some of the most respected scholars in the field of human development. Frederic Laloux lives in Brussels, Belgium, with his wife, Hélène, and their two children.
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Top customer reviews
If Teal organisations were long-established this book would be pointless. Laloux deserves to be read in the context of where we are. His examples are by and large new and different. The principles he offers are interesting and worthy of exploration. Some my be inspired by the vision of what is possible. Other may look at how far most organisations are from this possible future, how many constraints there are that will prevent change, and how it is unrealistic to even consider it. Reviews sometimes say as much about the reviewers as the book in question.
Laloux makes use of a simplified version of Spiral Dynamics integral as the developmental scaffolding for this book. He does not explain that theory and his presentation is necessarily an over-simplification. To do otherwise would have cluttered the story he is telling. But as one who knows what lies beneath, I encourage readers to trust that there is more here than is being supplied. According to that theory, books like this would be showing up now because our life conditions make it necessary that we find such solutions. It is my belief in the validity of the underlying theory which makes me confident that Laloux will turn out to have got a great deal right, and to have signposted the future with some accuracy. Time will tell.
I rate it so highly in particular because:
- it is genuinely holistic (it looks from multiple perspectives at organisations). In general even the better books about organisations tend to focus on just one aspect (say leadership, or purpose, or culture) - precious few are anything close to being holistic;
- it includes really detailed and useful case studies. I have a long-standing interest in what I think of as new paradigm organisations (ones that are compatible with things like complexity theory and quantum mechanics) and I hadn't come across any of these companies before. What's more, it is unusual (and really valuable) to be able to read in such detail the mechanics of how such organisations actually work. After all they don't generally have publicity departments pumping out information about how they are run;
- it is very readable. Organisations are really, really complex and it is easy to get lost in the complexity. Frederic has made this a relatively easy read while managing to convey really complex stuff.
If I were to be picky, I would say that the book would be more complete if it had included reference to some of the remarkable "unorganisations" that have formed thanks to the internet - I am thinking Wikipedia, Linux, Apache, Flickr, Couchsurfing and many others. There is definitely a strong link to be made between, on the one hand, plain ordinary businesses that find better ways of organising themselves (this is the territory of this book and of the likes of Ricardo Semler), and on the other hand businesses that are so networked that they are hardly recognisable as businesses at all (written about in books like "Here Comes Everybody", 'We:Think" and "Wikinomics" . It seems to me that these new ways of organising are all manifesting at this time due to: a) a rising ecological consciousness; b) an increasing move for self actualisation (self-empowerment), fuelled by modern communications technology and c) diminishing global resources and rising population, encouraging us to explore ways of sharing more.
Some may consider the book too unquestionning, glossing over or overlooking some of the no doubt turbulent events in the history of these organisations that led them to where they are. After all, most of the information comes from the organisations themselves - they are not likely to emphasize the struggles and arguments and dark nights of the soul that no doubt played their part in their emergence. One of the mysteries of such organisations is how they come to be created at all - it is often a series of seeming chances or miracles that leads to them coming into existence. There are many stories to be told about this.
But if you see as a resource book and a source of inspiration for anyone wanting to create dynamic, innovative, wonderful places to work, then you will find it hard to beat.
The beauty of this new way of working is that everyone benefits so much more. Businesses achieve great success not because of a competitive strategic plan but because they allow people to bring all their energy to work and deliver services or products that serve the greater good. Please read this book.