The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

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Portfolio, 2006 - Decentralization in management - 230 pages
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If you cut off a spider's leg, it's crippled. If you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish's leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional "spiders," which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary "starfish," which rely on the power of peer relationships. This book explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed). It reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the US government' are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.--[from Publisher's description]

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User Review  - beaurichly - LibraryThing

Great, quick read with useful examples of how centralized, command and control organizations can fail by assuming that engagement with distributed (or "cloud-based") entities can follow the same rules ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bsanner - LibraryThing

A really interesting read on organizational structure and leadership. Traditional organizations are often hierarchical and authoritarian. Like spiders, if you cut off a leg (or department), it's ... Read full review

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