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

Ori Brafman, Author, Rod A. Beckstrom, Author . Portfolio $24.95 (230p) ISBN 978-1-59184-143-2

Brafman and Beckstrom, a pair of Stanford M.B.A.s who have applied their business know-how to promoting peace and economic development through decentralized networking, offer a breezy and entertaining look at how decentralization is changing many organizations. The title metaphor conveys the core concept: though a starfish and a spider have similar shapes, their internal structure is dramatically different—a decapitated spider inevitably dies, while a starfish can regenerate itself from a single amputated leg. In the same way, decentralized organizations, like the Internet, the Apache Indian tribe and Alcoholics Anonymous, are made up of many smaller units capable of operating, growing and multiplying independently of each other, making it very difficult for a rival force to control or defeat them. Despite familiar examples—eBay, Napster and the Toyota assembly line, for example—there are fresh insights, such as the authors' three techniques for combating a decentralized competitor (drive change in your competitors' ideology, force them to become centralized or decentralize yourself). The authors also analyze one of today's most worrisome "starfish" organizations—al-Qaeda—though that group undermines the authors' point that the power of leaderless groups helps to demonstrate the essential goodness and trustworthiness of human beings. (Oct. 5)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-1-59184-183-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 240 pages - 978-1-4295-7134-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-59659-151-6
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-14-310135-2
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-21640-8
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4295-7133-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.