The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World

Anne-Marie Slaughter. Yale Univ., $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-300-21564-9
This paradigm-changing book cogently encourages fresh ways of thinking about the workplace and the world. Slaughter (Unfinished Business) promotes the use of social networks for solving any challenging problem, whether it’s spreading new ideas (as done by TEDx) or addressing global problems at a local level (as done by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy). She groups “the hardest problems” and their corresponding networks into three broad categories: resilience, execution, and scale. This schema is the heart of the book, which outlines considerations for successful networks: how people should be connected to each other, what kind of people should be connected, and how information should be shared. Different types of situations, she explains, may require more diverse or more homogeneous groups. Similarly, sometimes well-networked networkers shouldn’t all be on the same team, and sometimes they should. Sometimes the network needs to be decentralized; sometimes a team leader is just the ticket. Slaughter takes a more polemical tone in the third part, in which she advocates for “open society, open government, and an open international system.” Readers will likely end up taking this book to work with them when especially challenging problems arise. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/20/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
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