The Fall of the Alphas: The New Beta Way to Connect, Collaborate, Influence—and Lead

Dana Ardi. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-68193-7
“The future belongs to the Betas, not the Alphas,” according to consultant and “corporate anthropologist” Ardi. The centralized and hierarchical alpha model used to dominate because it worked. But beta companies—smaller, decentralized, and inclusive—are taking over. Citing successful beta companies such as JetBlue and Zappos, where the idea is to mold employees not into juniors CEO’s but into passionate brand advocates, Ardi argues that the increasing importance of free data flow makes alphas obsolete. The beta leader sees each employee as an essential resource and organizes the group accordingly. Ardi discusses historical alphas and betas, the rise of alpha females, and the widespread perception that being an alpha is the only way to be an effective leader, helping readers envision a Millennial-run corporate universe in which employees were once kids raised to believe that gender roles are anachronistic, and everyone, not just the quarterback, should get a trophy. Despite the book’s solid thesis, the text meanders, and though she notes the dearth of a road map for creating a successful beta organization, Ardi makes no effort to present one, either. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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