Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity
MIT Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 222 pages
Argues that human beings are at their best not when they are engaged in abstract reflection, but when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted, everyday practices in some domain of their culture--that is, when they are making history.
Disclosing New Worlds calls for a recovery of a way of being that has always characterized human life at its best. The book argues that human beings are at their best not when they are engaged in abstract reflection, but when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted, everyday practices in some domain of their culture--that is, when they are making history. History-making, in this account, refers not to wars and transfers of political power, but to changes in the way we understand and deal with ourselves. The authors identify entrepreneurship, democratic action, and the creation of solidarity as the three major arenas in which people make history, and they focus on three prime methods of history-making--reconfiguration, cross-appropriation, and articulation.
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This book is not for the beginner or something to take to the beach, since the English of this book is extraordinarily dense, and reading is not easy, but then the ideas they have are complicated, and it is worth the effort of re-reading.
It is packed with references (the index alone is 13 pages long) and they do not seem to have omitted attacking any philosopher, guru or business leader of any significance, which makes it at least thought provoking.
It starts by insisting it is not a theoretical textbook or handbook but a resource to develop some skills we humans already have in order to be effective entrepreneurs, virtuous citizens and cultivators of solidarity.
The ideas cross several cultural boundries: Flores, who founded Business Design Associates (BDA) in California USA is a Chilean engineer, entrepreneur and politician. He is a former cabinet minister of president Salvador Allende and was senator for the Arica and Parinacota and Tarapacá regions between 2001 and 2009. On March 31, 2010 he was designated President of Chile's National Innovation Council for Competitiveness by President Sebastián Piñera.
Spinosa was VP for Research at Design Associates in California. He is a marketeer who offers consultancy for business expansion into difficult markets by helping clients make and keep promises.
Dreyfys is professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkley, whose website lists his major interests as "phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of literature, and philosophical implications of artificial intelligence".
On balance, worth the effort, even if today, one can not agree with all of their 1977 conclusions!
I read and hear so much about innovation it looses meaning. What is innovation anyway? The authors say that innovation and (for lack of a better term) being the most happy are one and the same. The authors claim that life is best (we are most happy) when we are in the middle of a positive change in how we do things. Notice that it is "how" we do things, not "what" we do.
So, for example, I enjoy teaching others what I know. There is a person I regularly interact with that doesn't appreciate being "taught". By only suggesting practices that are needed at the time, I've been able to reach this person. I had to change how I worked with her. Not what I did. This was an innovation and felt great.
The authors provide the how to innovation that we are looking for. The ideas need time to cook. This is a book to read once through then think on the concepts for a year. Refer to the book to understand again what the authors are saying.
Disclosing New Worlds is foundational for devoted students of human change. It belongs on the shelf next to other great philosophers.
But practically, what innovation are you working on?
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