The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
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.
What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Skype? What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements? What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths? How could winning a Supreme Court case be the biggest mistake MGM could have made?
After five years of ground-breaking research, Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom share some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. 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.
The Starfish and the Spider 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. The book explores:
* How the Apaches fended off the powerful Spanish army for 200 years
The Starfish and the Spider is the rare book that will change how you understand the world around you.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser 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 ReviewUser 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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