Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Oct 20, 2008 - Business & Economics - 216 pages
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What began twenty years ago as a journey of exploration into the interplay between chaos, order, and the creative process culminates in this capstone work of Harrison Owen’s pioneering career. From the creator of Open Space Technology (OST), Wave Rider shows how to apply the fundamental principles of self-organization – the driving power behind OST’s immense success – not just to a single event but to the day-to-day management and leadership of organizations. Owen proposes that all systems – not only our organizations but indeed the entire cosmos – are fundamentally self-organizing. Control is ultimately an illusion, and attempts to assert it are a waste of time and can even be destructive. If we want to have truly high-performing organizations, at some point we need to set aside our preconceived goals and strategies, important as they are, and align ourselves and our work with the primal force of self-organization – learn how to ride that wave. To that end, Owen lays out eight concrete steps for becoming a successful Wave Rider, derived from the global experience of hundreds of thousands of Open Space events, wit ha clear focus on producing exceptional performance. The book includes a real-life tale from a genuine Wave Rider, Dee Hock of VISA International, as well as an imagined account of a day in the life of a wave-riding manager, to show how self-organizing principles can deal with specific functions like running a staff meeting, managing projects, motivating staff, and much more. Wave Rider is another exceptional contribution from one of organizational developments true innovators.
 

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Contents

Preface
Introduction Wave Rider
PART IPreparation for Wave Riding
Superior Performance
Chapter IIHigh Performance Systems Defined
ii
Chapter IIIGetting from Here to There
iii
Chapter IVThe Anomalies
53
Chapter VThe Open Space Experiment
65
Chapter XIIStep 3 Come to the Circle
157
Chapter XIIIStep 4 Welcome Passion Responsibility and Authentic Leadership
161
Chapter XIVStep 5 Remember the Four Principles
167
Chapter XVStep 6 Observe the Law of Two Feet
175
Chapter XVIStep 7 Keep Grief Working
181
Chapter XVIIStep 8 Formalize the System
197
Chapter XVIIIA Day in the Life of
216
Conclusion
232

The Key to High Performance Systems?
94
Chapter VIIHow Do We Deal with the Pain?
112
Chapter VIIIA Spanner in the Works
126
PART IIThe Wave Riders Guide to the Future
136
The Care and Feeding of SelfOrganizing Systems
137
Chapter XStep 1 Do Your Homework Before You Start
146
Chapter XIStep 2 Extend an Invitation
150
Footnote
236
Index
239
About the Author
256
About BerrettKoehler Publishers
258
Be Connected
260
Copyright

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