Starfish and the Spider : The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/29/2008
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade

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If you cut off a spider’s head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world. 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? Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have discovered some unexpected answers, gripping stories, and a tapestry of unlikely connections. The Starfish and the Spiderexplores what happens when starfish take on spiders and reveals how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the U.S. government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.

Author Biography

Ori Brafman is a lifelong entrepreneur. His adventures include a wireless startup, health food advocacy group, and a network of CEOs working on public benefit projects, which he co- founded with Rod. He holds a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
R.A. Beckstrom is a former CEO, who founded CATS Software Inc, which he took public. Since his -ôretirement,-ö Rod has served on various private and nonprofit boards. He holds a BA and MBA from Stanford and was a Fulbright Scholar.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
MGM's Mistake and the Apache Mysteryp. 9
The Spider, the Starfish, and the President of the Interentp. 29
A Sea of Starfishp. 57
Standing on Five Legsp. 83
The Hidden Power of the Catalystp. 107
Taking on Decentralizationp. 133
The Combo Special: The Hybrid Organizationp. 159
In Search of the Sweet Spotp. 179
The New Worldp. 197
Epiloguep. 209
Sourcesp. 215
Acknowledgmentsp. 222
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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