Book Reviews


The Starfish and The Spider

The Starfish and The Spider
The Book "The Starfish and The Spider" uses the amazing capabilities of starfish to survive and regrow damaged limbs as a powerful metaphor for leaderless organisations.


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The Cult of the Amateur

The Cult of the Amateur

Read this book if your future is anyway connected to Web2.0. Andrew Keen’s central thesis is that if all content (e.g. music, video, news, books, encyclopaedias) is produced by “amateurs” and no-one will pay for “professional” versions then its curtains for quality or independent publishing.


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Collaborative thinking: four key roles

Collaborative thinking: four key roles
In his unique book Dialogue and the art of thinking together William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.


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When collaboration goes bad

When collaboration goes bad

Poor organisational intelligence leads to 'coblaboration' instead of collaboration.Harvard Professor, David Perkins, in his latest book, "King Arthur's Round Table : How Collaborative Conversations Create Smart Organizations", discusses the importance of "organisational Intelligence" and "developmental leadership" and how the absence of these leads to coblaboration rather than collaboration in organisational teams.


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Mobile phone users: are we now cyborgs

Mobile phone users: are we now cyborgs

The term cyborg is used to designate an organism which is a mixture of organic and synthetic parts so designed to enhance its abilities via technology. William Mitchell a professor at MIT Media Lab believes that through our mobile devices we are all becoming mobile cyborgs and its for the better. In his book Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City which he discusses in an interview with James Harkin Mitchell describes how the new communications technologies have overlaid our city spaces with central nervous systems connecting us into the wireless ether via our mobile devices which act as umbilical cords to anchor us into the information society's digital infrastructure.


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The secret physics of social network growth

The secret physics of social network growth

A crowd draws a crowd but you need to be fit too. Distinguished Physicist Albert Laszlo Barabasi in his excellent book "Linked - the New Science of Networks" lets us into the secret of how any kind of network grows.


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Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

 Organisational teams: thin slice for responsiveness

Humans and animals do not need complete information to act; they can operate on various clues provided there is a sufficient context. Organizational teams can also use this thin slicing technique in conjunction with short messaging to enhance their performance. Malcolm Gladwell’s introspective book Blink digs deep into the abyss of human cognition to illustrate the human ability to think at a subconscious level. The idea of thin slicing is used where one is introduced to only a few snippets of information which lead to a series of conclusions based on moments of rapid cognition – an ability claimed to be intrinsically dormant in most humans. By bioteams guest author Max Bhanabhai.


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The Organizational Zoo

The Organizational Zoo

I was introduced to an interesting book and web site, The Organizational Zoo, by Arthur Shelley which offers humorous observations of the characteristics and behaviours of the other creatures in your "organizational Zoo".


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Could cell phones destroy civilisation

Could cell phones destroy civilisation

"Cell", the new novel by horror writer Stephen King, paints an all too plausible scenario where our addiction to cell phones enables a malicious virus to be pulsed to every phone in the world turning all who take the call into a flock of murderously mad zombies.


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Animal Instincts in the office

Animal Instincts in the office

Just because we might have selfish genes it does not mean we have to behave selfishly; nature knows when to be nice as well as nasty and nepotism occurs in the biological world too with equal destructiveness as our world. This is according to Richard Conniff author of The Ape in the Corner Office and reviewed in the UK Guardian Newspaper (27 May).


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