Summary of Finding Our Way
Leadership for an Uncertain Time
A collection of musings on organizations and leadership: the mechanistic approach vs. the living-systems approach.
Margaret J. Wheatley’s essays argue that awareness of diversity, unified communities and relationships offers a better approach to leadership than the control orientation of “Western culture.” She doesn’t present her book as a set of academic studies. Instead, this look at culture, leadership, organizational change and working relationships is based more on her analysis. That approach may generate some banal insights and shaky history lessons, but it also leads to some strong, helpful observations about leadership and change. Wheatley offers interesting insights into, for example, the failure of school systems to function as systems, because they don’t evolve organically out of their communities and aren’t responsive to those they serve. getAbstract appreciates her insights about how organizations could work better by paying more attention to the humanity of their members.
In this summary, you will learn
- How Western culture misinterprets human behavior;
- How some historic cultures were more aware of “living systems”;
- Why it is harmful to define organizations in mechanical terms; and
- Why organizations have lost their sense of community, and why they need to regain it in order to manage change.
About the Author
Margaret (Meg) Wheatley writes, teaches and speaks on organizational practices and ideas. A consultant, researcher and management professor, she heads the Berkana Institute, a global charitable leadership foundation. She also wrote Leadership and the New Science, Turning to One Another and A Simpler Way.
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