Summary of Finding Our Way

Leadership for an Uncertain Time

Berrett-Koehler, more...

Buy the book

Finding Our Way book summary
A collection of musings on organizations and leadership: the mechanistic approach vs. the living-systems approach.

Rating

7 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style

Recommendation

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
  • Why organizations have lost their sense of community, and why they need to regain it in order to manage change
 

Summary

A New Story
Western culture’s usual approach to leadership and organizational life is domineering, mechanistic, obsessed with command and control, and generally out of step with life’s rhythms. It features hierarchies of bosses who aim to impose their views on employees. This approach ...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

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.


Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category