Summary of Leadership and the New Science

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Leadership and the New Science book summary


7 Overall

6 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


Author Margaret J. Wheatley describes how new developments in the sciences show us how to design a new, more effective organizational structure. The new structure is more responsive to human needs and to our rapidly changing times. Based on this understanding, you need to make your organization more flexible and adaptable. Using leadership and vision as a guiding force in an organization involves participation, self-management and shared information and power. This excellent, thoughtful, break-through book offers a new way of thinking about organizations and leadership. In clear, compelling language, it emphasizes the ways we are all part of an ever-changing natural order. Wheatley explains the need to get rid of our old out-dated mechanistic models and adapt our organizations to prosper in the future. Our accepted analytical world view, based on using logical analysis and relying numbers to chart progress, should be replaced, Wheatley says. She makes a compelling case and urges organizations to become more effective by becoming more human and natural. recommends this pivotal book to leaders at all levels.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why firms need to be more flexible and adaptable;
  • Why, despite change, the universe runs according to order; and
  • What role you as a leader in a contemporary organization should undertake.

About the Author

Margaret J. Wheatley is president of the Berkana Institute, a non-profit educational and scientific research foundation supporting the discovery of new organizational forms. She is a principle in Kellner-Rogers & Wheatley, an international education and consulting firm applying the principles of living systems to human organizations. Their clients include Fortune 500 corporations, government organizations, and non-profits. She co-authored the best-selling A Simpler Way with Myron Kellner-Rogers.



The Need for A More Fluid Style of Organizing

Today is a time of rapid change, thus many companies are trying new, flexible types of organizations that are more responsive to change. You should encourage this experimentation. The new world emerging today requires a new, more effective type of organization. The old ways of relating to each other don’t work in our personal lives, communities, workplaces or society. We need new forms based on understanding how life itself changes, so we can better flow with life’s processes.

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More on this topic

By the same author

  • Finding Our Way

    Margaret J. Wheatley

    Berrett-Koehler, 2005


  • A Simpler Way

    Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers

    Berrett-Koehler, 1996


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