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Leadership and the New Science

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Leadership and the New Science

Discovering Order in a Chaotic World


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

When you can deal with chaos and order, and treat those two imposters just the same. How businesses can survive the death of predictability.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Eye Opening
  • Well Structured


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.


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.

To move toward this new way of organizing, let go of old forms and "see the world anew." Our old way of seeing the world is based on the Newtonian view of the universe, deriving from 17th century physics and mechanics. That system sees the world like a machine, where an understanding of the whole comes from examining the parts. Our approach has been to take things apart, analyze them and put them back together.

However, that model isn’t accurate. Rather, we live in a world that continually changes and evolves along with us as we interact with it. Our own interaction contributes to that change, so we are in effect co-evolving.

These new...

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.

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