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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 1999
From the beginning, one finds oneself within a paradigm of resigned helplessness. What has always been will always be. For a public school administrator who recognizes the need to break this paradigm, Outlearning the Wolves provides a graphic yet humorous approach to change. The reader is quick to draw parallels between the life-and-death existence of the sheep and those challenges which face a school faculty. Who are the leaders? Who are the wolves? What is the place of "history" in problem-solving? Are there alternatives to "fate," or are we always going to be victims? As a building (high school) principalI will ask my Leadership Council to read the book and follow up with discussion.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
No matter what we do, there will always be a pack of figurative wolves stalking us. In business, there will always be other groups and organizations that will be trying to take away your customers and lower your market share. The first part of this book is about a flock of sheep that are in a pasture surrounded by a solid barbed-wire fence. And yet, even with this protection, an occasional sheep is lost to the wolves.

Since this only rarely occurs and few sheep are actually lost, most of the members of the flock now accept it as a fact of their existence. However, there are a few who begin to challenge this fundamental assumption. The "malcontents" follow the trend and learn that more sheep are lost after protracted dry weather than during rainy periods. This is puzzling, so they begin exploring the waterway that runs through their pasture. Armed with their new and critical eyes, they see where the stream runs under the fence and conclude that the wolves are able to crawl under it when the stream is running low.

Their solution is very simple, build a dam to create a pond that will keep the water level high. Once this is done, the wolves will no longer be able to enter the pasture and make off with one of their kin.

The story is then followed by a section of textual explanation of what the main points are. Namely, it is foolish to accept regular losses as a fact of your existence. Always ask the question, "Is this really inevitable?" In many cases it is not and determining that it is not inevitable is the major step towards finding a solution. In the modern business world, not taking advantage of any improvement can be devastating, for if you are not smart enough to do it, there is most certainly a competitor who is.

This is a short book that is perfect for the half-day management seminar. Illustrated and only 64 pages long, it can be read in about an hour and is packed with information designed to get you thinking about your approach to life, work and career.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 1999
"Outlearning the Wolves" is the first title in the Learning Fables series! To learn more about the thinking behind "Wolves" and to discover other Learning Fables titles, visit David Hutchens' website.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2000
My undergraduate students love this book! Teaching systems thinking in a military college is not as unlikely as it might seem but it does present challenges. This book has proven very successful as a 'launching pad' for the semester's work, keeping their attention while presenting key concepts succinctly. It's a safe bet that if it can engage people who have 28 hours of tasks to cram into a 24-hour day, it would be worth its weight in gold in a manufacturing setting, a dot.com company, or anywhere busy people are balancing production with growing an organization.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2006
A short, easy read that is a modern-day fable about how systems work. Charming and enlightening. Good discussion questions at the end--this book could be applied to so many work and life experiences. Funny, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2013
I use this book as a reference in several public courses that I teach. I purchased more than two dozen for my leadership team at church. My daughter has read the book at least four times since she was 7 years old. It is a great talking piece for adults and children.
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on March 21, 2007
Had to read the book for school and it was quite interesting and a cool way to explain the different aspects of systems thinking.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2002
Outlearning the wolves,
By David Hutchens.
This book is a short and at times funny book. It is fast and easy too read, but still has good content. It is about how one sheep in a flock spoke out in an effort to stop wolf related casualties (WRC). This sheep motivated the flock and they started too try and find a way too stop the wolf. They all put their thoughts together and pieced together the mystery of how the wolfs were getting to their pen and then found a way to stop it. But they would still have trouble...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 1999
This is a good book which introduces the concept of a learning organization in a graphic manner.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thom Hazelip, Arthur Andersen LL
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