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We-Think: Mass innovation, not mass production Paperback – July 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1861978370 ISBN-10: 1861978375 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; 2 edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861978375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861978370
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Likely to be the most controversial book about the internet to be published this year . . . I urge you to read it."-The Independent

"A riveting guide to a new world in which a whole series of core assumptions are being overturned by innovations on the web."-The Spectator

"I was gripped. The book's theme is as big and bold as it gets ... Leadbeater's book should be compulsory reading for all who seek to understand the driving force of this century" - Management Today

About the Author

Charles Leadbeater is one of the world's leading authorities on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies (including BBC and Microsoft), cities and governments; has won the David Watt Prize for journalism; and is one of the top management thinkers in the world (Accenture, 2005). Previous books include Living on Thin Air and Up and Down the Escalator.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many of the trends and ideas described by Charles Leadbeater are well known to readers of business and technology publications. These include the power of Web and Internet Communication, new Collaborative and Virtual Organizations, and the quality and pervasiveness of Open Source efforts. There is a certain correspondence between the observations of this excellent volume and Clay Shirky's widely popular "Here Comes Everybody". But the novelty and emergent necessity of this volume lies in how these observations are applied by an International Consultant who advises worldwide corporate leaders and several European government organizations on achieving innovation.

Mr. Leadbeater offers insightful models of how bottom-up distributed innovation has had success in widely divergent technologies and geographies. These include his "Pro-Am" model of amateur do-it-yourself innovators delivering leading contributions and products above the quality of professionals employed by corporate giants; and his "pebbles" versus "boulders" model of bottom-up small scale innovation.

The excellent writing in this volume goes beyond telling a good story about technology, society and collaboration; he describes how these trends which individually have been observed by many business and technology pundits can be applied to achieving corporate, national and global innovation in the future. As a British and European expert who has advised governments and global corporations, Mr. Leadbeater brings new insight to those who have observed these trends chiefly in the American environment.

--Ira Laefsky
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By idabrandao on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
A book with a vision I entirely subscribe. It's in our hands to use the Web in a positive and productive way, to foster democracy, equality and freedom. The Web gives the ordinary citizen the possibility to produce contents, share knowledge and participate in projects wherever in the world.
This new culture of We Think, as Leadbeater puts it, is an open door to do things differently:

«If globalization is to be no more than the march of McDonalds, Coke and Microsoft, it will be a shallow and distorted account of what western culture has to offer that many in the developing world will reject. We Think offers a different possible story, one of trust and collaboration built on liberal and enlightenment traditions of peer collaboration in pursuit of better ideas, arbitrated on the basis of evidence rather than ideology.»

«The Web ... is creating a world that works to the logic of With - structured lateral, free association of people and ideas. The principle of doing things with people rather than to or for them will breed very different organizations, services and experiences in virtually every field.»

The author's vision in video:
TED Talk by Charles Leadbeater [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shlomo Vaknin on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Charles Leadbeater's We-Think is an easy to read discussion of how the Internet is changing how we live and work because of collaboration. While these points will be rather familiar to most people, the value of We-Think is in its predictions on the social changes and the internal dialogue it creates for the reader.

So while most of us know that the Internet allows developing nations free access to previously limited information, it is when we consider the implications of a non-profit organization sharing its discovery of a special bacteria that can replace expensive bio-technology with developing nations we really see just how important We-Think truly is.

But Leadbeater does not just present a rosy, one-sided view. He is keenly aware to the Web's limitations, and by looking at these limitations we get a clear idea of the Web's positive potential. Furthermore, he explains how and when these changes work, as well as why such changes have not affected many part of society.

So while it might seem that since everyone can put forth their voice on an issue, democracy would be enhanced, we find that the debate has not been enhanced since the Web tends to favor the loudest voices we tend to attract only the like-minded. By tempering the upside of connectivity, the reader is able to get a clear picture of how and in what ways will this greater connectedness spills into our personal and business lives.

Ultimately, despite its clear and easy to understand style and presentation, We-Think will benefit most those readers who already understand the basic points, and are looking to stimulate their own ideas on the topic.

I hope this review has been helpful.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Rea on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
How many hours per day do you spend on social media? I spend a couple, but then I can watch a DVR'd Daily Show at the same time as I tweet, linkedin, blog and forum. I'm guessing that my wife, an author of a book and at least three professional and one personal blogs, spends quite a bit more time than that. One informal tweet of "How Much Time Do You Spend on Social Media?" resulted in as many as 8, 10 and maybe 15 hours per day. Fortunately, I thank Charles Leadbeater's book "We-Think - Mass innovation, not mass production" in the assurance that this is not all wasted time. We-Think is a topic all its own, and I'm not sure that I fully agree with the entire publication. But that's sort of the point. Social media allows an enormously large venue for people, voluntarily, purely for the fun of it, to participate in ideas. While all those tweets, blogs, and forums allow for an inordinate amount of "I think" dogmatism, collectively the ability for people to participate and respond in a global open forum can result in a "We Think" response. One that, when the collective works effectively, can produce far more innovative thinking, far faster than has historically been possible.

I believe that We Think will play an ever-increasing role in innovation, and on how leaders will need to lead businesses in the future.

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