6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Sense of Place...a Very Special Place,
This review is from: Collaborative Communities (Hardcover)
Many years ago, I read a book by Wilson S. McWilliams (The Idea of Fraternity in America) in which he provided a broad yet probing analysis of how and why Americans have formed and then sustained various kinds of groups. The groups' structure and purposes vary: military, commercial, religious, political, economic, social, athletic, etc. Most groups emerge as a result of what might be viewed as enlightened self-interest. Our nation's motto ("E pluribus unum") correctly suggests one of the basic principles of Colonial solidarity. McWilliams' concept of "fraternity" is quite similar to Shuman and Twombly's concept of "community" even as the two books written by these authors, obviously, also have a different structure as well as different purposes.
In the Preface, Shuman first acknowledges the "conventional wisdom" that if a given business is based on a good idea and that idea is effectively implemented, the business will succeed. Then he rejects it: "In reality, no matter how good a business idea is, no matter how well the idea is implemented, as soon as you open your doors for business [literally or virtually], you will find your business has to change -- not just minor adjustments and small shifts in marketing or product design but radical [italics] change." Shuman then asserts that what he calls "The Rhythm of Business™" (TROB) is the most reliable process by which to develop and grow successful businesses of every size and type, not just today but yesterday and tomorrow. (The Rhythm of Business is the title of Shuman's previous book.) Given this methodology and all of the new technologies, Shuman then shares a "second thought": the business pattern required for the 21st century "is what I call the Collaborative Community™."
In this book, Shuman and Twombly (with David Rottenberg) develop that "second thought" by incorporating -- integrating, actually -- technology with TROB inorder to enable their readers "to stay in touch with us and continue to develop their understanding of how to achieve and maintain success in our new networked world." What they envision, in essence, is a new "fraternity." The material in the book is organized within three Parts: The Revolution in Business, The New Reality, and The New Business Pattern, followed by a "References" section for those who wish to extend and enrich their understanding of various issues addressed in this book.
For whom will this book have the greatest value? Probably owners/CEOs of small-to-midsized companies; especially those who are perhaps struggling, now, with the always-difficult transition from entrepreneurship to professional management. Decision-makers in larger organizations will also derive substantial benefit from this book, especially if they are primarily responsible for business units or even departments within those organizations. Those who share my high regard of this book are urged to check out Fitz-enz's The E-Aligned Enterprise, Segil's FastAlliances, and O'Dell and Grayson's If Only We Knew What We Know.