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The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success Hardcover – August 13, 2013
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*Starred Review* Brafman and Pollack, organizational and leadership experts, respectively, explain their thesis on the need for “contained chaos” in our personal and work lives so that new and creative ideas can emerge “out of nowhere.” Framing their argument within case studies, including the U.S. Army, Brafman and Pollack explain that while organizational structure and hierarchy are essential in both large corporations and small groups, they stifle creativity. A small amount of “controlled chaos” confined within certain borders can benefit an organization’s overall well-being. Elements of chaos include “white space,” or time off from organized work to allow innovation and new ideas to take root; meetings without agendas; renegades, or those who don’t fit into the group’s traditional profile of participants; and planned serendipity, or engaging as many aspects of your organization as possible in problem solving. This small, excellent book offers thought-provoking insights for a wide range of library patrons as they face complicated challenges personally and within their businesses large and small. A must read. --Mary Whaley
“This useful and practical book will be welcomed by managers looking for new ways to innovate.” -Publishers Weekly
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Is it true that (1) great successes have risen from Silicon Valley and (2) there is a culture of chaos endemic there? Yes, both are true. But to draw a direct causative relationship, and further - to look over ALL OF THE COLOSSAL disasters that ALSO came out of there - is wrongheaded at best, but to encourage managers to facilitate chaos because of it is irresponsible at worst.
It feels throughout the entire book that Brafman has a "neat idea" about a management theory that will give middle managers a "good feeling" at their next staff meeting, and all they REALLY have to do is just "step back and let the magic happen". This is really every bureaucrat's dream, because what Brafman is essentially instructing you to do is create a space for dialogue and then allow other people to have it -- Perfect for managers who don't know their jobs anyway!
I'm cynical about self-help books and "great new management techniques". This book has interesting ideas, but I don't know how anyone would ever begin to usefully, tangibly APPLY any of them.
Invite unusual suspects to the table. I think of this as collecting people and visualizing how their unique personality and gifting will complement others when I introduce them.
Engineered serendipity. Put yourself in new environments and live with the anticipation that your life will be enlarged with every exchange.
I’m going to recommend this book to people who want to better understand what makes me tick.
The challenge that lies ahead for me is to evangelize the ideas found within this short book, so my organization can begin tho recognize the value and benefits of introducing constructive chaos we instigate rather than that we now simply react to.
Starfish and the spider
From the author of "The Starfish and the spider", which is one of my favourite books on organizational development.
I had high hopes. Was a little afraid too, as I am working on a book about asymmetric management and the title suggested a lot of overlap.
I need have worried or bothered. As a book it reads well, you can finish it in a few hours, but the lessons from the book are nothing new.
Much better books to read
Instead read "Loose" or "Antifragile" or "The business model innovation factory" or "Digital disruption" or "Creative Intelligence". In fact any book on innovation will do.
Chaos is good
The crux of the book is that chaos is good for you. You need to create some white space to allow for the creative juices to flow, you need unusual suspects (read "Mavericks at work" or "The rare find") and you need planned serendipity (which is a contradiction in terms) or at least get out of the way of not letting serendipity happen.
And that is the book.
Einstein, Jobs, Six Sigma
He talks about Einstein, Steve Jobs, neuroscience, Silicon Valley, Six Sigma (kills serendipity) and I have read it all before. Better explained, with a lot more depth.
Disappointed and delighted. The plan to write the book on asymmetric management is alive and kicking.
The cover of the book is nice.........
All that can be related to the more different aspects of our life.
There aren't more technical aspects, because here we have a vision no mathematical by an exact view, but of a qualitative type.
The author talks also about the different aspects which to the chaos is appyied, as biology, physics, neurology.
The style is happy, because Brafman want tell to the lector many things as an univeritary lesson.