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The Fall of the Alphas: The New Beta Way to Connect, Collaborate, Influence---and Lead Hardcover – October 1, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The alpha model—boss reigning from the corner office, issuing orders, and maintaining distance—is slowly being replaced as the model for business success. What works better in the information age is the beta model—management by collaboration, connection, and shared power. After years of advising Fortune 500 companies, Ardi has observed the evolution from hierarchic to horizontal management. Knowledge industry startups have provided the model that more traditional companies are beginning to adopt, and Ardi furnishes ample case studies of both. But she looks beyond the contemporary business world to provide history of the evolution of labor from hunter-gatherers to farmers, from the industrial to the information age, and the impact of globalization that makes the alpha model outdated. She also looks to anthropology, biology, genetics, psychology, sociology, and information technology for the social forces that have prompted a reexamination of alpha male-dominated organizational structure. Noting the potential of higher flexibility and creativity promised by the beta model, Ardi offers solid advice on how more companies can make the switch. An insightful look at a pivotal change in business management style. --Vanessa Bush

Review

“Noting the potential of higher flexibility and creativity promised by the beta model, Ardi offers solid advice on how more companies can make the switch. An insightful look at a pivotal change in business management style.” ―Booklist Review

“Dana Ardi explores a new world of collaborative organizations which are poised to blow past the old command and control model.” ―David Karp, Chief Executive Officer of Tumblr

“Dana Ardi gives a voice, and a name to the behavioral shift underway in society and business today. As I read this book, I found myself thinking intensely about her new model for leadership, and what it means for our clients and our company.” ―Frederick Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of AlixPartners

The Fall of the Alphas offers a brilliant analysis for manageable transformation. Dana Ardi's insights will show you how to bring your company into the more sustainable model of collaborative structure.” ―Jonathan Miller, partner, Advancit Capital, former chief digital officer for News Corporation, and former CEO of AOL Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312681933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312681937
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As Dana Ardi explains, "Today's American corporate world is a tale of two cultures. One, more traditional and common, is centralized and hierarchical. I call it [begin italics] Alpha [end italics]. The other, smaller and rarer, is decentralized, horizontal, and inclusive. I call this one [begin italics] Beta [end italics]." In her Introduction, she presents a Dickensian "tale of two cultures" represented by a fictional but plausible exemplar of each. "Now, obviously I've used some hyperbole to emphasize the differing behaviors, environments, and cultures between these two companies. But these contrasts encompass the wide range of difference I encounter regularly in my business, I spend a great deal of my daily work studying and understanding, diagnosing, and helping repair the core cultures of organizations. That's because I'm a corporate anthropologist."

The defining characteristics of a Beta organization reflect a number of major influences, listed in alpha order, that include Alan Briskin (collective wisdom), Brian Carney and Isaac Getz (workplace freedom), Henry Chesbrough (open business model). Tom Davenport (collective judgment), Bill George (authentic leadership), Daniel Goleman (emotional intelligence), Robert Greenleaf (servant leadership), and Peter Senge (organizational learning). This is how Ardi describes it: "Beta is the communitarian, horizontal alternative to the individualistic, hierarchical paradigm. Beta creates networks rather than silos. Beta deemphasizes secrecy, and focuses instead on the pooling of information, ideas, and opinions. Beta emphasizes teamwork over individual competition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fall of the Alphas is based on a fine concept - old-school, jerk, misogynist, power-hoarding leaders will fail; self-critical, power-sharing, leaders who empower their teams and encourage innovative ideas will win. The rest of the book is filled with loosely relevant personal anecdotes from the author and generic motivational quotes and sayings ("Humility is a final achievement" -fortune cookie). I was excited about the underlying premise of this book, but was disappointed with its lack of specific ideas and tactics for being a "Beta" leader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Book review - The Fall of the Alphas by Dana Ardi

The book explores the recent and successful shift from the traditional Alpha model ("Controlling; Ego-driven; Autocratic; Knowledge is Power") which has been a style of leadership for thousands of years and leads by authority, micro-management, through creating internal competition, fear and a silo mentality to one that is being replaced by collaborative leadership, coaching, delegated authority and teamwork. It highlights the opportunity of using a new model to develop a company, from good to great, through collaborative leadership.

Dana Ardi builds on her broad global experience to demonstrate that, in the new Beta organisation ("Creative; Eco-driven; Collaborative; Shared Vision") new managers learn to play to their strengths by leading through influence, teamwork and collaboration but recognise their own weaknesses thus allowing people to support them in delivering success. Beta leaders know employees' interests and passions, thus recognising what is critically important to meet their aspirations and they care about their future, whilst understanding where they came from ("Lifeline Exercise"). Today you want people for whom the mission they are going to be tackling with a team is what excites them and then reward, to create a commonality of purpose, by making equity go as deep into an organisation as possible.

The Beta model builds a stronger company that is collaborative, is more effective, has a culture that is responsive to change, embraces empowerment, is less secretive, is aligned with suppliers and customers and achieves results through people. Where customers feel that they have an impact on product development and become brand ambassadors!
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