- Series: Financial Times Series
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Pearson Education Canada; 3 edition (October 4, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0273714139
- ISBN-13: 978-9189388321
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Funky Business Forever: How to enjoy capitalism (3rd Edition) (Financial Times Series) 3rd Edition
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Oh dear. A book called Funky Business by two Swedish academics. At first glance, it has all the allure of Benny and Bjorn's (from Abba) sadly never-released concept album about life as a middle manger in a multinational conglomerate. There is something earnestly hip about the way Kjell Nordström and Jonas Ridderstråle of the Stockholm School of Economics present themselves. "They do gigs not seminars. These gigs sell out. They have shaved heads and wear black," says the blurb.
But that's what makes Funky Business worth reading. It's not so much the novelty of the authors' argument, which boils down to the notion that in an oversupplied world, ideas are what separate successful companies and individuals from failures. Rather, it's the vitality of their argument and the rhythm of their language that make their ideas so compelling. "Traditional roles, jobs, skills, ways of doing things, insights, strategies, aspirations, fears, and expectations no longer count. In this environment, we cannot have business as usual. We need business as unusual. We need different business. We need innovative business. We need unpredictable business. We need surprising business. We need funky business."
The book, which is almost a virtuoso display of rhetoric and intellectual power, bursts at the seams with the force of its argument and the weight of its colorful evidence. Sources quoted range from the pope to the British band the Prodigy. Funky, Inc., they say, "isn't like any other company. It is not a dull, old conglomerate. It is not a rigid bureaucracy. It is an organization that actually thrives on the changing circumstances and unpredictability of our times."
This is great entertainment. But the slick veneer does not invalidate the way the book pulls together many existing strands of thought about how business is developing and evokes a coherent and intriguing vision of a future whose main feature will be incoherence.
This really is one for the whole family. Or at least those old enough to have a job. --Alex Benady --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Considering this book is written 20 years ago, I may not be evaluating it in the right context. And the world back then seems too remote to me. The central argument of this books is: we live in a new world X, and, to succeed in world X, organizations and leaders must do Y. Let's evaluate this. Are we still living in world X? Now, yes; in five years, may be not. With brexit and Donald Trump, the world may slowly head back to focus on local and domestic economy. On the other hand, if organizations and leaders do Y, do they succeed without living in world X? It is true that we see unicorn companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Tesla, which are distinct from the traditional companies. But so is Bell Labs from the last century. It lives in a world before X, and its organization is full of talented people and consists of an environment to innovate. Of course, whether Bell Labs can survive without its cash-rich parent AT&T is a separate question. But this shows the limitation of the book: it does not argue X is the necessary condition of Y, as the more inclined reader would wonder. Instead of focusing on the conditions that are changing, what are the fundamental immutable truth about successful companies? To this, I recommend reading the book "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't" by Jim Collins.
=== Summary ===
The book is divided into six major parts: 1) funky times, 2) forces of funk, 3) funky village, 4) funky inc., 5) funky u, and 6) feeling funky.
Funky times sets the tone about the new world we are living in. With vast abundance, value no longer lies in material, but more intangible element. The author argues that knowledge will be the determining factor of success. In the face of fierce global competitions, businesses need to differentiate themselves using knowledge. He cites an example of car industry where the differentiator is design -- not the engine. Organizations needs to innovate at a faster pace. And leadership becomes even more important -- which, ultimately, means men too.
Forces of funk examines three underlying driving force of this new world. Technology, especially computers, is moving at an accelerating pace. The weakening power of institutions, from ideology, state, political parties, enterprise, to family. Values that become liberated, global, and yet empty. These forces combined had led to deregulation, and hence, more freedom.
Funky village then discusses the society we are living it. It is abundant, fast-paced, information-heavy, and globally connected. Society is also transforming in three different ways. Identities becomes blurrier. Societies becomes more fragmented. Things are being combined in novel ways. These have all led to a winner-take-all society.
Funky inc. discusses the properties of organization that will succeed amid new challenges. It must be focused, leveraged, innovative, and heterarchical.
Funky u discusses leadership. A leader must be visionary, creative, always learning, and sensitive. In order to be successful, it is key to be unique, incorporative, and connected.
Feeling funky discusses the attitudes that will make you successful.
The "$.50 plus shipping" humiliation already happened to Jim Collins and his "X to Y" franchise, and Funky Business is definitely next in the line. The author's claim to fame is being MOBOs - the masters of obvious - by unleashing their braindumps onto the unsuspecting readers. The lightness of material, of course, frees the treatise from any responsibility, but also strips it of any practical value. All you get after reading the Funky Business Forever will be some noise plus one or two slightly deeper insights that are barely news anymore.
There is, however, still one good reason to read this book - that is, if you were cryogenically frozen for last thirty years and desperately need to catch up.
Nordstrom & Ridderstale done good job stacking random business headers up to 1999, but it gets sketchier beyond that, even with the "Forever" facelift. The authors still live the world, where TV is a dominant source of information, fabless manufacturers are novelty and people are amused about their clothing labels. Above and beyond this level of knowledge, Funky Business boldly states that blue is blue, red is red and whoever is cool remains cool until he gets uncool. But you can probably figure this on you own.
The message is important, but the way they present it is a beauty. The language is different than most business book you read, probably the european backkground cause that. BUT it is VERY delicious.
Lots of interesting pictures, lots of picturous quotations, lots of emotion packed words. It mumble here and there, talk about this and that, but the spirit of the NEW era is there, funky and different. It bring a pause to the regular books with depth and tons of thoughts necessery to dicern them, it liberate your souls.
The message is simple: be different or doomed, they tried to tell you why.
Harry Potter is a general page-turner book, this one also does, go and get it. The high adrenalin you got from reading it worth much much more that the cost of the book. One of the best books i read.
The book is very DELICIOUSLY WRITTEN, ENJOYABLE TO READ. it is almost impossible to put down if you are in the same though-principle with the writers. This is new economy book that should open the mind of people and show the direction of the future.
Note that some words are very strong and impolite, but is is damn good and enjoyable. And in europe the two people are very2 famous ala superstars (hmmm, so said my norway friends).
The books talked a lot about the FUNKY-ALL-THINGS and give a lot of advices. But the most interesting thing is how they say it, it is definielty different than the normal business book of america, hence the distinction and the unique benefit of it. A lot of the story even are not american, but you have to read it to know how powerful this is.
I wrote this on my (at least) 3rd reding of the book on my second book (the first one was borrowed and never returned, so i bought again! from amazon, sent dhl with other books to indonesia). i LOVE this book.
Most recent customer reviews
It is, first, well-formatted and easy to read (albeit with some awkward grammar here and there, or so I thought).Read more