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When Giants Learn To Dance Paperback – July 15, 1990

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is Professor of Sociology and of Organization and Management, Yale University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; Touchstone ed. edition (July 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671696254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671696252
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,954,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Rosabeth Moss Kanter is among the most thoughtful and articulate of commentators on contemporary business. Having recently re-read this book, I was not surprised that it remains at least as relevant as it was when first published in 1990. Her fondness for metaphors is evident in this brief excerpt in which she suggests correlations between Lewis Carroll's Wonderland and the global marketplace which Kanter surveyed more than a decade ago. "The mallet Alice uses is a flamingo, which tends to lift its head and face another direction just as Alice tries to hit the ball. The ball, in turn, is a hedgehog, another creature with a mind of its own. The wickets are card soldiers, ordered around by the Queen of Hearts, who changes the structure of the game seemingly at whim by barking out an order to the wickets to reposition themselves around the court.... Substitute technology for the flamingo, employees or customers for the hedgehog and everyone from the government regulators to corporate raiders for the Queen of Hearts and the analogy fits the experience of a growing number of companies."
The "giants" which Kanter examines in this book include Kodak, IBM, AT&T and CBS. I find it interesting that Louis Gerstner chose for the title of his recently published memoirs Who Says That Elephants Can't Dance? As he explains, IBM's culture rather than its strategy proved to be his greatest challenge when struggling to save that once great company. This is precisely what Kanter has in mind when suggesting that "Whereas bureaucratic management is inherently preservation-seeking, entrepreneurial management is inherently opportunity-seeking.
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Format: Paperback
Even thought this book was originally written in 1989, it has great ideas that can be utilitized today.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Today's corporate balancing act requires a different style from, a style better suited to playing in the corporate Olympics. Our new heroic model should be the athlete who can manage the amazing feat of doing more with less, who can juggle the need to both conserve resources and pursue growth opportunities. They need to be Focused, Fast, Friendly and Flexible.
A lot of great ideas that can be utilitized today.
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