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Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn't Suck Paperback – August 1, 2012
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Josh wraps astute insight in a disarmingly breezy, conversational tone (“We have this notion the ‘the future’ is a specific destination pint, the big red ending dot on some kind of metaphysical map.”). Of course, the point is that the future is indeterminable and we will all create it through millions of individual tiny decisions made in the here and now—and so maybe we should get to it.
"Igniting the Invisible Tribe" invites thought experiments by playing with polarities (visible vs. invisible, internal vs. external, future vs. present and many others), asking power questions (the “Ignition Point”) at the end of most chapters (example: “Is the organization I work with life-sucking or life-giving?), sharing lots of valuable footnotes supporting his conclusions (including links to articles about IDEO, Semco, and other companies), and introducing great metaphors for transcending traditional sucky management and work-speak (i.e. Architects and Builders as co-equals).
It doesn't contain a prescriptive step-by-step recipe like some books, and shouldn't. In the world of work and culture, there is no "one size fits all". The book is clear about worldview and mindset, crucial prerequisites for successful change.
Josh’s concluding sentence: “What are you going to do?”. It's a good question.
In his disarming style--and with remarkable clarity--Dykstra acknowledges that the way we've been doing things is becoming increasingly less effective, and, he consoles those of us who feel empty, lost (or, at the very least numb) in the marketplace today that we are supposed to feel this way--because it is the system that is broken, not us! In addition, he asserts that within this realization lies great promise, for the fragments of today's organizations will someday (soon) be restructured to form a beautiful mosaic made up of more dynamic and life-giving ones in the future.
Through hoards of ground-breaking research, and numerous personal anecdotes, Dykstra elegantly weaves a tapestry of hope by encouraging leaders, entrepreneurs, and organizations to both embrace human individuality, and, to become more "value-based and meaningful" by "leveraging the power of connections both inside and between our tribes."
I would strongly encourage everyone on the planet to buy this book...to read his blog...and to hire him as a consultant or speaker right away! Doing so will not only ignite a passion within yourself, your peers, and your organizations...it will leave all of us better prepared to maintain a viable presence in the emergent, ever-changing marketplace of tomorrow.
Bravo! Josh Allan Dykstra...Your daring insights, vivid analogies, and mindful intonations make this book a rare and resplendent gem among the noisy and mind-numbing publications of our time.
Another part of the book I found especially significant was about how we value different types of work and the people who do that work. He talks about "dignifying the detail doers" and as someone who was a detail doer for many years before I landed where I am now, I understand what it's like to be "just the assistant." I enjoyed being an assistant because I knew it would lead to greater things, but even among the upper ranks of my company, assistants are still seen as the little guy, the insignificant doer. "In the emerging economy, it is essential for us to allow others the freedom to create meaning in whatever kind of work they see fit...In order to succeed in the emerging marketplace we must fight the urge to project our own tastes on others, because we need those people who are different, now more than ever!"
I would really recommend this book for someone thinking about starting their own company, or for someone in the upper ranks of corporate America because it challenges the ideas that traditional corporate America is run on.