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The Living Company Paperback – June 4, 2002
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a very similar with the "Built to last", one of the bestsellers of Amazon. If you liked that book this will be an excellent complement of your reading and thoughts.
Perhaps this is the book that a Startup's CEOs should had read before launch their enterprise, because one of the characteristic of a living company is that they are conservative in their finances.
De Geus wrote a book that it is not limit to a period of time like recent books dot com books. By this I mean that you can go back to it and reapply its contents in your business reality again and again.
An import thing to say is that this is a book of principles, not rules or easy steps to success. Although the author is going to show you that there is a pattern in all the living company, he goes beyond that, showing the root that origin these patterns. The principles was constructed by observing companies, specially Royal Doutch/shell, were Arie de Geus worked for many years, but with the help of other disciplines like psychology and biology, which study the behavior and life of humans and animals. To discuss about innovation for instance, you will observe how a specie of bird is very smart to pass a learning to the whole specie. And to understand how we react or anticipate an external change in our business, it will be useful to look some psychology's theories about the human mind, and so on.
Don't think this is a book for academic public, it is not.Read more ›
The problem is that, in management, you get what you reward. This is a well-known truth and explains the dysfunction we see in most companies. As de Geus puts it, "The difficulty lies in our definition of corporate success...the dominant school of thought in business administration measures success purely in terms of quantity: the maximization of revenues, market share, share value, or proceeds."
The solution de Geus comes up with is novel and revolutionary. It is to look at companies differently -- not as machines, but as living beings. In fact, he goes even further than this, saying that companies actually are living beings. It is only because they are living that they can learn and adapt and hence sustain themselves over long periods of time.
This view seems extreme, but it is soundly based in philosophical argument and it is preferable to the alternate view that companies operate like clockwork and their employees are simply assets. The complexity of organizations can indeed be understood better by analogy with human psychology and biological ecosystems. And a company is able to survive and learn only because it has an identity that outlives any of the people working within it.
de Geus draws on the work of leaders in the fields of psychology, philosophy, evolutionary biology and immunology.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an awful book. Not that I take a major issue with having companies live long. What I really dislike it the author's intellect. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jackal
product arrived on time and as expected. good read. thanks for the aloha!Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
Literally broke the first time I used them. I bought two, thinking that they were cheap and probably more prone to breaking. Read morePublished on November 5, 2010 by samh
To understand more about development of organizations to me its a good book. Fairly good readeble and stil actual. Basic principals never change.Published on January 9, 2010 by B. Jongsma
This book should be as instructive to economists as it is to students of business.
Formal economics has, for a long time, seen the company as a sort of black box which... Read more
Arie provides a very good picture of companies that have sustained centuries of change. His research reveals what makes them click and what they aare doing that others are not... Read morePublished on October 24, 2006 by John Inman
I am re-reading the book, and was compelled to share my love and appreciation of the deep understanding and unique approach to organizations and to the ways of dealing with change... Read morePublished on December 8, 2005 by Galya Jazz
This is a must read for all those people who are interested in the subject of organizational learning. Read morePublished on May 7, 2004