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The Power of Minds at Work: Organizational Intelligence in Action Paperback – December 19, 2008
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"The book is an intellectual whack on the head,a blunt discourse that pinpoints 17 basic syndromes of dysfunction...." -- Houston Business Journal Nov 2002
"today's organizations have to become a lot smarter, instructive, critical and specific, this book points the way." -- BIZLIFE, Greensboro, NC, April 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Reveals how the smartest (and dumbest) organizations function, and how executives and managers can make their own departments and companies work more intelligently. Provides a practical framework for defining, assessing, and developing the collective intelligence of any enterprise.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If that statement sounds a little brash, challenging, critical, and accurate, you ain't seen nothin' yet! After a quarter century of consulting to all sorts of organizations around the world, Karl Albrecht has earned an enviable reputation---and the bully pulpit to tell it like it is. His messages (and the book is filled with them) need to be heard by people in charge of today's departments, divisions, companies, agencies, and other organizations. We call these people "leaders," but in truth most are really managers or even administrators in leaders' clothing. Their ignorance, ineptitude, and avoidable blunders inhibit performance.
Leaders need to learn more about leadership. They need to understand leadership in its current context and, at the same time, appreciate how we arrived at this place on our journey. They need to appreciate their role, especially the importance of inspiring and supporting people to use their minds. Creativity? Yes, but an amazing proportion of workers can't---or won't---even think for themselves, limiting their potential for achievement.
Consider Albrecht's Law: "Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization, will tend toward collective stupidity." It's Dilbert ® come to life. Albrecht's assertion is that leveraging the intelligence of an organization can determine the difference between "smart" companies and "dumb" companies. In our increasingly competitive employment environment, companies that allow themselves to be "dumb" (or even just dumber than the competition) may be doomed to extinction. The differentiating factor is leadership, and how well that leadership can utilize the individual and collective intelligence of the organization's members.
This book will grab your attention in the preface and you'll find yourself wanting to keep turning the pages to absorb the knowledge delivered, sometimes irreverently, by the author. Each chapter is filled with insights of past, present, and possibilities that will add to the vital comprehension of how the quality of thinking can help or hinder achievement. A liberal sprinkling of examples, aptly called "Case in Point," bring principles and experiences to life in each chapter. A set of Key Indicators closes each chapter, giving the reader a handy checklist to apply the knowledge gained. This design is very user-friendly.
The first two chapters make the case for smarter organizations. The second section of the book explores Organizational Intelligence, focusing on strategic vision, shared fate, appetite for change, earning discretionary energy, alignment and congruence, knowledge development, and performance pressure. The last two chapters offer the reader some serious guidance in how to make their organizations smarter. Notes at the end of each chapter and a comprehensive 12-page index add value.
The Power of Minds at Work covers a lot of landscape. It's comprehensive, yet delves into sufficient depth to satisfy some of the thought stimulated by his commentary. Yes, you read that sentence correctly: some of your thought will be satisfied. Reading this book will inspire you to go further. Wise leaders will absorb the book, then invite their co-leaders to read and discuss Albrecht's messages....and apply the wisdom that emerges. The content in these pages will generate some rich, productive conversations.
Reviewer's Note: As author of "Impending Crisis: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough People," a wake-up call about the shortage of skilled labor in this decade, I urge corporate executives to sharpen their skills in leadership and drawing more from their people. "The Power of Minds at Work" is an excellent tool to build this strength.
the habits of mind which stultify organizations, resulting in
costly dysfunction, and then offers ways to free the organizations from those learned patterns. Reading this book stimulates thinking about one's leadership style and opens one's mind to many other options. This is an exciting book for anyone in a leadership role.
With the American economy in a crisis, he presents a timely invitation to the leaders of business and government organizations. Crisis foments great change. He invites leaders to use their own great intelligence and the collective intelligence of all the people in their organization as a powerful living organism, with undreamed of potential for productivity and innovation. With that invitation
he offers practical suggestions and a valuable chapter on thinking styles.
With the accounts of financial disasters due to organizations
operating without systemic intelligence, Albrecht calls for the mobilization of collective intelligence and a collaboration
between the leaders and employees in ways that give new meaning
to work. The vision for an organization shared by all the people
involved bears great motivational energy. He says, "The power of a common cause, together with a sense of commu nity and shared fate, creates a kind of competitive power that's hard to beat.
Just as our culture has viewed the human body as a machine, companies have also been seen as machines with the employees
as cogs in that machine. This book clearly acknowledges what
we now know: that any human system is in reality a living organism demanding respect as such. Stories of companies that have endured one hundred years because the leaders understood this fact set an example for success.
With excellent diagrams to stimulate one's fresh thinking,
and suggestions for fostering collective intelligence, Albrecht
inspires confidence in the kind of changes in organizations that
can restore our economy. This would evoke admiration for the leaders and organizations utilizing the great intelligence that he perceived working as a consultant s all over the world in the past 20 years. The underlying message seems to be: "You are far more intelligent and capable than you think you are, and so are all the people with whom you work." One comes away from the book thinking, "He may be right!"
Particularly in the context of shaping visions with the shared needs, this book will be much helpful for any businss person to understand why we need to change and what to do in the daily business.