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A Simpler Way Paperback – January 1, 1998
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While A Simpler Way may appear too New Age for some readers, this beautifully produced book hits the mark by bringing together an array of unexpected ideas as the authors look anew at established theories of human behavior to propose a decidedly unique way of promoting organization and achieving success. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book has a great deal of white space, lots of photos, is double-spaced, but by no means is it simplistic. To play on the title, it is a "simpler way" to absorb the large deep ideas that are documented in "Leadership and the New Science." If her primary writing were a trilogy, this is the entry-level book, "Finding Our Way" is the intermediate volume, and "Leadership" is the graduate course. However, I recommend they be read in reverse order, because the simpler books are more clearly appreciated if one has the deeper background.
What I find most compelling about this book is the manner in which it captures core ideas from a wide variety of works that have been bubbling into human consciousness in the past 20 years. The bibliography is quite good although by no means all-inclusive (missing Kurzweil, E. O. Wilson, and Stephen Wolfham, as well as Tom Atlee and Bill Moyers, among others).
Among the core ideas in this book that are presented with elegance are the absurdity of thinking that life can have a boss--or that rigid ideas and identities will lead to anything other than rigid non-adjustable organizations. The author stresses the value of diversity, passion, connectedness, humanity and humanness, and tieing it all together, the role of information and of ethics as facilitators for "being."
There is a very useful discussion of bacteria and the manner in which human attempts to impose machine and medical solutions are ultimately defeated by bacteria. Although Howard Bloom's "Global Brain" is not in the bibliography, everything the authors discuss here is consistent with his concerns about bacteria winning the inter-species war with humanity.
Taking this a step further, I would contrast this book, and the varied books on collective intelligence, wisdom of the crowd, ecological economics (Herman Daly) and so on, with a book I recently reviewed about the National Security Council, aptly titled "Running the World." The stupidity and arrogance of that title reveals all that we need to know about why U.S. foreign policy is failing, and how desperately we need to take the ideas from this book and apply them to how we manage ourselves and our relationships with other nations, other tribes, other religions, other communities.
More than being an uplifting book, more than being an effective business book, more than all of this, it is a book which raises tantalizing new questions, awakens a creative opportunity, and whets an appetite for learning more.
It is a book which helped me reawaken a curiosity and a thirst for further exploration that I haven't indulged in too long a time. From A Simpler Way, I have read several books about the New Sciences. I began with Dancing Wu Li Masters, and was thoroughly charmed. Then the Tao of Physics, which built a little more around the ideas from Wu Li Masters. And then Turbulent Mirror. And then Synchronicity and the Inner Path of Leadership. And then Bohm. And more and more more. From biology to botany to chaos to quantum physics to buisness organization to leadership. The philosophy of science. The vast amounts of knowledge in these books has allowed me to open up whole new perspectives on my life... my personal life, my spiritual life, my home life, my work life.
But it started, for me, with A Simpler Way. And I am the richer for it.