Among the large pile of books I read through this summer, one stood out and has left a pleasant after-taste: REINVENTING ORGANIZATIONS by Frederic Laloux (Belgium). Frederic has attempted to do mission impossible and has actually come up with something of incredible value. He took the human development perspective and applied it to business. The idea is simple and has been considered for centuries: human beings develop over a life-time and societies develop over centuries into increasingly developed forms and belief systems. Why not organizations as well. Based on much work done by Integral Studies (Ken Wilber et al but also many other developmentalists such as Jean Gebser, Don Beck, Jean Piaget), Frederic developed first a historical overview of the development of organizations and then created a white space of the organization of the future. And here comes the magic – rather than just leaving things there, he went out and found a dozen companies of all sizes and from various industries and developed small case studies to understand how these companies are living already today partially or fully the principles of the organization of the future.
But don’t take my word for it, here is an excellent New York Times review on the book.
We are running a Collaboratory event that I will facilitate together with other BSL colleagues featuring Frederic Laloux, Christian Felber and others on November 21-22, 2014 in Vienna in association with LiFT and the Zentrum für Integrale Führung led by Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller. If you are interested to join us, please let me know!
October 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm
REINVENTING ORGANIZATIONS by Frederic Laloux is definitely one of the more interesting books coming out this year which I enjoyed reading as well.
I read Laloux right after re-reading “Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives” by Mary Jo Hatch with support of Ann Cunliffe and I can highly recommend the combination – getting the whole field of organisational theory repeated and systematised by Mary Jo and combining that with the evolutionary perspectives and future directions provided by Laloux.
My personal reflections have been centered around how to move this from interesting academic conversations into organisational practice in international business.