Release year: 1996

Authors: Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers

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Link to my handwritten notes


This is a poetic management book that looks a how nature self-organizes and how we can use this force in our organizations. It is a nice blend of highly metaphysical and strangely actionable ideas. I’m sure it took courage to publish a book like this. It made me think a lot about the game of Go and the book Reinventing Organizations (#37).

Félix rating:

⭐ Star quotes

  1. (p. 13) There are no “windows of opportunity,” narrow openings in the fabric of space-time that soon disappear forever. Possibilities are infinite.
  2. (p. 42) Life creates niches not to dominate, but to support. Symbiosis is the most favored path for evolution. Niches are an example of symbiosis.
  3. (p. 50) We encourage others to change only if we honor who they are now. We ourselves engage in change only as we discover that we might be more of who we are by becoming something different.
  4. (p. 51) There are no separated individuals. [We are all connected.]
  5. (p. 62) Love is saying yes to belonging.
  6. (p. 63) What about those of us marooned in organizations of no belonging? Daily, we offer less and less. We withdraw our love and give it willingly to other areas of our lives.
  7. (p. 82) When we shrink people’s access to information, we shrink their capacity. They will still self-organize, but why make this process difficult? Why starve people who want to create organization?
  8. (p. 91) Could we take what feels like a threat and alter its role in our lives?