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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Most companies do not survive the upheavals of change and competition over the long haul. But there are a few remarkable firms that have withstood the test of several centuries. What hidden lessons do they hold for the rest of us? Arie de Geus, the man who introduced the revolutionary concept of the learning organization, reveals the key to managing for a long and prospero Most companies do not survive the upheavals of change and competition over the long haul.
Arie de Geus, the man who introduced the revolutionary concept of the learning organization, reveals the key to managing for a long and prosperous organizational life. The Living Company speaks not just to aspiring leaders, but to anyone trying to adapt to a turbulent business environment. Only those steeped in the habits of a living company will survive. Arie de Geus challenges most of the conventional wisdom in management thinking today' - Dr. James F. Moore, author of "The Death of Competition".
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Dec 31, Carlos Viesca rated it really liked it. It is an excellent reference to devise the corporation of the future. Particularly because it exposes the week vision and wisdom of corporate leadership in general. This is particularly evident for Mexican or Latinamerican corporations.
Our management style is years behind the vision of this book even though it's 20 years old. The only weakness is precisely that. It would be great to have a new edition, updating its examples and adding the current socio-environmental context of sustainability. Jul 31, Keoni Sanny rated it really liked it. Insightful look at how companies can be seen as living organisms and the resulting consequences for manager and employee behavior.
Sep 22, Jack Vinson rated it really liked it Shelves: km. This book starts with the central question, "Are companies alive? He argues that just as organisms must adapt to their changing environment or die, so too must companies. If this is true, then companies must be managed to This book starts with the central question, "Are companies alive? If this is true, then companies must be managed to encourage this growth and adaptability.
One of the best concepts is that of knowledge ecology, which has gotten a lot of play after this book was published. Innovation is clearly needed in the creation of new knowledge.
Those innovations must go beyond the group or person who created the innovation via local social propagation of the concept and through larger mobility of the idea through the "society" of the organization. Throughout the book, de Geus describes two extremes of company organization in a variety of ways: The mechanical company is the one run as if it were a predicable machine and the one which is unlikely to survive major changes in its environment.
The living company is more likely to handle change well and adapt, since it is run and cared for with ecology in mind. The people in a living company are assets to be nurtured and grown, whereas the people in machine companies are expendable cogs. The last sections of the book describe the Shell's people development program, which is not unlike the military program of moving people to different responsibilities throughout the company, rather than keeping them focused on one area of the business.
The idea is to develop people who are adaptable and capable of handling new circumstances, while also indoctrinating them in the Shell culture.
View 1 comment. Given our current economic climate, I recommend to all organizational leaders regardless of country or industry. Best quotes, "Space must be created for people to experiment and take risks. At the same time, people cannot simply do what they like at the expense of the organization's common purpose. Clearly, one needs both: empowered people and effective control" p. You take steps, one at a time, into an unknowable future" p. Feb 20, Greg rated it liked it.
This book though well written made it's point early on about adapting to the marketplace for survival and with my having put years in entertainment, especially now as technology races forward, "adapting" to a rapidly changing business climate and economic landscape is a given.
Adaptation comes with a price when your company answers to wall street and your a player on someone else's field. Lights too bright out on the playing field?! Can't see to make your winning play? Must be a new kinda bulb t This book though well written made it's point early on about adapting to the marketplace for survival and with my having put years in entertainment, especially now as technology races forward, "adapting" to a rapidly changing business climate and economic landscape is a given.
Must be a new kinda bulb their testing Oh, you weren't told? Shelves: business , recommendation-from-dad , mvpl , management , non-fiction. Some stellar thoughts on how great, long-lived companies are different from the 'standard' economic company. This was written a decade and a half ago, and there are definitely both examples that feel dated and more recent events that I'd love the author's opinion on.
Overall highly recommended. It won't tell you how to run your company or lead your team, but Mr. May 24, Nick Russo rated it liked it. Interesting book, and an interesting school of thought. I now take pause on that popular issue of whether corporations are people. It's easier to abandon that train of thought for the puddle, money-driven companies but the river companies that have stood the test of time and respond to their environment by adapting to survive, much as a living organism, are a different case.
Apr 04, Sergei rated it liked it. Nick Gogerty rated it it was ok Jul 01, Kristine rated it really liked it Jun 12, Paul rated it liked it Mar 10, Karthik rated it really liked it Apr 03, Nasir Ali rated it it was amazing Oct 18, Gideon Rosenblatt rated it liked it Jan 11, Paul Zonneveld rated it it was amazing Dec 15, Com rated it really liked it Feb 20, Startup Ngo rated it it was amazing Oct 19, Bandar Pkv rated it it was ok Mar 29, Vlad Sargu rated it really liked it Sep 01, Deepak Dewan rated it really liked it Jan 07, Joona Ronkainen rated it liked it Jun 10, Terry Gardiner rated it it was amazing Mar 01, Tom Schnetzer rated it it was amazing Jan 18,
The Living Company : Habits for Survival in a Turbulent Business Environment
For Arie de Geus, the corporation is an important institution. The ultimate corporate man, Mr. Such loyalty runs in the family — Mr. In the era of career management and employability, this sort of devotion is decidedly unfashionable.
"The Living Company" by Arie de Geus
In the world of institutions, commercial corporations are newcomers. They have been around for only years—a mere blip in the course of human civilization. In that time, as producers of material wealth, they have enjoyed immense success. If you look at them in light of what they could be, however, most commercial corporations are underachievers. They exist at an early stage of evolution; they develop and exploit only a small fraction of their potential. Consider their high mortality rate.