Rod A. Beckstrom


The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

This work provides an understanding of the amazing force that links some of today’s most successful companies. If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off it’s head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Some organisations are just as decentralised as starfish, with no control centre or grand strategy. Think of craigslist and the original Napster, run totally by their own customers. Or Alcoholics Anonymous, which has thrived for decades as a loose network of small groups. Or even al Qaeda, which is so hard to destroy because its cells function independently. “The Starfish and the Spider”, based on groundbreaking research into decentralised organisations, proves that this type of leadership is primed to change the world. Major companies like eBay, IBM, Sun, and GE are starting to decentralise, with great results. Decentralisation isn’t easy for people who are used to the classic chain of commence organisation. But as readers will learn through this book’s fascinating stories – ranging from the music business to geopolitics – it can be a very dangerous trend to ignore.