The Starfish and the Spider

The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom

This fun book plays off the rule of nature that a creature like a spider cannot function if you cut off its head, whereas a starfish, which has no head, can’t be killed by whacking it up. In fact, in some starfish species each of the parts grows back into a new starfish.

The authors cite examples such as the Apache Indians in America’s early days and the international terrorist organization al Qaeda, where efforts to attack them by killing their leader (cutting off their head) simply opens the door to another leader.

While it’s another approach to bottom-up management (I don’t believe a leaderless company can function), it is an interesting, fun read and well worth having in your library.


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