Ten Lessons - A Story of Turnaround and a New Philosophy of Organisations

 
9789768193629: Ten Lessons - A Story of Turnaround and a New Philosophy of Organisations

This enchanting story about love, life and the philosophy of organisations offers a novel approach to companies in decline, with people forming the living core around which all other organisational forces pivot. The turnaround expert usually enters an environment of fear and distrust. Ten Lessons shows us how to conquer those barriers by setting alight the human spirit. Part fable, part science lesson, part walk through history, the book builds on some familiar themes, like retaining predictibility in high velocity organisations, developing tolerance for uncertainty, maintaining fleibility, and transcending crude power. The most refreshing perspectives encourage us to regard employees as entrepreneurs who seed the organisation with their intellectual and spiritual capital. Instead of accounting for profit, the author urges us to measure the value of the human heart, the mind, and the spirit.

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About the Author:

Rolph has worked in a number of business and organisation contexts internationally. His experience includes building and professionalizing family business, managing projects at Procter & Gamble's Europe, Middle East and Africa Global Business Services Unit and heading the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. He has published several papers on Corporate Turnaround and National Competitiveness, and is an active collaborator on global competitiveness projects. He has conducted training and seminars in several countries, for organisations such as IBM, Chevron Texaco and Mitsubishi. He holds a first degree in Industrial Management and an MBA from the University of the West Indies as well as a DBA from the Manchester Business School. He is a Shotokan karate black belt.

Review:

This book is an anticipation of the next movement in capitalist development beyond the present stage of knowledge driven economies. The text seeks to explore a novel paradigm for organisations around three axial propositions which mark a radical departure from economies of scale, scope and speed towards economies of soul; a departure from strategic intent and its achievement toward spiritual intent; and finally a movement away from human capital as manpower, towards spiritual capital of the organisation. Together, these three pillars constitute a new tool kit for organisations functioning along three dimensions - a weightless dimension driven by investment and trade in goods and services and, finally, a dimension based on a spirit-centred approach to leadership. The first pillar of this anticipated paradigm shift portends a reinstatement of the human spirit into organisations. It asserts that the soul of the firm is nothing less than a collective soul of all the persons that comprise the organisation. The parts enfold the whole and the whole is enfolded in the parts. If the individuals or parts of the firm are seen as soulless, then the firm itself becomes lifeless and cannot thrive as a living system that feeds on the flux of its environment, nor the plurality of realities that are always present. Given that the soul has no geography, that is, it is without culture, colour or conviction, the text anticipates a spirit-centred approach to leadership. Within this new frame, capabilities are given precedence over competencies and the success of the organisation depends largely on the strategic alignment of souls within the firm and less and less on matters of remuneration and motivation. The author affirms that motivation is a sterile concept and that love is strong and few can break it. This capability approach that is contingent on the alignment of souls within a firm is the new path to release the full potential of the persons within the organisation. The future is up for grabs, and those who will own it, are the ones who see the soul as that missing part makes the organisation complete. Devoid of spirit, the firm becomes less than the sum of its parts. Economies of soul are therefore limitless in scope, scale and speed because the soul reinstates the integrity of wholeness and completeness to the organisation. The second pillar o fthe incipient paradigm is a challenge to management theory that emphasizes the Cartesian separation of mind and body. The spirit cannot be left behind since the body is in the mind and not the other way around and it is only through the collective spirit of the organisation that its full potential can be realised. The spirit is both the source and the target. Seeing is not believing. Those who are able to believe in the futures which they themselves intend to invent are the ones who will use their actual minds to create their possible worlds. These are the owners of the future, the persons who act in spaces in parenthesis that await fulfilment. Mind in this new frame becomes a transitive verb for all activity within the organisation at the edge of possibility. This idea is at the core of spiritual intent, it gives meaning an dpurpose to human life. The third axiom of the text is a pitting of character against competence. The anticipation here is that organisations of the future will give priority to the value systems of their employees rather than the competencies outlined in their diplomas. Character will supersede compentence. I hope that this book can serve as a useful compass for those intending to negotiate a world rife with turbulence, complexities and uncertainties. --Aleem Mohammed CMT (Gold), BSc (Hons) Lond, MBBS UWI, Hon. LLD UWI

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