Starfish and Spider Essay

Topics: Management, Vice President of the United States, Decentralization Pages: 4 (1443 words) Published: June 23, 2013
1. This book was very informative. This was the first time I’ve read anything about organizational management and it was extremely easy to understand and the multiple examples in each chapter made it very easy to grasp each concept. I enjoyed the comparison between centralization and decentralization throughout the entire book. The most interesting part of the book to me would be the breakdown of the 8 principles of decentralization. a. When attacked, a decentralized organization tends to become even more open and decentralized: Not only did the Apaches survive the Spanish attacks, but amazingly, the attacks served to make them even stronger. When the Spanish attacked them, the Apaches became even more decentralized and even more difficult to conquer (Brafman, 2006, p. 21). I found this first principle very intriguing. I never realized that a decentralized organization could be so successful. It makes you start thinking early in the book about which way of management is best. It’s almost a brain challenge to rethink centralization, which is the way most organizations are managed. b. It’s easy to mistake starfish for spiders: The breakdown of a starfish compared to a spider is extremely clever. Explaining the anatomy of a starfish and how cutting one arm off only makes the starfish regenerate into two entities was brilliant. You could visual an organization becoming larger and stronger by how a starfish survives. In turn, the visualization of the anatomy of a spider was great too. If you cut off an arm (or one department in an organization) you weaken the spider or beheading the spider (CEO), you cripple and kill the spider (or organization). I really enjoyed this comparison of the two systems this way. c. An open system doesn’t have central intelligence; the intelligence is spread throughout the system: This was also very interesting to me. I liked the example they used about AA meetings and how Bill W. adopted the starfish approach. There...

References: Brafman, O., & Beckstrom, R. A. (2006). The starfish and the spider: The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations. New York: Portfolio.
The starfish and the spider. (26, January 2013). Retrieved from
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