Category Archives: Book Reviews

11/30 – Going Horizontal: Creating a Non-Hierarchical Organization, One Practice at a Time 

November 2018 / Book Reviews

In Going Horizontal: Creating a Non-hierarchical Organization, One Practice at a Time Samantha Slade has captured in plain language how to achieve what so many of us have longed for deep down: A genuine invitation to common purpose through non-hierarchical practice, simple rules, and self-reflection. While the book’s tone feels like a conversation around Slade’s Montreal kitchen table, her guidance around “domains of practice common across all organizations” emerge from years of skilled, systematic inquiry and testing. She offers ways …

11/30 – Development: Emerging Worldviews and Systems Change Volume 1 and 2

November 2018 / Book Reviews

Innovative Development: Emerging Worldviews and Systems Change (Integral Publishers, 2015) is a useful volume (edited by late Tom Christensen—you did a very good job here, Tom, and I wish you a blissful journey in the afterlife, whatever and however it is in actuality) that contains papers on Spiral Dynamics (SD) and the Gravesian theory as applied to the societal dimension. The book is not an introduction into the general topic of SD but can be a companion for a more …

08/29 – Secular, Sacred, Scientific

August 2018 / Book Reviews

Graham Mummery

In the prefaces to the current book,

Spiral Dynamics in Action: Humanity’s Master Code (Beck, Larsen, Solonin, Viljoen, Johns 2018), the authors and editors explain that this is a successor to the earlier work Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change (2006). This is very much the case in that it updates some of the discussions because of further work done by those in the Spiral Dynamics community. The authors suggest reading the earlier work before …

05/31 – Colin Wilson: Collected Essays on Philosophers

Book Reviews / May 2018

Eugene Pustoshkin

In Colin Wilson: Collected Essays on Philosophers, edited by Colin Stanley, with an introduction by John Shand, meaning perception, existential intensity, and overcoming our alienation from power consciousness, Colin Wilson’s optimistic existentialism, an integrally-informed view is explored.

Man is alienated from the consciousness of his own power, and this alienation makes him sick, which perpetuates his will to sickness; and exercising intentionality is a way to overcome the doomed state that Man finds himself in—due to that inherited …

11/30 – An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization

Book Reviews / August-November 2017

Russell Fitzpatrick

Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization. (2016). Harvard Business Review Press.

Everyone CultureAn Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey incorporates decades of personal developmental research into the world of organizational development. Any fan of personal developmental models knows the immense contributions of Kegan to the field, and this book brings personal development into the open, into our organizational lives. Kegan and Lahey remind …

8/31 – The Simpol Solution

Book Reviews / August-November 2017

Jon Freeman

John Bunzl and Nick Duffell (2017). The Simpol Solution. Peter Owen Limited

This is a good book, engaging, well written and with many interesting ideas which deserve consideration.  It has the major virtue of being original and distinctive; there are no well-trodden paths here.

It starts from a familiar place, i.e. we know things are going wrong, are almost certain to get worse and that we need to do something about that.  It attributes these problems to …

8/31 – Reinventing Organizations: “A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness”

Book Reviews / August-November 2017

Ron Cacioppe and Michael Fox

Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux

is a ground breaking book that describes how the functioning and structure of organisations evolves over time to match the level of development of human consciousness. Organisations go through stages that are radically different, becoming more productive, collaborative and reach a higher level of functioning. Each stage “transcends and includes” the ones that came before, therefore a later stage does not lose the behaviours that came from earlier stages but …

8/31 – Excellence through Mind-Brain Development: The Secrets of World Class Performers.

Book Reviews / August-November 2016

Ádám Olgyay

Harald Harung and Frederick Travis (2016). Excellence through Mind-Brain Development: The Secrets of World Class Performers. London, UK. Routledge.

51sjUzBI3GL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_We all want excellence and happiness. Thousands of books have been written on the topic of high performance and the secrets of success. There are two basic challenges. First, there are many competing ideas of what underlies high performance. Second, it has proven difficult to implement the theories in practice. From the huge complexity of this field, the following …

8/31 – John Stewart reviews Laske on Dialectical Thinking

Book Reviews / August-November 2016

John Stewart
Otto Laske, Dialectical Thinking for Integral Leaders:
A Primer. Tucson: Integral Publishers, 2015.

Gregory Bateson famously said:

The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”

This statement of Bateson’s identifies a serious issue for humanity.

If our thinking does not enable us to build effective mental models of reality, we will be unable to understand the causes of the environmental and other crises …

8/31 – Flow-Based Leadership Book Review

Book Reviews / August-November 2016

Jackie Damrau

Judith L. Glick-Smith (2016). Flow-Based Leadership: What the best firefighters can teach you about leadership and making hard decisions. Technics Publishers.

Flow based leadership

Flow-Based Leadership: What the Best Firefighters Can Teach You About Leadership and Making Hard Decisions is about the leadership in the world of firefighting. These individuals have split seconds in which to make life-altering decisions for those they are saving, those they are protecting, and for themselves. Split second decisions can be harrowing at best as you …