Book of the Month: The Starfish and the Spider – The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

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Grunin Capacity ‘Book of the Month’

In recent years there has been a trend towards decentralized organizations as nonprofits strive to contend with complex social problems, limited resources, and an increasing rate of change. “The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations” offers insights about the benefits and challenges of centralized organizations and decentralized organizations. Traditional top-down centralized organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations (decentralized organizations) are changing the face of business and the world. The book’s authors also explore examples of hybrid organizations that enable organizations to evolve, retool, and cultivate a shared leadership model where everyone is empowered to affect change. This book is an excellent read for all nonprofit professionals regardless if your organization is a startup or longstanding institution. 

Why do we like this book?

Social change requires massive collaboration, innovation, and co-leadership. At the Grunin Foundation, we invest in people because when members of a community are empowered to drive solutions amazing things can happen. 

About the Authors

ORI BRAFMAN is a lifelong entrepreneur in business, government and the nonprofit sector. Born in Israel and raised in El Paso, Texas, Brafman is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford Business School. His projects include co-founding Courtroom Connect, a wireless network company as well as leading political and advocacy campaigns for healthy food and other public benefit projects.

ROD BECKSTROM is also an American author, high-tech entrepreneur from the Silicon Valley. He holds a BA and MBA from Stanford and was a Fulbright Scholar. Beckstrom founded CATS Software Inc, and has served on various private and nonprofit boards.

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