I heard a great interview this morning on NPR with Rod Beckstrom, co-author of the book, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.
The management book came out in 2006 but it’s back in the news now because it’s apparently a hit with the Tea Partiers.
In the interview,Beckstrom said the book "is really a guidebook for people, to help organize decentralized movements and organizations of any type."
From NPR: “The book's premise is drawn from biology, Beckstrom says. He points to the fact that a spider can survive without an arm, but it would die without its head.
‘That's how we've looked at organizations in the West for the last several hundred years,’ Beckstrom says, "top-down, spider-like — there's a CEO, or there's someone in control.
‘But the world is seeing a profusion of new organizations that are a lot more like a starfish.’
The starfish model, he says, is decentralized. And if one of a starfish's arms is cut off, it can be regenerated.”
Beckstrom says the Tea Party group, the Apache Indians AND Craigslist fit the starfish mold by not having a leader and by not relying on a single unit for momentum.