Books and Articles

Over the last ten years my writing, consulting and research has focused on the topic categories of the website. My thinking has been especially influenced by the work undertaken at the Santa Fe Institute under the heading of Complex Adaptive Systems, principally the work of John Holland. My authored and edited book, The Biology of Business: Decoding the Natural Laws of Enterprise, (Jossey Bass, 1999) represents an attempt to apply these ideas to business and organizational issues. It has an outstanding number of contributors who wrote some seminal pieces. I have included the Amazon description and recommend going to Amazon and searching the book.
The Biology of Business is a blueprint for sparking self-organization, knowledge, and rapid change in any company. Edited by John Henry Clippinger III, the book is a collection of 10 essays about the complexity theory of managing. Authors include top business professors and leading consultants from McKinsey & Company and Ernst & Young. A major theme: Traditional top-down management methods no longer work in an age of fast technological change and world competition. Instead, people must be free to manage themselves and come up with new solutions. The book’s goal is to show how some companies are keeping “their enterprises balanced between order and chaos–in that ‘sweet spot’ where creativity and resilience are at their maximum,” writes Clippinger, CEO of Lexeme, an Internet software company. For instance, Philip Anderson, a business teacher at Dartmouth College, recounts how Capital One became a leading credit card issuer and a major growth company by encouraging innovation among all employees. In another piece, called “Adaptive Operations,” William G. Macready and Christopher Meyer highlight complexity techniques at General Motors, John Deere and Co., and Mohawk Industries. The book is for business leaders seeking new tools for managing in today’s volatile business environment. —Dan Ring

My most recent article is an essay with my colleague David Bollier, ( called Renaissance of the Commons, which argues that the findings of the new sciences such an as evolutionary psychology, neuro-economics, and the neurosciences are showing that people evolved to naturally trust one another and that contrary to classic economic theory, people are not motivated by lucid greed, but by an intrinsic need to affiliate and reciprocate. Moreover, it is pointed out new technologies such as the internet and self-organizing networks, and especially the Open Source movement are indicative of new ways of achieving market efficiencies within a commons framework.

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