Filed under: Book & product reviews
There’s something inherently interesting about a book that uses zombies as its defining metaphor, while conducting a robust, scholarly examination of how organisations work.
That’s the premise of Building Smarter Organizations by Gordon Vala-Webb. Drawing on his many and varied career roles, Gordon explores the problems encountered by badly run businesses (the ‘zombies’) and then considers how to make them better (the ‘smarter organizations’).
The book weaves a rich tapestry of ideas, coming from the disciplines of business management, KM, psychology and more. Quotes pepper the book, ranging from Captain Picard to Jack Welch and Sun Tzu.
What’s most compelling about this book are the chapters devoted to making smarter organisations. These focus on mindsets, fast-flow communication and accelerated decision-making. There’s a lot of meat provided, fleshing out possible approaches beyond basic platitudes.
My advice: get this book, read the first third in detail, decide that Gordon is smart, skim through the rest of the book, and then hire him to help make your organisation smarter.
(Full disclosure: I’ve known Gordon for quite a while, and have admired his professional activities. So I know first hand that he’s smart; this book merely confirms it.)