Reviewer John Walsh Ph.D is a Professor at Shinawatra International University
Author: Darwin Gillett
Author: Darwin Gillett
Most countries follow a form of industrial ladder in which the dominant activities in their economies develop from agriculture to manufacturing to services to what has become known as the information age (or the knowledge based economy). The rate at which change occurs varies from country to country and in time dependent on a whole range of factors which it would be a time-consuming and complex undertaking to try to evaluate. What is clear, though, is that the role of the manager and of the leader (distinguishing between the two is another lengthy process) changes according to the rung of the industrial ladder on which an organization stands.
Most such individuals have been brought up to believe that, in the post WWII world of increasing hyper-production, they should follow the scientific management approach that dates back to the thought of Frederick Taylor. This essentially modernist approach has been superceded in the literature on leadership in recent years by what must be termed, therefore, post-modernist approaches focusing on unlocking the creativity of employees and, through personal relationship management, enabling and empowering those (core) employees to contribute much more powerfully to the wealth creation of the organization concerned.
This is the approach employed by Darwin Gillett, who posits the dawning of the ‘relationship age,’ which is embodied in the Noble Enterprise and which, through various action points and plans, is expounded to the benefit of the reader. The book combines the discourse and concepts of economics, business strategy and self-help in the expectation that it is possible to identify the elements of success, to explain them to the reader and to cause the reader to be able to absorb and deploy those lessons for herself in due course.
There are, of course, a large number of books which offer pretty much the same thing and so it is necessary to consider whether this one is any better than the competition. Gillett has assembled a coherent narrative drawing together a wide range of examples and sliced into the various short sections that conventionally facilitate self-study. He has successfully united the large and the small scales and, in short, employed all the various techniques that are used in management material. One particularly useful aspect is the uniting of the macro-environment (as represented by the use of economic thought and analysis) with the micro-environment at firm level (as mostly represented by personal experience and anecdote). Many readers will find this persuasive and helpful.
Capitalism is perhaps best understood as the process of creative destruction outlined by Joseph Schumpeter and, consequently, the process of evolution suggests that emergent organisations are on the whole better adapted to an existing business environment than those they have replaced. Let us hope that these new organizations follow the model broadly embodied in the Noble Enterprise, since it treats employees and indeed other stakeholders with rather more respect and dignity than was evident in the greed is good years now ushered into the dustbin of history.