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The Organizational Sweet Spot

Engaging the Innovative Dynamics of Your Social Networks

Authors: Ehin, Charles

  • Addresses the widespread dilemma of employee disengagement and its effect on knowledge generation with a novel approach, by focusing on the "sweet spot", where the formal and informal elements of an organization merge or overlap
  • Integrates perspectives from management, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, and neuroscience to explain the emergent social dynamics that either expand or impede the innovative capacities of organizations
  • Offers guidance to business leaders searching for ways to increase the innovative dynamics, motivation and performance of their knowledge workers
  • Author will promote the book through his website, www.unmanagement.com, through speaking and consulting engagements, and to professors of management and organizational behavior
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Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-98194-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-98193-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3111-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Employee disengagement is one of the most pressing problems plaguing managers today hampering the innovation capacities of countless organizations. According to recent polls, some 20 percent of workers report feeling disconnected from their jobs, in an environment of stagnating wages, massive layoffs, rising health care costs, and other factors that contribute to alienation, distrust, and apathy. In The Organizational Sweet Spot, Dr. Charles Ehin takes a refreshing new look at what it will take to reengage disaffected workers and boost their resolve to advance novel ideas. Applying the latest research from such fields as evolutionary psychology, social neuroscience, organizational behavior, anthropology, and social network analysis, Ehin demonstrates how employee disengagement is rooted in a fundamental misalignment between people’s instinctive drive to develop their personal and group identities through informal or "emergent" relationships and the ways in which organizational goals and profit motives are executed through formal bureaucracy. The challenge for today’s organizations—which operate under constantly changing conditions—is to narrow this gap, that is, to find the "sweet spot," where the formal and informal elements of the organization overlap. Ehin provides practical tools for leaders to support this "shared access domain" to improve productivity, catalyze innovation, and inspire exceptional performance. His new model is likely to reverberate throughout current management thinking as we move toward creating more vital and meaningful workplaces.

"Ehin leaves no doubt that the sweet spot is where individuals from both sides voluntarily form new (emergent) groups to solve problems. The sweet spot is precisely where most of the productive work in a business takes place. It is this domain with its uncontrollable dynamics that needs our utmost attention if we are to unleash the innovative ideas of the people within our organizations. It is all about expanding the sweet spot."

--David Ralston, Managing Partner, Ralston Consulting Group

"For decades now, most corporations have been trying to bring a more entrepreneurial spirit to their work force. Ehin's book addresses this subject directly by making the case for a decentralized organization as a means of empowering the work force at all levels.  The result of that empowerment is motivation, followed by results.  In essence, Professor Ehin is making the case that corporations should align themselves with, and not fight, human nature."

--James Tusty, Founder, Mountain View Group, Ltd. and Developer of WorkForce Instinct®.

"In Germany various surveys confirm the basis of Dr. Ehin’s book—they stipulate that between 70 - 90% of employees do not think that their day-to-day work has any impact on their future salary or career opportunities. His book shows why we have reached this crisis and he also gives practical guidance in how we can get out of this destructive predicament. Ehin's work is very timely and should be read by anyone who is interested in finding a solution to this common problem."

--Mart Kivikas, Partner and CEO, Wissenskapital, Oberreichenbach Germany

About the authors

Professor Charles (Kalev) Ehin is an accomplished author and recognized management authority. He is currently an emeritus professor of management at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah where he also served as the Dean of the Gore School of Business. After retiring from the United States Air Force, where he held various leadership positions and taught at the Air Command and Staff College, and prior to joining Westminster College he worked as an internal organization development consultant in the private sector.

Dr. Ehin was born in Estonia and during World War II his family was torn apart by the disastrous struggle for supremacy in Europe by two dictatorships, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1950 he was finally able to emigrate to the United States. The tragic events that he and his family experienced during the course of the war and their everlasting affects are chronicled in his book, Aftermath (Publish America, 2004).

Professor Ehin is also the author of several groundbreaking management books. Unleashing Intellectual Capital (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000—now available from Elsevier) broke new ground by introducing the duality of human nature to the realm of management and its impact on differing organizational contexts. His follow on work, Hidden Assets: Harnessing the Power of Informal Networks (Springer, 2004), makes it quite clear why people can be physically controlled but not managed. The Organizational Sweet Spot: Engaging the Innovative Dynamics of Your Social Networks (Springer, May 2009), pinpoints where most of the work in an enterprise takes place and how that "sweet spot" can be expanded.

For more information on the author, visit his website at www.UnManagement.com.

 

Reviews

"Ehin leaves no doubt that the sweet spot is where individuals from both sides voluntarily form new (emergent) groups to solve problems. The sweet spot is precisely where most of the productive work in a business takes place. It is this domain with its uncontrollable dynamics that needs our utmost attention if we are to unleash the innovative ideas of the people within our organizations. It is all about expanding the sweet spot."

--David Ralston, Managing Partner, Ralston Consulting Group

"For decades now, most corporations have been trying to bring a more entrepreneurial spirit to their work force. Ehin's book addresses this subject directly by making the case for a decentralized organization as a means of empowering the work force at all levels.  The result of that empowerment is motivation, followed by results.  In essence, Professor Ehin is making the case that corporations should align themselves with, and not fight, human nature."

--James Tusty, Founder, Mountain View Group, Ltd. and Developer of WorkForce Instinct®.

"In Germany various surveys confirm the basis of Dr. Ehin’s book—they stipulate that between 70 - 90% of employees do not think that their day-to-day work has any impact on their future salary or career opportunities. His book shows why we have reached this crisis and he also gives practical guidance in how we can get out of this destructive predicament. Ehin's work is very timely and should be read by anyone who is interested in finding a solution to this common problem."

--Mart Kivikas, Partner and CEO, Wissenskapital, Oberreichenbach Germany

"Anarchy or Enlightenment?  In a wake-up call for 21st century leaders, Charles Ehin exposes the "unspoken truth" about the power of relationships. Workforce citizens around the world are asking: 'Is anyone up there listening?'"

--Paula Ruffy National Advisor for Chapters, American Society for Training and Development

"The relationship factors that Ehin delves into provide us with some very practical indicators and principles for dealing with uncontrollable, unmanageable, and non-deterministic entities. Although he deals with a wide range of human dynamics he also clearly identifies the essential interrelated factors necessary for building vital organizational ecologies that support the limitless sharing of novel ideas and increasing productivity."  

--Carl Champagne, CEO, Data Systems International

"Charles Ehin provides valuable insight to the need for constructive social networks. He underscores the importance of understanding the concept of self-organization as part of a productive and effective organization. This is a must read for anyone looking to enhance their organizations' creativity, innovation, and the engagement of their workforce."

--Mary Ann Gaal, Ph.D., Manager of Capital Construction

"Ehin’s book provides a new paradigm to unleash the power of innovation, productivity, and creativity in your organization.  Also, his description of the differences between the shared access and the controlled access system attributes provides a blue print to connect with the long neglected actively disengaged employee population." 

--Ken Burnett, AVP/Director of Training & Personnel Development, Bank of American Fork


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-98194-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-98193-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-3111-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Organizational Sweet Spot
Book Subtitle
Engaging the Innovative Dynamics of Your Social Networks
Authors
Copyright
2009
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-98194-9
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-98194-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-98193-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-3111-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 97
Topics