Living Service by Marc Silvester. Book Review by Stephen Parry.

Home / Book Reviews / Living Service by Marc Silvester. Book Review by Stephen Parry.
Living Service by Marc Silvester. Book Review by Stephen Parry.
This is an attempt to create new insight into the concept of adaptive service through the creation of a metaphor related to human life. I.e. Adaptive service at its best is linked to its environment by rational, thinking, living beings with a mind, body and soul.

The underlying premise behind this metaphor is that organisational behaviour can be explained using principles demonstrated at the individual level and if we can harness these characteristics we can create new ways of doing business. However, there is ample evidence to demonstrate that as individuals we behave very irrationally in groups or within organisational systems where governance processes are designed to focus people on functional disconnected outcomes.

I believe we get the behaviour we design for. Behaviour is an output not an input. This book assumes that behaviour is an input which can somehow overcome the problems of a badly designed system.

Organisations are artificial systems and do not contain control mechanisms that even come close to the adaptive mechanisms of Living Systems. So I think the choice of this metaphor actually creates constraints to the great insights, expertise, innovation and breakthrough ideas being put forward. Unfortunately the metaphor is the story and becomes less credible as the metaphor is stretched beyond its usefulness.

This book contains many ideas which are counter-intuitive,however, it’s really good rational thought about getting humans beings to do what they do best by creating organisational governance systems to promote employee creativity and innovation.

The implicit message which should have been more explicit in this book is this, The world is full of highly skilled problem solving people, lets start creating organisations that allow them to use all their skills to solve customer problems and create wealth together with their customers.

3 out of 5 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *