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Community: The Structure of Belongingby Peter Block
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
Helping is a fundamental human relationship.
From a mother feeding her infant to a friend or spouse helping to make something happen, to a group member playing his or her role to help the group to succeed, to a therapist helping a patient, to an organizational consultant or coach helping to improve individual, group or organizational functioning, helping is the basic relationship that moves things forward. Yet, paradoxically, we know relatively little about the social and psychological dynamics of that relationship.
In this seminal book on the topic, corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the dynamics of helping relationships, explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be-helper must do to insure that help is actually provided.
Many different words are used for helping — assisting, aiding, advising, coaching, consulting, counseling, guiding, mentoring, supporting, teaching, and many more — but they all have common dynamics and processes. Schein exposes and shows how to resolve the inequities and role ambiguities of helping relationships, describes the different roles that helpers can take once the relationship is balanced, and explains how to build a balanced relationship and how to intervene as that relationship develops, In this short but profound book Schein examines the social dynamics that are at play in helping relationships in order to better understand why offers of help are sometimes refused or resented, and how to make help more useful and effective.
Book News Annotation:
Training and development consultant Block discusses how to foster community in organizations. His ideas are based on the following principles: that the essential work is to build social fabric for its own sake and to enable accountability, strong associational life is essential and central, citizens who use their power to convene other citizens are what create an alternative future, the small group is the unit of transformation, and all transformation is linguistic and community is therefore essentially a conversation. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities--businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government--do not work together. They exist in their own worlds. As do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. We know what healthy communities look like--there are many success stories out there, and they've been described in detail. What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.
Mintzberg calls attention to numerous popular but false views about the nature of managerial work, separates fact from folklore, and provides the best information yet published on what managers do and how they do it. He analyzes models, characteristics, and approaches to managing. He examines commonalities and differences in managing in various contexts, including business, government, health care, and social services. By shadowing 29 managers through a day in their lives, he reveals how managing is affected by many factors — including national and industry cultures, organizational differences, level of the manager in the organization, and personal styles — and examines the various strategies that managers adopt to deal with these factors. Mintzberg then identifies the main "conundrums" or dilemmas that managers must wrestle with (such as delegating versus retaining control, balancing order and flexibility, and gathering more data versus needing to take action) and describes how managers deal with those conundrums. And he offers provocative and powerful new understandings of what makes managers effective and ineffective.
About the Author
Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was selected as Distinguished Scholar for the year 2000 by the Academy of Management and won its George R. Terry Award for the best book of 1995 (The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning). Two of his articles in the Harvard Business Review have won the coveted McKinsey prizes. He has served as President of the Strategic Management Society, is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (the first from a management faculty), and has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Mintzberg is the author of fourteen books. He was recently ranked #9 in The Wall Street Journal's Top 20 Business Thinkers and #16 on "The Thinkers 50" — a list published in the Financial Times of "the world's most important and influential business thinkers."
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