more like people

helping organisations to be more like people

Helping me write the back of the book

Covers and titles are very important, but once you’ve convinced someone to pick your book off the shelf, you need to have something compelling on the back that will hopefully make them believe this is a book that will make their life better in some way. So instead of just writing what I’d like to read on the back of a book, I’d like to know from you what 150 or so words you think should be on the back of Anarchists in the Boardroom. I’ve put one option below and would appreciate any feedback as to the right words to help make you want this book. Thanks!

Change how we organise. Change the world.

Social change is changing – but are our social change organisations keeping up?

Our Industrial Era structures and the ‘professionalism’ so many began to adopt in the 1980s have not lived up to their promise, actually doing considerable harm to the passion and purpose that has traditionally driven our efforts to make the world a fairer and more just place for all.

Meanwhile, the organising approaches found on social media and in recent social movements are proving better suited for the emergent realities of the 21st Century, and more closely aligned with the values our NGOs, charities, trade unions and voluntary organisations have long espoused.

This book is a journey through worker-run factories, Occupy encampments, a spattering of non-violent direct actions and even a few forward-thinking companies, to make the case for helping our organisations ‘to be more like people,’ brushing away our ‘professional’ assumptions and organising as we do when we don’t have a job description or a business plan telling us how to change the world.

Feel free to add any variations to the comments section below.

Thanks for your help!

Liam


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Posted in learning and social change and trust.

3 comments

3 Replies

  1. Hi Liam
    I really like what you’ve suggested above. I like the line ‘social change is changing – but are social change organisations keeping up?’, and also the intro to the last paragraph describing the book as a journey, it gave me a sense of wanting to go on the journey.
    I appreciate that the blurb is about *the book* being a journey, but can’t help wondering if there is a way to make reference to the wider journey which has been embarked on leading up to the book, perhaps something about you as the author and the travellers you have invited to join you on the journey towards more like people organisations.
    I wonder if it might also be worth making mention of the online space you’ll be creating for people who want to help their social change organisations to keep to give and get moral support, ideas, information and so on. So that if I picked up the book because I was in a place of despair I’d know that the book would give me a good grounding for an actual conversation, and that there are others out there wanting to talk about it.

    Something just struck me in reading your post today and thinking about the words above. I am on my way to visit my sister, and am returning a book I borrowed from her years ago. I haven’t finished reading it, but I’ve had a bit of a sort out and know I just can’t make it through all the books I have on my shelf any time soon. The book is called ‘The Unsung Sixties’ and is about the beginnings of what would become large social change organisations in the UK. The stories strike a chord with more like people thinking and ways that we work using social media. Here’s a quote from a page I just flipped to, from a chapter about the beginnings of Crisis:
    “The whole things was ad hoc. There was a constitution but you were on the committee if you came along to the meeting which is the right way to start and build up an organisation. You didn’t have to go through secondings and proposals. There was no bureaucracy. That all came later”
    Love it!

  2. Thanks Lorna!

    I’ve been mulling this over and thinking over a few comments elsewhere, too… I really like the idea of including the website right up front like that… what do you think of this version?

    Change how we organise. Change the world.

    Social change is changing – but are our social change organisations keeping up?

    There are lessons emerging all around us, in the new social movements that have swept the globe, and in the organising patterns found on social media.

    Could Twitter and the Occupy movement help our organisations to both stay relevant in the times ahead and live our values in the ways we organise ourselves?

    ‘Anarchists in the Boardroom’ is a journey through worker-run factories, Occupy encampments, a spattering of non-violent direct actions and even a few forward-thinking companies, to make the case for helping our organisations ‘to be more like people.’ It asks us to brush away our ‘professional’ assumptions and organise as we do when we don’t have a job description or a business plan telling us how to change the world.

    The book is a starting point, to be continued online at morelikepeople.com, connecting those of us excited by new organising possibilities, directly with one-another, sharing our experiences and collectively discovering new ways to unleash our collective potential to make the world a better place.

    …Thanks for chipping in! I really like the Crisis example and will need to check the book out for that quote!

    Liam

  3. I’ve got another idea… here’s a GoogleDoc to play with 🙂

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pe_WeNeffc8UKpU7TbPqEuE_K86vAvyWdcNWDzH4trc/edit?usp=sharing

    In case of interest 🙂

    Liam


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More Like People is an association of freelance consultants, facilitators and trainers, working primarily in the voluntary, community and campaigning sectors in the the UK and elsewhere.