In this book Arie de Geus reveals the keys to managing for a long and prodperous organizationsl life. He draws a sharp distincion between “living companies”, the purposeof which is to fulfil their potential and perpetuate themselves as ongoing communities and “economic companies”, which are in business solely to produce wealth for a small group of individuals. He shows clearly that living companies manage for survival; economic companies manage for profit.
With nearly 40 years of experience at Royal Dutch/Shell he describes how he came to explore and understand the special qualities of living companies. At a minimum these organisations are:
- Sensitive to their environment
- Cohesive, with a strong sense of identity
- Tolerant of unconventional thinking and experimentation
- Conservative in financial policy to retian the resources that allow for flexibility
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