#73 Brafman on the Starfish, the Spider, and Resilience


The Cognitive Crucible is a forum that presents different perspectives and emerging thought leadership related to the information environment. The opinions expressed by guests are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of or endorsement by the Information Professionals Association.

During this episode, Ori Brafman discusses implications of the rise of decentralized organizations which is presented in his seminal book: The Starfish and the Spider. He then applies human network dynamics to leadership within organizations, like the United States Department of Defense. Our conversation also touches upon the importance of institutional trust, the military-civilian divide, human-ness, resilience, and shared values.

Link to full show notes and resources

https://information-professionals.org/episode/cognitive-crucible-episode-73

Guest Bio:

Ori Brafman’s recent bestselling book, Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership, co-authored with 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, argues that inclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but a strategic imperative in today’s rapidly changing world. His seminal work, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, is often cited by the U.S. military and blockchain technology companies alike. Its concepts have been utilized by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook, Cisco Systems, the Association for Financial Professionals, and the Family Business Network.

Born in Israel and raised in Texas, Ori specializes in cultural transformation and unique approaches to problem solving. His ideas have been applied by Amazon, Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, the Chicago Bulls, the San Francisco 49ers, Facebook, Family Business Network, and PWC. He has advised all branches of the U.S. military, the Obama White House, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since 2010 U.S. Army generals have been required to complete Ori’s leadership curriculum.

Ori is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he lectures on improvisational leadership and artificial intelligence. He leads an intensive strategic broadening seminar between UC Berkeley and the U.S. Army and created a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Haas School of Business and the U.S. military’s National Defense University. 

Ori’s media appearances include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CBS, MSNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox News, ABC News, BBC, National Public Radio, CNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN. He has presented before audiences at Fortune 500 companies, the White House, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Harvard Business School, the Association of Financial Professionals, the Organization of Nurse Executives, NATO, YPO, and others. His published books include Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership; The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations; Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior; Click: The Forces Behind How We Fully Engage with People, Work, and Everything We Do; and The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success.

Ori is founder and president of Starfish Leadership and co-founder of the Fully Charged Institute, which combines Ori’s work with that of Tom Rath. The Institute focuses on leadership and well-being and helps organizations improve performance and gain competitive advantage in an era of new business models. Ori holds partnerships with Second City Works and ExecOnline to create new leadership programs for corporate audiences.

Ori holds a BA in Peace and Conflict from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

About: The Information Professionals Association (IPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the role of information activities, such as influence and cognitive security, within the national security sector and helping to bridge the divide between operations and research. Its goal is to increase interdisciplinary collaboration between scholars and practitioners and policymakers with an interest in this domain.

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