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Dan Pontefract with his book, Flat Army (image: Dan Pontefract)

Serendipitous to the opening chapter of the book, The Mona Lisa Is So Small, I was at the Museé de Louvre visiting the magnificent collection of Italian masters when I received notification of a copy of Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization (Wiley 2013). My reaction was quite sympathetic to Mr. Pontecraft’s own experience per his introduction: Upon entry, crowds of people & tour groups would rush right away upstairs to see the Mona Lisa first and foremost ignoring master works all around for notoriety. Popularity by itself is not leadership in my view.

[Personally, I was enamored by the enormity of the Veronese Paolo Caliari’s,The Wedding Feast at Cana at the opposite end of the same room, for the fascinating amount of networking that occurs in any political wedding ceremony.]

Flat Army covers a lot of interesting idea sources from both the immediate management and social science fields but also a good deal of history and culture. From the idea of Guanxi to the Multilevel Neural Network of North East Italy; from the Christmas Truce of 1914 on the Western Front in World War I, to the sociology of why bus riders won’t share seats; from JP Rangaswami’s thoughts on trust, to Leo Apotheker’s brief but tumultuous and guarded reign at HP.

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