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No Straight Lines

By Alan Moore

Rating:  star star star star star 

IR Verdict:

Book Reviews, Business, eBooks, IR Approved, Nonfiction  •  May 09, 2012

No Straight Lines is the call for change, for creativity, new leadership and a change in the culture of unfairness, stagnation and inflexibility caused by linear. The author argues that it’s imperative to find alternative ways to do business and manage services because, in today’s society and life, there are no straight lines.

Author and entrepreneur, Alan Moore, had an early introduction to the linear thinking as a child with the ‘gift’ of dyslexia, trying to survive in the inflexible mind-set of school systems. Moore contends: “humanity now ekes out its existence under the industrial tyrannical twins of obsession with numbers and measurement of efficiency in every walk of life, whilst ignoring its fundamental needs.” Moore writes that there exists a “trilemma” of social, organizational and economic tensions caused by the fact that, although our world is becoming non-linear, the systems in place are designed for a linear world. Many of the organizations and systems were designed for less complex world and are unable to sustain the complexity of a world that is more complex and continues to become more complex with the advances in technology.

Moore further argues that the solution to accelerating economic success depends on harnessing collective intelligence that thrives on sharing of emotional investment, passion, focused networked and collaborative participation within society and business versus the linear thinking which thrives on monopolistic-intent and single-source-power driven organizations that no longer protect and serve the society and support humanity, but rather has a “corrosive” effect.

No Straight Lines offers a plethora of examples of how societies and companies around the world are using technology in a collaborative and innovative way, bringing success to their economy and a meaningful connection between the members of the community. Moore successfully demonstrates how many businesses and institutions are locked in all levels of bureaucracy in an outdated and inflexible world vision and makes a strong case about why we should and how to use the tools we have to “effect change and challenge an ideology that’s proven to now be inappropriate for its time.”

The in-depth chapters are well thought out, but still are difficult to read in parts due to the complex nature of some of the concepts. Moore provides extensive footnotes at the end of each chapter, and a bibliography and available resources at the end of the book.

Though the multi-faceted concepts, extensive facts and references in No Straight Lines are difficult to assimilate at times, the book’s premise and arguments are fascinating and persuasive.

Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for 2012