Rod Beckstrom: The Starfish and the Spider – The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

Rod Beckstrom is a well-known cybersecurity authority, Internet leader and expert on organizational leadership. In his keynote, Starfish and Spiders, he talks about how leaderless organizations are changing the world.

Rod Beckstrom

Starfish and Spiders, Conservatives and Terrorists: How Leaderless Organizations Are Changing the World

What do the Tea Party, the Occupy movement and Al Qaida have in common? They all depend on The Starfish and the Spider: the Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations as a primary source of thought leadership ideas. How do these concepts affect your success as an organization? Cut off the leg of a spider and you have a seven- legged creature; cut off its head and you have a dead spider. But cut off the arm of a starfish and it will grow a new one, because unlike spiders, starfish are decentralized. While spider organizations rely on a rigid hierarchy, starfish organizations tend to organize around a shared ideology or a simple platform for communication. Rod Beckstrom draws on a rich collection of lessons and anecdotes from today’s news to illustrate his groundbreaking model of organizational structure and leadership, and applies it to influential social movements, such as the Arab spring, that are producing historic shifts in modern politics and culture.

Starfish organizations are changing the rules of competitive strategy and leaders should take note. How can your business benefit from understanding this new dynamic? Can these principles be applied to traditional organizations? What can they teach that could affect your profitability? What is your organization: starfish or spider? And what are you going to do about it?

Rod Beckstrom

Rod Beckstrom is a well-known cybersecurity authority, Internet leader and expert on organizational leadership. He is the former President and CEO of ICANN, the founding Director of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Center and co-author of the best-selling book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. He is a frequent international media commentator and public speaker.

Rod currently serves as an advisor to multinational companies, governments and international institutions, including serving as Chief Security Advisor to Samsung SSIC. He is Chairman of the Global Council on the Future of the Internet at the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum and is an Honorary Professor of International Law at China’s Beijing Normal University.

As founding Director of the U.S. National Cybersecurity Center, Rod was the Federal Government’s top cybersecurity coordinator, helping to integrate activities across key departments and agencies to combat the increasingly sophisticated threat to America’s interests at home and around the world.

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