The Power of a Leaderless Organizations

Book Review by Hazel Berger, Managing Partner Fresh Admin


The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom is a compelling discussion about the benefits of intentionally forming decentralized organizations. The decentralization helps everyone be more productive, stay lean and utilize resources as necessary. Throughout the book the authors weave stories about catalysts who start companies: Deborah Alverez-Rodriguez (Goodwill Industries), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Bill Wilson (AA), and other founders. In all the cases the catalyst makes good decisions and then sits back and watches what happens. They aren't involved in the day to day decisions or management.

Fresh Hospitality is setup up as a hybrid-decentralized company. We have multiple companies that provide services across Fresh and specifically to our restaurants:

Fresh Accounting
Fresh Admin
Fresh Branding
Fresh Capital
Fresh CFO Services
Fresh Purchasing
Fresh Technology

Each of these companies has a catalyst who morphs the company into their vision. All the while Mike Bodnar, Matt Bodnar and Mike Tidwell are the catalysts making suggestions for these companies. We don't have one big office, we have multiple small offices where brainstorming, hard work and passion create deliverables.

The authors make the argument that when the leader leaves a big organization, the company can die. This analogy of the starfish losing a leg and being able to recreate and thrive and the spider not surviving after losing its head. Study this book to form a different kind of company with true viability. 

Hazel Berger