Jitske Kramer & Danielle Braun - Building Tribes

Travel Guide for Organizations


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Building Tribes is the next step after the prizewinning book The Corporate Tribe, a new book with organizational lessons from anthropology. In Building Tribes Jitske Kramer and Danielle Braun answer the question of How? How do you create a culture of excellence, how do you change an organization into a tribe, which anthropological lessons can you apply as a leader, a game changer, or consultant?

For this book, Braun and Kramer flew all over the world again, to find answers to common organizational problems in different cultures. Through beautiful stories you meet with leaders, tribe members, and change makers from around the globe. You see the world through their perspectives and you witness how they engage in dialogue, make decisions, and transform a group of people into a tribe. The authors interviewed a Batak king’s granddaughter in Sumatra about (true) headhunting and meeting the competition in the boardroom. They learned how to determine the value of products according to the Iranian ta’arof, a cohesive set of rules for social decorum and an implicit code of conduct. They submerge themselves in a silent Quaker’s meeting to answer complex questions without using words. They traveled to the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, for some extraordinary field work – marrying yourself – to discover the essence of mergers. And a whole lot more.

This isn’t your average management book, this is a book with which you learn what you already knew. It is also a practical book, full of anthropological insights and activities which you can start doing with your team, division or organization today. If we approach organizations like living tribes, we will never need meetings again, we will light the campfire.

Published in August 2018 | Hardcover | With illustrations | 408 pages | ca. 110,000 words
English sample translation available
Over 5,000 copies sold
Shortlisted for Management Book of the Year

Russian rights sold to Alpina Publishers
Dutch edition published by Management Impact

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Jitske Kramer and Danielle Braun are the co-authors of Building Tribes and The Corporate Tribe that won the Management Book of the Year Award in 2016, sold over 35,000 copies and is published in US and UK (Routledge), Germany (Schäffer-Poeschel), Russia (Alpina), Vietnam (Nha Nam), and the Netherlands (Management Impact).

Jitske Kramer is an expert in the fields of diversity, international teamwork and corporate culture. As a trained ethnographer, she did research in Botswana and Uganda before becoming an organizational consultant. She is the best-selling author of Deep Democracy, Managing Cultural Dynamics, Wow! What a Difference, Jam Cultures, Voodoo and Work Has Left the Building.

Danielle Braun is an expert in the fields of leadership, change and organizational culture. After her studies in African and Asian witchcraft and religions, she did her PhD in leadership and organizational culture, focusing on the Dutch police force. A highly sought-after speaker who takes you on an unforgettable journey, Danielle is co-founder and director of the Culture Academy. She is the author of Patterns and That’s Crazy, on how we perceive normal and abnormal.


Introduction: For everyone who would rather build a tribe than manage an organization

Part I: Building Tribes, this is how you do it
1. The essence of a tribe
2. The essence of culture
3. Building Tribes: interaction, dialogue and decision-making
4. The essence of tribal leadership
5. The essence of tribal roles
6. Lighting campfires

Part II: Lighting campfires – true encounters
7. Decision-making – Kgotla, Botswana
8. Mergers and acquisitions –bridal rituals, Los Vegas
9. Competitive battle – headhunting, Sumatra
10. Sales and customer relations – Ta’arof, Iran
11. Creating movement – pricking pins, Little Haiti, Miami
12. Conflict and polarization – screaming conversations, South Africa
14. Apologizing – Seppuku, Japan
15. Issues that got stuck – Quaker’s silent meetings
16. Saying goodbye – water buffalo’s and tau-tau dolls, Sulawesi

And then it is finished and done
About the authors

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Russian translation published by Alpina Publishers:

Практическая книга, наполненная антропологическими знаниями о том, как люди создают племена, и описаниями конкретных действий, которые вы можете предпринять сегодня в отношении своей команды, отдела или всей организации.

Увлекательные истории знакомят вас с лидерами, представителями разных племен и новаторами со всего мира: авторы побеседовали на Суматре с внучкой последнего короля племени батаков об охоте за головами, в Иране узнали о принципах торговли в соответствии со своеобразным кодексом поведения — таарофом, прочувствовали силу молчаливых собраний квакеров, заглянули в мистический мир вуду в Маленьком Гаити, потанцевали с Элвисом в Лас-Вегасе и собрали огромное количество историй, которые помогут применять мудрость народов в контексте повседневной деятельности бизнес-организаций.

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