Ben Kuiken - Think Different

Philosophy for organizations


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Can you please do something about the workload? And all this red tape, is that really necessary? As a director, manager, or advisor, you are faced with many problems. These are often complex issues that seem impossible to solve. But maybe it is the way we look at these problems that is the real problem.

As Einstein once said, we cannot solve our problems with the same way of thinking that created them. If you keep doing what you always did, you will only get what you always got. So try something different and start re-framing your ideas, words and assumptions.

In Think Different, organizational philosopher Ben Kuiken uses insights from 2,500 years of philosophy to think, look, and talk differently about the organization and the problems that pop up continuously. What are the assumptions that underlie these problems? And what would you gain by taking a different perspective? In this book, you will find the tools to create new solutions to tenacious problems. And maybe they even disappear once and for all.

‘Read this book at your own peril.’
Prof. dr. ir. Matthieu Weggeman

Published in 2019 | Hardback | 174 pages | ca. 32,000 words
Dutch edition published by S2 Publishers

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Ben Kuiken is author and philosopher. He was editor-in-chief of the business magazine Management Team and is currently a writer, speaker and organizational philosopher. He wrote several books on management and organizing, like The Last Manager and F*ck the Rules. Ben Kuiken works on a PhD on sensemaking.


‘Ben Kuiken offers a completely different frame of mind to really tackle sheer unsolvable problems. The book doesn’t offer clear-cut answers, but such was not to expect from a philosopher. They usually don’t have answers but questions, and still this is a must-read book, also for those of us who are looking for solutions. The philosophical perspective is refreshing, different, and that is exactly what Ben Kuiken does, he provides the philosophical material to start thinking differently, look differently, and talk differently about organizational problems.’
Sylvie van der Haar, trainer and coach

‘Philosophy in an organization doesn’t seem like a logical combination, but still organizations could benefit a lot from a philosophical way of thinking. Ben Kuiken shows that philosophy can play an important role in creating a breakthrough in our limited perspectives on complex organizational issues. How to do this is explained in this practical and fluently written book, a true recommendation if you want to be reinspired to take a different view.’
Eelco Sneep, advisor at AT Osborne

‘Ben Kuiken’s strength is his ability to present the complicated ideas from well-known philosophers in an accessible and practical manner for a wide audience. This is a special book because it shows why so many things go wrong within organizations in a pleasant tone. It reads smoothly and quickly, like a well-written novel, and it highlights some essential aspects about human interaction. It is a must-read for every leader, CEO, and manager.’
Nico de Jong, senior advisor at the Dutch ministry for Public Health, Welfare, and Sports


Preface by Prof. dr. ir. Mathieu Weggeman

The Beginning
Chapter 1, Philosophy for organizations, or the problem of leaking taps

Part 1, Thinking differently, looking differently, and talking differently about organizational problems
Chapter 2, Thinking differently, Immanuel Kant and the bouncing billiard balls
Chapter 3, Looking differently, what is it like to be a bat?
Chapter 4, Talking differently, shall we play with language?

Part 2, Persistent problems in organizations, and how you can look at them differently
Chapter 5, Are you also under pressure from your work load?
Chapter 6, The market is forcing us, or how the organization became a thing
Chapter 7, Is everything under control?
Chapter 8, Success is a choice (or is it?)

The Ending
Chapter 9, The many roles of the organizational philosopher

Resources and literature

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