Essential Balances book in paperback, on smartphone, and on tablet

Audiobook sample (4m 45s)

If you are a manager or leader in an organization – company, public service, or NGO – or you are simply interested in how to make your organization work better, then this book is for you. If you have the feeling that you are skating over the surface of what is really going on in your organization, if you know that there is something more vital that you are missing out on, if you’re frustrated by applying the same management fads over and over, just with different labels on, then perhaps you are open to looking deeper into what makes organizations function, fail, and flourish.

This book will walk you through these questions and more. But instead of giving you answers and prescriptions, Essential Balances guides you through a whole new way of seeing, thinking, and being. You will see how to turn this into new habits, discover fundamental principles, and be able to see and influence the three Essential Balances:

  • Autonomy and Cohesion
  • Stability and Diversity
  • Exploration and Exploitation

Autonomy and Cohesion – Can you have freedom but keep everything working together at the same time? The rabbit is independent, not stuck to the ground, but what are the limits to its freedom? And now free, is it better off than the carrot it once was?

Stability and Diversity – Is difference and divergence at odds with a stable organization? How would you know? What can we learn from our immune systems about dealing with uncertainty?

Exploration and Exploitation – Should you go out and find new clients, new markets, or new opportunities or would it be better to wring the most out of where you are, what you have, and what you currently do? If you arrive late for a jazz festival and run into the first hall you come to, might you discover a new act that you love, but never would have picked from the programme?

These balances apply at all levels: personal, organizational, and societal. The habits to monitor, maintain and adjust them start with noticing that they pervade everything we do. Then we must learn not just to balance ourselves and our organizations, but also to balance the use of the balances.

When we explore this and embrace the paradoxes of organizations and discover that it is those very paradoxes that make organizations vital and alive, we start to realise that it is dynamic balance – constant adjusting, noticing, shifting.

So if you want to cast off the weight of management fads and fashions and glimpse wisdom that will change the way you notice the essence of everything, then get Essential Balances today.


Ivo Velitchkov is a management consultant and enterprise architect. For the last 25 years, he has worked with big public and private organizations helping them with their strategy, structures and information. He has worked as a project manager, CEO, coach, consultant, researcher, and trainer. In all these roles he kept searching for the deeper principles that support organisms, organizations and society to live, survive, and thrive. Ivo has a PhD in Computer Science. He lives in Belgium with his wife and two children. He enjoys jazz concerts, playing tennis, sailing, and grooving the bass in a dad-rock cover band.

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