Usually we are looking for the newest information, the latest up-dates on best practices to be on the forefront of dealing with current topics. Going along with this trend of permanent updating, there is a tendency to neglect that less recent information, especially if it is concerned with concepts and strategies, has not necessarily become less relevant with time.
A system of thought that definitely has not become less relevant with time – though it is more than 2300 years old – is the thought of the Tao Te Ching (Tao Te King / Daodejing). For a management context the Tao Te Ching is insofar interesting that for an important part it is concerned with concepts and strategies of how to lead and manage an organization most efficiently. Though the kind of organization the Tao Te Ching is concerned with is a political state, and though its whole context is the world of ancient China, the reason why it is so inspirational is relatively simple. The leadership strategies the Tao Te Ching advocates particularly focus on processes and patterns necessary to build robust and very adaptive systems.