Cheapest Place to Buy: www.amazon.com
My Personal Rating: 9 out of 10
The best process out there to guide you on HOW TO ACCELERATE CHANGE…this book starts off with Dr. Kotter’s observation that our world is moving a great deal faster than it was in the early 1990s when he published “Leading Change.” He describe the challenges large organizations are facing today in our increasingly unpredictable world. The proposed solution to this challenge is the implementation of a dual system – a system with a traditional hierarchy on the left and an added network structure on the right.
“A Top Shelf Best Business Book pick of the Year: Strategy” — strategy+business magazine
The book lists a step-by-step system for implementing this network structure in large established organizations. Kotter explores a number of examples of businesses where this dual-system has been used successfully. Compelling arguments for implementation include a brief description of the pros and cons of alternative systems.
No matter how you look at it, the world is moving faster…
Kotter also observed that the rate at which our world is changing is increasing, but our ability to keep up with it is not.
What has remained the same?
The two fundamental reasons behind most transformations are still the need…
- To increase revenues/profits or decrease costs
- To become more effective or more efficient
- Or both.
What are some specific reasons to change? Is your organization…
- Falling behind the competition today
- Ill-prepared to compete in the future
- Too slow to execute
- Quick to execute but slow to think, strategize, and plan
- Too slow to innovate
- Too siloed to collaborate
Do your leaders and workforce present obstacles? Are they…
- Disengaged from their roles, colleagues, managers, customers
- Consumed by constant activity and firefighting
- Lulled into thinking that what got you here will get you there
- Focused more on management than on leadership
- Known more for boundaries than gateways
“One of the Best Leadership Books of the Year” — Inc.
Let’s take a moment to compare Leading Change and Accelerate. Both versions are relevant and effective today, but they are designed to serve different contexts and objectives
Step 1 – Create a Sense of Urgency
Your top leaders must describe an opportunity that will appeal to individuals’ heads and hearts and use this statement to raise a large, urgent army of volunteers.
Windows of opportunity are appearing, opening, and closing more quickly than ever before. If you are able to identify even a glimmer of a Big Opportunity, it’s important to quickly and urgently engage and mobilize around it before competitors seize the window.
Step 2 – Build a Guiding Coalition
A volunteer army needs a coalition of effective people — coming from its own ranks — to guide it, coordinate it and communicate its activities.
Real collaboration is about stepping outside of traditional institutional structures to focus on results. In fact, there is an 81% correlation between collaboration and innovation.
Consider establishing a Guiding Coalition of engaged individuals from across your organization to help you institute the specific attitudes and practices necessary to launch, drive and — most importantly — sustain change.
Step 3 – Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives
Kotter defines strategic initiatives as targeted and coordinated “activities that, if designed and executed fast enough and well enough, will make your vision a reality.”
The better people can envision where they are going, the more they can focus on specific initiatives that will make that vision a reality. The strategic initiatives best positioned to capitalize on the Big Opportunity should be prioritized and staffed. With whom? That leads us to our next step…
Step 4 – Enlist a Volunteer Army
Organizations with a high number of actively engaged employees have an average of 147% higher earnings per share than the norm.
Accelerate explains that history has demonstrated that it is possible to find many change agents … but only if people are given a choice and feel they truly have permission to step forward and act.” You must build excitement around the Big Opportunity and develop a feeling that one “Wants To” (not “Has To”) contribute.
Step 5 – Enable Action by Removing Barriers
By removing barriers such as inefficient processes or hierarchies, leaders provide the freedom necessary for employees to work across boundaries and create real impact. 44% of leaders agree that their own management strategies are too bureaucratic and are a nuisance.
Over time, the hierarchies that serve organizations so well in terms of efficiency and order can limit transformation. The cross-functional Guiding Coalition can work in tandem with hierarchical management to help change leaders over come barriers.
Step 6 – Generate Short-Term Wins
Wins are the molecules of results. They must be collected, categorized, and communicated — early and often — to track progress and energize your volunteers to drive change.
A change vision can take a long time to achieve. Kotter’s research has shown that generating and celebrating wins along the way is vital to acceleration towards and focus on the goal.
Step 7 – Sustain Acceleration
Change leaders must adapt quickly in order to maintain their speed. Whether it’s a new way of finding talent or removing misaligned processes, they must determine what can be done — every day — to stay the course towards the vision.
Are you balancing change management with change leadership?
• Problem Solving
• Doing What We Know How To Do
• Producing Dependable, Reliable Results
• Establishing Direction
• Aligning People
• Mobilizing People to Achieve Astonishing Results
• Propelling Us Into The Future
Balance is the essential factor in sustaining acceleration.
Step 8 – Institute Change
To ensure new behaviors are repeated over the long-term, it’s important that you define and communicate the connections between these behaviors and the organization’s success.
When surveyed, 90% of managers and employees said the importance of agility and speed has increased in the last 5 years.
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How can you balance reliability and agility?
There must be clear communication and synchronization between the traditional hierarchical structure (on the left side) and the innovation network of volunteers (on the right side).
Why I like this book?
The need to transform is critical! The 8 step accelerator system is centered on the creation of great urgency around a great opportunity. The book leaves you with a sense of urgency to do something. The last chapters set out a few thought-provoking questions and challenges the reader that this will be no easy task in terms of the obstacles you will face on this change journey.
I have seen too many organizations go down the 8 Step Road, but fail to follow the steps closely…the result is no change…trust me, I’m seeing it first hand right now in an organization that is trying to change…this is why I recommend this book to you…avoid the pitfalls!
I hope you have enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you. Here is a link to my profile.
All the best!
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