09/09/2014

Reviewed by Michael Jacobsen, Executive Director, Global Entrepreneurs Agency


“Change is inevitable ‒ except from vending machines” ‒ as the saying goes. It is certainly inevitable in business because, paradoxically, not to change means being left behind when everyone else is moving forward. The world is going through one of the greatest periods of change in its history, and so too are the economy and the patterns of work and commerce. The decision for companies to make is not whether to change or not, but how tame the turbulent forces of change so that they serve the company and its stakeholders, in other words how to embrace the inevitable, turn it into one’s choice, and make it serve one’s interests rather than endangering them.

This very useful and instructive e-book, published by NineFeetTall as part of their “Little Book” series, presents a host of valuable and empirically based insights into practical ways to manage change in companies. Those who are familiar with the older approach to change would remember the often counter-productive practice of bringing in an outside “change agent” to shake things up and shake people out; what mattered was imposing the necessary changes regardless of the effect on people. By contrast, The Little Book of Change Management reflects the more enlightened approach which starts with motivating the people within the organisation, presenting them with a new or expanded vision, and helping them to see change as something that will enhance their effectiveness and make their company more successful. Where the old approach threatened people’s security, the new approach reinforces it by helping both executives and employees to see that they can achieve more by change than by resisting it.

A very attractive feature of The Little Book of Change Management is its layout. Each page is like a colourful and visually varied PowerPoint slide. All the key theory and insights are succinctly presented ‒ often in diagram form ‒ and the book is interspersed with thought-provoking and inspiring quotations from leaders who have “been there and done that” in the process of managing change.

So when you’re at your next dysfunctional management meeting and the need for change is staring you in the face, download this book and read it on your iPad under the table. It will give you the vision, the ideas and the strategies to make a difference that everyone will appreciate.