Leading Transformation – How to Take Charge of Your Company’s Future – by Nathan Furr, Kyle Nel and Thomas Zoega Ramsoy – a Book Review

Change management, as one of the oldest leadership topics, has probably thousands of books beneath. That’s why authors have made “Leading Transformation” another kind of book. To quote them, the companies’ leaders know two axioms:
– that change is necessary for survival and
– that change will most likely fail due various human factors.
Then how does a leader make a company transformation successful? Without any (major) spoilers, the Harvard Business Review title lists several interesting and out of the ordinary methods.
First of all, to navigate the unknown, leaders must do things differently – “Leading Transformation” thus looks at the where.
Secondly, to transform rapidly and successfully, companies need engaged employees – “Leading Transformation” then looks at the how.
Thirdly, companies should permanently stay in this virtuous circle of transforming and advancing – “Leading Transformation” has views on the tools to do so.
The book takes a very different approach from other tomes on the subject. Whilst the others create a methodology and then support it with study cases and some science, “Leading Transformation” is made of various themes which are then disected in a thorough manner. As such, “Leading Transformation” is a relatively typical Harvard Business Review title – full or practical study cases with past successful examples. I must confess that it somehow places a bit of over-emphasis on certain unexpected organizations (Lowe or REI) – and that in my view the authors could have enlarged the net. Even so, the depth of the book increases, allowing it to go to some lengthy analytics.
Last (but not least), “Leading Transformation” combines several interesting management concepts from other (than strategy) business areas: it uses a lot of neuroscience know-how (usually applied in marketing), formalizes its approaches with future KPIs (fKPIs – from finance mostly) or borrows from lean operations management the bottleneck removal approach. The result is intriguing – and thought-provocative. I must confess that, as a seasoned commercial finance warrior, I was pushed a bit outside my comfort zone by the approach.
All in all, a (quite) relaxing and stimulating change management book, very topical and aligned with the 2018’s challenges. I do hope you enjoy it reading!
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