Category Archives: Book Review

Mid-Level Managers: the new superhero

Mid Level Managers as Superhero

Mid Level Manager MLMIn a recent blog post on the Harvard Business Review web site Behnam Tabrizi reported on some research he had undertaken on why change and innovation (a pre-curser to change) didn’t work. The article is focused on Leadership but I found some powerful snippets about doing change.

Click here to see what I found

Its the activities that count

ChristensenHBRStrategic Change

The key to a successful strategic change is to change the things that matter to an organisation’s survival; and leave the things that don’t matter to operations.

In his seminal paper ‘What is strategy?‘ Michael Porter argues that effective operations is necessary for survival, but not sufficient.  Strategy is always needed. So I am going to argue that strategic change focusses on delivering the edge that enables a successful strategy to deliver not just survival but longevity. To achieve this a strategy must identify those activities that will make the difference for the organisation. Of all the things an organisation does only a few are critical to its survival and hence its strategy. It is strategic insight that identifies these activities.

Click here to find out how to focus on the key strategic activities

WRAP up your change

DecisiveBookHave you discovered the Heath Brothers? I hadn’t until I read an article in the McKinsey Quarterly Journal for April this year called ‘Making Great Decisions‘. The brothers have written 3 books and their latest is on decision making. This is a particular interest of mine as it relates to inherent team performance. The Heath brothers have a reputation for bringing together the research and best practice on a topic and distilling it into practical advice and tools for real life usage. Their latest book is just out. This blog is applying one of their decision making tools to change.

Click here to find out how

Change Analytics

Change is hard

Businesses are starting to make their use of big data a competitive advantage. A recent report from the MIT SLoan School of Management investigates the use of data in organisations (not just business).

In the Economist recently they reported on the use of data in social science. For instance an analysis of mobile phone records that can predict with not less than 80% accuracy where you are at any time of the day.  If you have a web site or use social media as part of your marketing you will be looking at data (analytics) to see where your money is having the most effect.

What role does data and analytics have in managing change?
Click here to find out

Strategy and change

I strategy and changeteach a course on strategy in a local management centre so I am keen on the link between strategy, change and operational excellence. I have just read a review in the Economist of a new book on strategy by A. G. Lafley and Roger Martin in which they describe how they turned Proctor & Gamble around and delivered significant shareholder value. In the book they describe six common strategic errors and it occurred to me that these also described six failed approaches to change.

click to read more