Harvard Business Review Press
April 8 2014
Is it even possible to stay ahead of today’s dizzying pace of change?
It’s a familiar scene in organizations today: a competitive threat or a big opportunity emerges. You quickly create a strategic initiative in response and appoint your best people to make change happen. And it does – but not fast or effectively enough. Value gets lost, and things drift back to the default status.
Why is this scenario so frequently repeated – not only at big companies like Borders and RIM, where leaders saw change coming – but in organizations like yours?
In this groundbreaking new book, leadership expert and best-selling author John P. Kotter provides a fascinating answer – and a powerful new framework for winning in a world of constant turbulence and disruption.
Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise. For most companies, the hierarchy is the singular operating system at the heart of the firm. But the reality is, the system simply is not built for an environment where change has become the norm.
Kotter advocates a new system – a second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create what he calls a “jewel operating system.” This network is dynamic and free of bureaucratic layers. Its core is a guiding coalition that represents each level in the hierarchy. And its drivers are a “volunteer army” of people energized by the coalition’s vision and strategy. The jewel system allows companies to capitalize on today’s rapid-fire strategic challenges – and still make their numbers.
The book vividly illustrates the five core principles underlying the new network system and the eight Accelerators that drive it. Perhaps most crucially, the book reveals how the best companies focus and align their people’s energy and urgency around what Carter calls the Big Opportunity.
If you’re a pioneer, a leader who knows that bull changes necessary to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world, this book will help you accelerate into a better, more profitable future.
John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School, and is widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change. In recent years Kotter and his firm, Kotter International, have helped numerous organizations, both public and private, build dual operating systems to drive growth and accelerate strategy. He predicts that such systems are the key to sustained success in the twenty-first century – for shareholders, customers, employees, and organizations across all industries and sectors.