Edited by Geoffrey Brewer and Barb Sanford
(Free Press, 213 pp., $25)
Brewer and Sanford, editors at the Gallup Management Journal,
review major business events from the past 10 years and look at the
recommendations of visionary leaders on how to manage and make the
most of change.
Each segment offers a trip down memory lane, because the stories
deal with major change that has occurred during the past. However,
as promised by the authors, the information presented in the book
is very relevant to events shaping the world today. Many of the
segments help to provide background for and a different perspective
on recent news headlines.
Decade of Change is divided into five sections: global changes,
crisis management, leading change, managing change, and strategies
for the new normal. The book begins with an interview of Nobel
Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, in which he discusses his research on
the nature of decision making and the previous assumptions that the
world followed. Each subsequent interview and article deliver new
insight and applicable lessons, from the integration of technology
into our lives and the idea of environmental stewardship, to how
building customer and employee engagement and navigating the market
in the years ahead is shaped by these momentous events.
Although the book is based on interviews and case studies with an
emphasis on managing and making the most of organizational change,
the reader may find unexpected personal takeaways as well. For
example, two specific quotes stuck with me. According to Kahneman,
context changes everything, and analysis from the Gallup World Poll
shows that what the whole world wants is a good job. It is the new
current state of mind, establishes our relationship with our city,
our country, and the world around us.
The book truly held my interest. The interviews and case studies
make it an easy read for the professional on-the-go. I would
consider this a must-read for anyone in a leadership or change
management position. The unique blend of stories offers a slightly
different perspective on work in context of the world around us.
I plan to keep Decade of Change on my bookshelf and reference it
often during the next 10 years. I give it four caf au laits.