[Review] Change With Confidence
The trouble with many of those people who’ve been put in charge in leading change in their companies – and usually not of their own fault – is that they’re almost always chosen for the job, rather than having aspired to it. What this means is that while they are probably really good at many things, driving change in an organization may not be one of them. As such, those appointed to be change agents are almost always out of their depth. If you’re in charge of a change initiative on behalf of your company, you probably know what I’m talking about.
But here’s help in the form of a book – “Change with Confidence: Answers to the 50 Biggest Questions that Keep Change Leaders Up at Night” by Phil Buckley is an excellent primer for those in change management. Buckley himself is a senior change management professional with over twenty years in developing and executing change strategies, and a regular public speaker on the topic. He condenses all that experience into “Change with Confidence“, and addresses 50 of the most pressing questions he believes change leaders struggle with.
Buckley splits the book into 50 chapters, with each chapter answering one of those questions. These 50 questions are further sorted into three distinct sections according to the change management process, i) figuring change out, 2) managing change and 3) making change stick. Each chapter is broken into four parts – a summary that explains a burning change management question (ranging from how to measure success and how to avoid scope creep to how to communicate delay in a project’s progress), and then providing both a negative and a positive case study describing exactly that issue. The chapter then ends off with Buckley providing a template explaining what works and how that can be applied to your specific situation.
Many of those case studies have been derived from Buckley’s time leading change management in Cadbury, but he also brings out many unknown examples from both the public and private sectors that give a broad perspective into how change management have taken place across different organizations and across industries. You’ll read, for example, of how a tiny village wasted time and resources implementing an IT system they really didn’t need, or how the merger of different businesses from two separate companies can take place without a hitch.
“Change with Confidence” is practical, useful and absolutely crucial for those tasked with change management in their organizations. It’s easy to read (Buckley eschews useless jargon and complex but impractical theories), and organized in such a manner that it’s a breeze looking for the answer to your specific problem. With this in hand, you shouldn’t need to feel out of depth when you’re assigned to the next change project. and stressful challenge.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.