142: That’s Not How We Do It Here! — How to Stay Agile and Innovative as a Mature Company | with John Kotter

by Monica Harrison on August 15, 2016


51ZOdZcSI+L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Increasingly, large organizations are finding their competitive landscape changing so quickly that they’re unable to respond fast enough to survive and thrive. Most mature organizations have a built-in tendency to kill off anything agile, innovative, and entrepreneurial — which often is exactly what’s needed to stay ahead of today’s ever-increasing pace of change in the market.

On the other hand, startups often find themselves growing to the point where their organization’s size becomes unwieldy. They don’t have the systems, structures, and disciplines in place to produce great results efficiently and reliably, every day, month after month.

In this interview, Jesse welcomes one of his long-time favorite thought leaders, John Kotter. John’s latest book is That’s Not How We Do It Here! — a short fable that distills his decades of experience and award-winning research about how to lead change … and specifically, how to transform your team into one that’s both well-run (with systems and structures) as well as strategically agile (innovative, adaptive, and energetic).  Together, Jesse and John discuss key insights from the book, including:

  • The difference between management and leadership — and when each are necessary;
  • How to implement a “dual system” of management and leadership, to help the company achieve efficient and reliable results, while also innovating and adapting to meet future opportunities and challenges;
  • The importance of relentless communication to create and sustain momentum for the change initiative; and
  • The importance of effectively using story, brevity, and visuals in change communications.

Regarded by many as a top authority on leadership and change, Dr. John P. Kotter is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, Harvard professor, as well as founder and chair of the management consulting firm Kotter International. Perhaps his most famous book is Leading Change, which Time magazine selected in 2011 as one of the 25 most influential business management books ever written. In 2006, he published what is arguably his most popular book, Our Iceberg Is Melting, a short business parable that illustrated his 8-step process for change management. His newest book, another short parable, is That’s Not How We Do It Here!

Thank you to Freshbooks for sponsoring this episode of Engaging Leader. Freshbooks is offering our listeners a free month of unrestricted use of their online accounting software (no credit card needed). Claim your free month at Freshbooks.com/Leader and enter “Engaging Leader” in the section that asks how you heard about Freshbooks.

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