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Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  231 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Based on the award-winning article in Harvard Business Review, from global leadership expert John Kotter.

It’s a familiar scene in organizations today: a new 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 enough. Or effectively enough. Real va
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published November 10th 2012)
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Frank Calberg
Apr 14, 2016 Frank Calberg rated it it was amazing
At the very start of the book, at about location 100, I read that virtually all organizations begin with a network-like structure, sort of like a solar system with a sun, planets, moons, and even satellites. Founders are at the centre. Other people are at various nodes working on different initiatives. All action is guided by a purpose that everyone believes in and works on living out. People move with agility. As the organization grows bigger, i.e. has more employees, departments are created, a ...more
Bianca Smith
Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World is the latest business book by John P Kotter. Like his previous books, it's short (200 pages), sweet and written to change the world. Due for release in April 2014.

I never did read Kotter's famous Our Iceberg Is Melting when it was popular. However, when I finished Accelerate I was curious and checked the GoodReads reviews to see if it's the same style. It is, and it is a distinct style.

Accelerate describes a model of running a tra
Mark Steed
This latest book by Harvard Business School Professor, John Kotter, believes that established hierarchical managerial structures do not provide the agility for organisations to respond sufficiently quickly to take advantages of the narrow windows of opportunity that present themselves. Kotter's solution is that firms should re-organise themselves to be able to cope with the demands of an increasingly changing world. In particular, firms should augment their their hierarchical structures with a n ...more
Frank Thun
Nov 06, 2015 Frank Thun rated it did not like it
Way to shallow.

Even the basic analogy comparing organizations to operating system is flawed! Try running two Operating Systems on on system in an integrated manner! Applications are able to run on an operating systems, but two operating systems running at the same time integrated in one system is simply not possible.

But ok, this metaphor might be flawed, but the contents might still be valid. But I thin they are not. They are just management bla bla. Look at the "Big ideas" he is describing. T
Feb 11, 2015 Kevan rated it liked it
A great concept—more worth of an article than a book, as was its origins—about creating innovation-centered networks in your organization. There's the hierarchy side of things, the right-brain, the one that manages things, but there's also the left-side: volunteer-driven, opportunity-seeking, future-adapting movers. He talks about the two systems needing to be in balance in order to truly advance. We did this book as part of our leadership team's book club at our company, and are currently worki ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Manu rated it it was amazing
As expected from Kotter, a very well written book talking about the approach for driving changes in an organization in order to capitalize on a business opportunity which could prove to be a game changer.

In this book, Kotter talks about the new concept of "dual operating system" that organizations (especially that are matured and passed through the start-up stage) need to foster in order to be nimble and agile - the qualities needed to capitalize on new business opportunities. This dual operati
Rev Martin J. Homan
Next step to transitions in a continually changing society

John Kotter lays out for the reader the next steps in a society that is continually changing. He lays out the dance floor for a world that is continually changing but the structures are not. This work is also true for the non-profit escape especially churches. As churches age, we also need dual operating systems with accelerators. The big opportunity for the non-profit may not be around profit but is just as crucial. I would add this book
Mario Sailer
Mar 12, 2016 Mario Sailer rated it really liked it
Shelves: change_mamagent
John P. Kotter mainly states that every enterprise undergoes an organizational transformation from a networked structure at the beginning when it forms into a hierarchical structure later on when it matures. Each of this forms has his values and benefits. The networked structure is flexible, fast and it facilitates communication. But there is a limit. As an organization grows it has to become more structured in order to avoid chaotic behavior and a hierarchic organizations forms . This structure ...more
Oct 08, 2014 Nate rated it really liked it
This book speaks of wringing passion and creativity from people in the work force who have deep thought and have great contributions to offer. It's about creating space within existing hierarchies for discussions to happen and action to be taken by those passionate people, without dismantling the power that the hierarchy also has to offer. It presents a brave path on which thoughtful enterprises will quicken their pace.
Richard Robinson
Jun 10, 2015 Richard Robinson rated it really liked it
Another solid book from John P. Kotter on the science and art of organizational change where he talks about splitting the organization to more effectively and urgently drive change and explores differences between management and leadership: "In its most basic sense, leadership is about mobilizing a group of people to jump into a better future."
Dec 05, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Very easy to read, made good points about organizations' agility and speed of change. I prefer books with concrete suggestions for application of the concepts it discusses. This one fell a bit short in that category for me. Worth the time it takes to read, but concrete ideas will need to be found within the reader's organization itself.
د.أمجد الجنباز
الأعمال الصغيرة الناشئة تكون أكثر إبداعا من الشركات الضخمة التي تكون امتلأت بالبيروقراطية والطبقات والهيكلية التي تعرقل سرعة اتخاذ القرار
هناك العديد من الطرق لتخطي مشكلة بطء اتخاذ القرار في المنظمات الكبيرة، ومنها عمل فرق المهام
Task Force
أو زيادة التنسيق بين الأقسام المختلفة

لكن هذا الكتاب ينصح طريقة جديدة عن طريق عمل هيكيلية أخرى رديفة للهيكلية الضخمة، تكون مشابهة لهيكلية المؤسسات الناشئة، وتحوي الاشخاص الاكثر ابداعا، وتعمل بشكل منفصل عن الهيكلية الأساسية
سيكون بعض الأفراد مشتركين في ك
Armando Peralta Díaz
Interesante enfoque de cómo las organizaciones en un entorno de cambio acelerado pueden combinar distintos tipos de estructura. Kotter nos propone una estructura dual, donde la estructura de red puede convivir con l estructura jerárquica.
Jose Papo
Mar 26, 2014 Jose Papo rated it really liked it
A nice book from the classic author who writes about Change Management. The book is good, because it shows how big companies will have to use not only a classical organizational model, but also a network-model (like startups) to survive in this new market.
May 01, 2014 Rodrigo rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the best books Of Professor Kotter. Is an interesting model to study, apply and evaluate in companies especially those where changes are taking place more rapidly
Michal Stransky
Jan 22, 2016 Michal Stransky rated it it was amazing
Mr. Kotter again prove that he is able to help not just by talking about where to go.. but also by explaining how to get there
Mar 01, 2015 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
This is my sixth Kotter read. This book uses earlier concepts (from Leading Change, Iceberg, Heart of Change), but adds the dual operating system. This is meant to help hierarchical, managerial systems be more agile. The book also adds The Big Opportunity, as a means to more effectively create urgency and convey direction. These ideas are presented in the context of Big Business and "winning" particularly market share. Both seem to be useful. However, it would have been helpful to see some appli ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: july, 2015, hillsbororeads
An excellent addition to any professional development shelf.
Daniel Lambauer
Apr 09, 2016 Daniel Lambauer rated it it was amazing
Best organisational change book i have read! really eye-opening - only question is: how can i apply it? highly recommended!
Brad Hayes
Nov 20, 2015 Brad Hayes rated it did not like it
Long on promise, short on delivery.
Meshack Ýang
Mar 03, 2015 Meshack Ýang marked it as to-read
May 07, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good business book, I guess. However, since I'm not necessarily business-minded, I found all kinds of ways to apply the basic principle of the book to the organization and workplace I'm a part of.
Jul 14, 2016 Gregory rated it it was ok
Not a very good book at all. Very high level, full of corporate buzzwords, but you can tell the author's never actually been in business before, he's just studied them. There's the saying that those who can't do teach, this guy seems to epitomize that saying.
Fred Schafer
What I enjoyed most about this book was how it forced me to think about schooling in a different way, to think about possibilities that truly inspire both students and teachers, and to celebrate that notion of research and development in our profession.
Al Menaster
Too much management-speak. Kotter's point, made over and over, is that businesses need to change but can't because management can't change. What's needed is a "dual operating system," volunteers to figure out how to change, then management implements.
Chuck McGrady
Not the sort of book that I would normally read, but a legislative colleague suggested it. It does have some application to both the legislative process and what my work with nonprofits.
Lesley White
Jul 11, 2014 Lesley White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst I don't think this is particularly well written I understand the points litter is trying to make.

Real and not anonymous examples might have helped
Rick Yvanovich
This is not the full book but just a synopsis of the HBR article. Pretty interesting but I want to read the full book XLR8 to really get into this topic.
Mar 28, 2016 Sergei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not convincing, although the Q&A section made up for the lack of practicality.
Nancy Rogers
Don't usually read 'business' books. But this was pretty interesting.
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John P. Kotter, world-renowned expert on leadership, is the author of many books, including Leading Change, Our Iceberg is Melting, The Heart of Change, and his latest book, That's Not How We Do It Here!. He is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and a graduate of MIT and Harvard. He is co-founder of Kotter International, a change management an ...more
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