Title: Mastering Change
Publisher: BBC Books
ISBN: Unknown - Unbound review copy
Reviewer: Claudine McClean
Mastering Change contains real life lessons from real business leaders. It doesn’t work as a manual, telling you how to identify the changes needed, nor how to implement or embed them. Instead it guides you through the learning gained by others.
The book is short and succinct, offering lessons such as ‘Monitor Your Business Environment and Anticipate Change’, from Paul Skinner, the Chairman of Rio Tinto and a former Group Managing Director of Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Short profiles of the contributors are also available.
Each piece is written from the perspective of the contributor, rather than as a puffed up interview. As you work your way through the lessons from the different business people, the differing styles and approaches make the book more involving, like a series of conversations with corporate heroes (and villains).
The book is an interesting distraction in itself, but when combined with the 50 Lessons video series the content comes alive.
Through short video segments, no longer than your average pop song, messages are put across clearly and convincingly by people who you know have thought through what they’re saying. Pete Waterman may not have directed the videos, but he certainly conveys his points with passion and conviction, making him not only interesting to watch, but also memorable and instructive.
Characters such as Don Cruickshank, Stephen Dando and Domenico De Sole add an interesting diversity of experience and opinion. The heavyweight nature of the contributor list is underlined by names like Lord Sharman, Dame Anita Roddick, Sir Gerry Robinson, and Lord MacLaurin.
All of the video segments are available over the web, which means that as a subscriber you can view the video segment of your choice online whenever you want to. On a reasonable connection the quality is excellent, the segments have clearly been set up and filmed with internet distribution in mind rather than shoehorned into this medium.
The easy access of individual video lessons could work really well when running workshops, allowing a skilled facilitator to dip in and out of material, highlighting and illustrating points, bringing theoretical concepts to life in easily digestible chunks.
This collection doesn’t just focus on success stories from undeniably successful business people. There’s lessons to be learned from Nicola Horlick, and who, other than a founder of lastminute.com, would you want to hear about ‘Luck, Timing and Industry Trends’ from?
Unfortunately the 50 Lessons series is not included in the £6.99 price tag of the book, and if you want to use it as a training tool you’ll need to pay a licence fee.
Claudine McClean Chartered MCIPD