Bookshelves abound with theoretical analyses, how-to guides, and
personal success stories by famous corporate leaders, public
officials, even athletic coaches, expounding on how to lead from
the top. But what about those in the middle who are increasingly
tasked with trying to reshape, reorient, or recreate the
capabilities of an organization?
Leading Change from the Middle takes you on the
journeys traveled by Kurt Mayer, an information technology
executive in the Department of Defense trying to build a new IT
system in record time with limited resources, and Stephen Wang, a
mid-level leader in city government trying to build a capability
for supporting commercial agriculture. Kurt and Stephen have to
navigate complex organizational and stakeholder landscapes in which
they often have few decision rights and few resources a common
scenario for mid-level leaders. One succeeds; one does not.
While following Kurt and Stephen, the book introduces a new
approach for increasing the likelihood of successfully leading
change. This new approach breaks down into three core strategies:
First, identify all relevant stakeholders and partition them into
four categories: superordinates, subordinates, customers, and
complementors/blockers (those who control needed resources but over
whom the leaders have no authority).
Second, for each stakeholder category, identify Communications,
Strategies, and Tactics (referred to as CoSTS).
Third, don''t stimulate negative emotions that make people DEAF
Disrespect, Envy, Anger, and Fear to efforts to produce change.
As the book follows the journeys of Kurt and Stephen, it walks
through the details of each strategy.
In presenting this material in a concise, accessible, and
applicable format that translates theory to practice, Nickerson
provides an important service for leaders trying to build
extraordinary capabilities for their organizations from the