Shop - THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO IT HERE ! : A Story About How Organizations Rise And Fall–And Can Rise Again

View All Photos
John Kotter – THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO IT HERE! : A Story about How Organizations Rise, And Fall – And Can Rise Again
Webpage 03
John Kotter – THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO IT HERE! : A Story about How Organizations Rise, And Fall – And Can Rise Again

THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO IT HERE ! : A Story About How Organizations Rise And Fall–And Can Rise Again

Holger Rathgeber, John Kotter
Holger Rathgeber, John Kotter


A Business Fables Discussing Why Some Succeed And Others Fail & How They Can Rebound

ISBN 9780399563942
Book Condition BRAND NEW
Publication Date 07 Jun 2016
Pages 176
Weight 0.50 kg
Dimension 22 × 15 × 2 cm
Retail Price RM123.75
Availability: 2 in stock

Additional information

2 in stock

  • Detail Description


BUSINESS FABLES are not meant to provide great fiction, but to place lessons in a context that make them easier to relate to. And John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber’s That’s Not How We Do It Here! does just that. The bestselling authors of Our Iceberg is Melting (more than one million sold) are back with their second business fable, this time on the eternal tensions of management vs leadership, planning vs spontaneity, big vs small.
What’s the worst thing you can hear when you have a good idea at work? “That’s not how we do it here!”
In their iconic bestseller Our Iceberg Is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber used a simple fable about penguins to explain the process of lead­ing people through major changes. Now, ten years later, they’re back with another must-read story that will help any team or organization cope with their biggest challenges and turn them into exciting opportunities.
Once upon a time a clan of meerkats lived in the Kalahari, a region in southern Africa. After years of steady growth, a drought has sharply reduced the clan’s resources, and deadly vulture attacks have increased. As things keep getting worse, the har­mony of the clan is shattered. The executive team quarrels about possible solutions, and sugges­tions from frontline workers face a soul-crushing response: “That’s not how we do it here!”

So Nadia, a bright and adventurous meerkat, hits the road in search of new ideas to help her trou­bled clan. She discovers a much smaller group that operates very differently, with much more teamwork and agility. These meerkats have developed innova­tive solutions to find food and evade the vultures. But not everything in this small clan is as perfect as it seems at first.
Can Nadia figure out how to combine the best of both worlds—a large, disciplined, well-managed clan and a small, informal, inspiring clan—before it’s too late?
Unable to be heard in her clan, Nadia ventures out to see how other clans are dealing with the changes. She finds partial answers in the approach a smaller, loosely organized clan. Returning to her own clan, she figures out how to combine the best of both worlds—a large, disciplined, well-managed clan and that of a small, informal, inspiring clan.
This story is a bit different than most we read in business books, because it takes place in the Kalahari Desert, and Matt is a Meerkat. Yes, it’s a fable. Kotter and Rathgeber have given us a fable before, and it is one of the best—Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions, which was recently re-released by Portfolio and has a 10th anniversary edition planned for 2017.
It is the story of the star of this new fable – Nadia . Nadia bright and adventurous meerkat who is part of a mature clan with over 150 members, which we are told is “a remarkable size that is far from typical.”. To keep it functioning well, specific plans, schedules, procedures, measures, rules, best practices, and layers of bureaucracy—a certain way of doing things—have been developed over the years. This well-managed clan has done well to date but is now faced with unprecedented problems that challenge their once reliable rules and procedures.
However, these above-mentioned were management tools developed for a very specific and favorable environment, and that environment is changing. The rain has seemingly vanished, the insects and reptiles Meerkats eat are becoming harder to find, and vultures—which most Kats in the clan had only ever heard of, Vultures having left the area when a brushfire cleared the land they call home a generation ago—have not only returned, they have changed from mere scavengers picking up scraps into predators.
In response, the alphas and betas of the clan spend more and more time meeting about the new dangers, shuffling management teams, and reviewing procedures. The system of Kat-management that had been so reliable and useful in the past is failing them. New challenges and problems are arising all around them. They didn’t have any established policies or procedures to deal with the new threats, and the ones they did have weren’t working anymore—often, they were impediments.
When Nadia’s best friend Ayo, a guard, comes up with the revolutionary idea of climbing tress to see farther and get a better view of potential dangers to the clan, he is disciplined for violating guarding procedures and removed from his post. As being a guard is the only thing Ayo has ever wanted to do and all he thinks about (the authors refer to him as a guard nerd), he decides to leave the clan, just as the best burrow maker and two of his friends had two days earlier.
The clan is shedding talent and losing hope. Believing that there has to be a clan out there that has faced similar challenges and found a better way to meet them, Nadia decides to leave with Ayo to search for it and learn from them.
They find other clans quickly, but most are either even more dysfunctional or not welcoming new members because of the drought. Finally, they happen upon Matt, a fellow rover from another clan that has disintegrated in the face of all the new threats and changes.
Matt has heard of a clan doing well and accepting new members, and they set out together to find it. The clan is recently formed and only has a dozen members. It is small and nimble and new in its ways—the clever and crafty startup to the large and closely managed corporations Nadia, Matt, and Ayo were used to in their former clans. Led by Lena, this new clan is facing the reality of the drought by focusing on coming up with new ideas that turn the challenges into opportunities.
They develop innovations in food sharing and creation. It is a clan with more energy and passion than any of them had ever witnessed before, an idea-generating machine coming up with many new way of doing things, beating the odds and growing rapidly even in the middle of the drought. It is revolutionary.
But when the clan grows to fifty members, things begin to break down. It is a lightbulb moment for Nadia. She realizes that high spirit and high ideals aren’t enough to keep the burrows in good order, that Lena’s visionary leadership was great at inspiring innovation and ideas, but that more structure would be needed to support a larger clan.
After a heart to heart with Lena in which Nadia shares her insight, she and Ayo set out for home with all they’ve learned. Nadia thinks she has found a middle path, a way to be smart and disciplined, while also being able to create and change—to be creative, responsive, and open to new initiatives and projects that keep the clan at least evolutionary if not revolutionary, while also keeping it stable and safe. She believes she can help replace complacency with a sense of urgency to keep improving and growing the clan, the clan’s quality of life, and its ability to weather change.
The story parallels the evolution of organizations of all types as they grow and mature. As illustrated in the attached chart photo, most organizations begin by taking the approach in upper left corner (almost by definition). While a bit chaotic, they are curious, adaptable, and energetic. They are learning.
But once success comes they nearly always move into the upper right quadrant. They begin to cope with their size by cementing in systems, structures and policies, that inadvertently kill speed, agility and innovation. New ideas are often greeted with, “That’s not how we do things around here.” If they persist in this approach, they quickly fall into the lower right corner, becoming complacent, rigid, and slow. The very talent they need to stay relevant and responsive to their changing environment begins to leave. If dramatic change comes their way, they are doomed.
The answer isn’t to move back to the upper left corner. The answer is to combine the two by changing the way the organization is led.
The authors suggest that leader begin by creating a sense of urgency around a clear opportunity and mission. Add to that a network-like system that spans silos and layers of hierarchy. These become entrepreneurial units that rekindle a sense of curiosity and learning. Contrary to the nature of a mature organization, much of this is dependent on the leadership’s willingness to communicate and embrace and nurture new ideas.
Faced with the environment we are all in, we can no longer comfortably lead the well-managed, calcified organization to its doom.
Instead of diving into the weeds of management theory and rote business examples, Kotter and Rathgeber take us out into the desert, and give us a fable that is simple and short yet powerful. Kotter has teamed up with Rathgeber again and returned to the fable format. Fiction has the ability to stretch our minds in ways that more straightforward business books do not.
The characters’ experience resonates with our own, and the situations they find themselves in reminds us of elements within our own organizations. Instead of giving us a numbered list to check off, or specific takeaways or programs to implement, they allow us to complete the picture for ourselves, to make our own connections, to find our own lessons and how to apply them.
There is about twenty pages of more straightforward business lessons at the end of the book that wrap it up and explain some of the ideas, research, and theory behind the story, but the greatest power resides in the story itself. And, even if we tend not to take these stories for adults very seriously at first, that shouldn’t surprise us.
After all, the world’s most famous fables, Aesop’s Fables, exist not only to impart moral lessons and education, but to expand our moral imaginations, and it has been doing that for over two thousand years. That’s Not How We Do It Here! does the same thing for our organizational intelligence and imagination today.
This short, full-color fable tackles the most fundamental questions in business: why do organizations rise and fall, and how can they rise again in the face of adversity? This simple yet rich story will also connect with a broad range of people who need to combine flexibility and systems in a challenging climate.
It distills decades of research by bestselling Harvard Business School professor and leadership consultant John Kotter.
About the Author :
John Kotter, professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is often called the world’s fore­most authority on leadership and change. His many previous books, including Leading Change and Our Iceberg Is Melting, have been translated into more than two hundred foreign-language editions and have been bestsellers around the world. He is a founder of Kotter International, a consulting firm that specializes in helping leaders transform their organizations.
Holger Rathgeber is the coauthor of Our Iceberg Is Melting, a former executive at a medical products firm, and a principal at Kotter International.

[ --- Read more --- ]
You've just added this product to the cart: