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Accelerate, a book by Dr. John Kotter


Dr. 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 value gets lost and, ultimately, things drift back to the default status.

In Accelerate, Dr. Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise. For most companies, the hierarchy is the singular operating system at the heart of the firm. But the reality is, this system simply is not built for an environment where change has become the norm. Kotter advocates a new system—a second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create what he calls a “dual operating system”—one that allows companies to capitalize on rapid-fire strategic challenges and still make their numbers.

And perhaps most crucial, the book reveals how the best companies focus and align their people’s energy and urgency around what Dr. Kotter calls the Big Opportunity.

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Accelerate Article from Harvard Business Review

Dr. Kotter’s follow-up fable: That’s Not How We Do It Here!

Praise for Accelerate

“One of the Best Leadership Books of the Year”
Inc. Magazine

“[Accelerate] brings much-needed insight as to why big companies struggle with implementing strategic innovation, and it recommends a practical approach to solving that problem. In doing so, it has the potential to bring inside the walls of our most successful enterprises the benefits of creative destruction.”
Ken Favaro / Contributing Editor at strategy+business, Lead Principal at ACT2

“Traditionally, organizational processes are built around running what’s directly in front of them. John P. Kotter maintains that ingrained processes can’t quickly respond to changes or seize opportunities. He advocates a networking system that operates in concert with processes and procedures. Why the dual system? People accelerate progress; processes and procedures impede it.”
Dallas Morning News

“When you start out with Kotter’s dual approach, the second operating system of management is already there to spur innovation. You don’t have a traditional hierarchy where those who are in charge are at risk of steering a ship that’s going nowhere. It doesn’t have to evolve, and it doesn’t need to be retrofitted like it does with many existing larger companies today. It’s already set for the explosive growth.”
John Brandon / Contributing Editor at Inc. Magazine

“Perhaps no one is in a more suitable place than an expert in change management to acknowledge that change is constant, to which even the best model of change is not immune. This is probably the most symbolic meaning of Kotter’s new work: by turbocharging his own model, he proves everyone needs to change, including himself.”
Leaders League

“A lot has changed, and it is changing more quickly than ever. John Kotter wrote this book because the world changes too quickly for people like me to take our sweet time trying to bring change. The principles here are essentially the same as in his classic book, Leading Change. But implicit in Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World is Kotter’s experienced admission that mature organizations by their very nature resist change.”

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