The Culture Builders, Leadership Strategies for Employee Performance by Jane Sparrow
Reviewed by Rosemary Cooper-Clark, Director,C C Consulting Ltd
Are you are involved in cultural change? Are you preparing to lead a change programme? If you are, this book will give you a practical approach - based on common sense and proven results.
I read this book to support my work with CEOs in achieving cultural change in their businesses. It strengthened my approach and provided powerful examples of how effective engagement leads to cultural change and thereby dramatic performance improvement.
Jane writes in an “easy to read” style weaving theory and examples into content that you will find yourself able and wanting to read, whenever or wherever you might be. There is an underlying logic and framework that also allows you to dip in and out as needed.
Jane argues that cultural change can only be achieved if employees are engaged with the business. To achieve this, there needs to be alignment between the vision, purpose and values of the individual and the organization.
This supports the recommendations from most leading authorities on change management and she further supports the approach, citing from numerous bodies of empirical research.
Jane Sparrow was involved in the work for the report “Engaging for Success: Enhancing Performance through Employee Engagement (MacLeod and Clarke 2009) and her sources range over a broad period of change management research. There is also a useful reference list for those wishing to dig deeper into the subject.
The content is a welcome change from the popular focus on dealing with resistance to change. It takes a positive angle outlining how motivating an employee towards engaging with the business will inspire them to give higher levels of discretionary effort.
Jane blends approaches from the great theorists, such as John P. Kotter, into the process guidelines and gives clear in-depth explanations of the five key roles of both the Manager and Strategic Leader. This includes the multiple perspectives that each needs to take to effect behavioural change.
This is a useful addition to the many books on the process of change management in that it focuses on the personal aspects of changing culture.
This books supports us, as Managers or Leaders, to be better at what we do, who we need to be, as well as how to role model the behaviours necessary for cultural change. As such, it also contributes to the field of developing high-performing employees and teams.
About Rosemary Cooper-Clark
Rosemary is a professional leadership coach and change consultant. After 10 years at Shell in roles such as HR Services Global Change Manager, Rosemary set up her own consultancy. She now works with ambitious and dynamic CEOs who are passionate about developing themselves, their teams and their businesses to achieve leading-edge performance. www.ccconsulting.org.uk