Monday, December 29, 2008

You Can't Order Change - Peter S. Cohan

Subtitled: Lessons from Jim McNerney's Turnaround at Boeing. It was destiny that I ended up with this book. Or perhaps serendipity. Either way, the publisher did me a favor in sending it along.

The content in this book is excellent. I would describe the style as a case study and Cohan's writing as analytical. While his writing style did not resonate with me, the information is first rate! I filled the pages with post-it notes and have already passed it along to my favorite COO.

Cohan does an excellent job of drawing for us a picture of Boeing as McNerny inherited it. Then he goes back to look at what McNerney did at GE and 3M to show how his decisions about Boeing were influenced by his roles in other highly visible positions in those companies.

The book is driven by a highly structured format that lends itself to logical thinkers. Cohan has a great deal of statistics, lists, summaries and conclusions that help to link ideas to more concrete and measurable data. Keeping in mind that Cohan is a consultant primarily and not a writer, I adjusted my expectations as I worked my way through the book.

I do recommend this book for anyone interested in issues of leadership. Cohan does a wonderful job in showing us a portrait of Jim McNerney as a change agent in a difficult situation. This is a timely message for all companies struggling in these difficult times. Leadership does make all the difference!

No comments: