Magazine article Talent Development

A Leadership Fable: That's Not How We Do It Here! A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall-And Can Rise Again

Magazine article Talent Development

A Leadership Fable: That's Not How We Do It Here! A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall-And Can Rise Again

Article excerpt

That's Not How We Do It Here! A Story about How Organizations Rise and Fall--and Can Rise Again

By John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

Portfolio/Penguin, 176 pp., $25

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ten years ago, Kotter and Rathgeber took problem solving to the Antarctic with Our Iceberg Is Melting, a book about problem-solving methods told in fable form. In that book, a penguin named Fred needs to convince his fellow birds that their home is in trouble. In That's Not How We Do It Here, the action has moved a world away-but Kotter and Rathgeber's ability to impart clear lessons via fable is as strong as ever.

Using meerkats-those small, mongoose-like animals that live in southern Africa-as human parallels, the authors explore two very different organizational structures. Protagonist Nadia is an energetic, cheerful meerkat (or "kat," in the book's parlance) whose large clan is steeped in hierarchal structure. A pair of Alphas lead several Betas, who have their own charges, and every kat down the ladder has one specific job.

Things lumber along well-until a few surprising outside occurrences throw everything into disarray. …

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