Accelerate by John Kotter

Accelerate by John Kotter

Accelerate by John Kotter

Accelerate by John Kotter

“Building strategic agility for a faster-moving world”.

Published 2014,


Reason for review

John is a highly regarded writer on leadership – lecturers at Harvard – with this the latest in a

series of books over a number of decades. Focuses on a key challenge faced by all big

businesses, how to innovate and change rapidly and successful – AKA how to think and act

like a start up.



Like many business books, there is just one core idea in Accelerate but it’s a big one and it’s

shared with clarity and guidance for thinkers and doers alike. John Kotter argues that big

business should create a ‘dual-operating system’ as it will allow them to innovate at a pace

that keeps up with a faster-moving world. This means aligning management driven

hierachical structures – “one of the most amazing innovations of the twentieth century” –

with a start-up’s solar system of networks. It’s a book that is about and delivered with,

speed and agility. The model to help large organisations find new competive advantage by

making the best of their world and that of a start up is an intuitive one, described in big

print on small pages. Like all good ideas its strength is in its simplicity and it takes root fast

in the mind, though implementation will always prove to be much harder. At least here the

author’s Harvard Business School reputation will make the introduction of a good idea much


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