Security Awareness Blog

Book Review: Accelerate

51DA5WA2bkL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Renowned researcher and author John Kotter has been a big influence on how I approach security awareness. His book Leading Change really opened my eyes to the steps to successful organizational change. Twenty years after Leading Change, you can think of Mr. Kotter's latest book Accelerate as an update. While I still think Leading Change is by far his best book I've read so far, there were some key take aways for me from Accelerate.

First and foremost, what this book describes is what I'm already seeing happen in the security awareness world. Mr. Kotter explains that rapid change cannot be driven top down but from a distributed network throughout the organization using change agents called 'accelerators'. I see organizations doing something similar with their awareness programs, but calling these Ambassador or Champion programs. This is where volunteers throughout the organization step-up to become local security representatives and help their peers and co-workers better understand security issues. This is an especially effective approach for large and/or distributed or international organizations. Angela Pappas from Thomeson Reuters will be doing a blog series soon on their Ambassador program, and John Haren will be presenting on Diageo's Champion program at the European Security Awareness Summit.

Some of other key takeaways from this book include his focus on the "Big Opportunity" and a better understanding of the how and why traditional corporations are structured in a managerial hierarchy. The Big Opportunity is how Kotter now recommends organizations develop a sense of urgency, the idea being do not focus on the negative but on what people and the organization will gain through change. If you have not read any of Kotter's books do not read this, start with Leading Change. However if you are a fan of Kotter and looking to tweak your approach to organizational change, then I recommend it.