Sustainability is all about making big change happen. The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen, which publishes today, aims to offer a set of practical ideas and tools to support anyone trying to make big change happen, says co-author Neil Scotton (pictured)
Books can change lives. I know this for a fact. As a child, my mother gave me some money at the end of a week. I bought a book, S.O.S Save the Earth – A Vital Message for All the World’s Children. It was 1972. Something must have resonated. It resonates still. With simple cartoons and lots of things to pull out and play with, it spoke of complex (and for its day, really new) ideas such as ‘The web of life’. ‘The food chain’ and ‘The ecological niche’ in a way that made sense to my young mind. It changed my thoughts, my perspectives, my life.
What are the books that have made a real difference to your work, your life?
This is very relevant to me today, because today our new book launches, The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen. It’s been many years coming. What impact will it have?
Alister Scott and myself started the One Leadership Project in 2011 around a simple concept: what support do the people making big change happen in the world need?
The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen is a distillation of years of working with CEOs, chairs, teams and change agents in great organisations: charities (big and small, local and global) and commercial, financial, professional educational and sports organisations. It needed to speak to the ‘5 1’ components we’ve come to realise are vital to making big change happen:
- Having a clear, shared and inspiring purpose; working brilliantly together as a team
- Engaging the help, thoughts and support of others
- Building the culture that sustains the work and brings the values to life
- Seeking and achieving the right results; and
- The vital inner journey of growth and evolution that the team and the people need to go through a they take on some things, and let go of others, and deal with the highs and lows of big, complex change.
We also knew it had to be:
- Practical – only containing ideas and tools that people making big change happen have shared with us, or that we know works by us sharing it with them.
- Engaging – with every page having questions that people making big change happen can immediately relate to.
It had to recognise that people up to big change are busy – so it really is little, and each page stands on its own – you can get something from it even if you only have 30 seconds.
And it had to go further than what you need to do, it needs to help people find their way of how they are going to do it.
We shared pre-publication copies with people who would tell us the truth. The feedback so far is promising:
“This little book provides big ideas and much to think …I was delighted, inspired and apprehensive in equal measure as I read – ideal inspiration for anyone seeking to lead an organisation through big change into a lasting new state,” said Toby Woolrych, Group Finance Director, Renewi PLC.
Andrew Wolstenholme, Chief Executive of Crossrail (Europe’s largest infrastructure project) describes it as: “an invaluable guide – a set of prompts that should be constantly referred to, practiced and delivered’.
Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness feels it is “unique and much needed! Perfect for people and teams who want to make a big contribution to the world – and who want to make their organisations happier and more resilient along the way too. ”
Susan Allen, Chief Transformation Officer, Santander UK, calls it “a quiet voice of reason which will be useful for leaders and their teams alike.” And added “I loved reading it.”
But today it all becomes real. We launch. You know that feeling. Perhaps the book can change thoughts, perspectives, lives. Perhaps it will help create one billion positive impacts. Perhaps it can help you with a question, situation or challenge you are facing. We certainly hope so.
“The Little Book of Making Big Change Happen” is available from publishers Troubadour and Amazon and good booksellers.