Tightly structured and deftly delivered; an original take on change management.



A business consultant emphasizes effective communication in this debut book about managing change.

Change is a business topic of seemingly unending variations. Here, Marmon has managed to find a different perspective by connecting change to leadership communication. She does so through the commonly used technique of an acronym, in this case, “LESS (listen, empower, speak, solve).” The volume is divided into four parts, each centered on one of these elements. In some respects, “LESS” might also describe the content, because the work, at under 170 pages, is shorter than most business books. This is not to say the material is lacking; on the contrary, despite the abbreviated length, the author does an excellent job of providing both insightful observations and authoritative counsel on change management. From the outset, she is blunt about a leader’s responsibility: “If you lead an organization and people tell you they don’t know what’s going on, it is your fault.” Part 1 of the book offers several reasons why people may not be listening, client anecdotes that demonstrate the importance of “organizational alignment,” and a description of a change-management “Readiness Assessment.” Part 2 is largely focused on engaging others within the organization to help champion a leader’s cause. Marmon advises, perhaps surprisingly, “Your most valuable players are your middle managers.” Part 3 comprehensively covers communicating through a six-step channels strategy and offers valuable insights into such techniques as storytelling and slanting language usage to particular audiences. Part 4 concerns why and how to measure message effectiveness. The only part with just one chapter, this section seems somewhat light on details. It could have offered an opportunity to further reinforce the other parts of the volume. The author points readers to her website for additional resources, including checklists and articles, but perhaps a few of these items could have appeared in an appendix. Still, Marmon’s specific focus on the importance of communication in change management is a welcome shift from the more typical broad approach. Her own written communication skills make this book eminently readable as well.

Tightly structured and deftly delivered; an original take on change management.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0711-8

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.


Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet