Guest reviewers choice
This month we welcome as our Guest Reviewer Dr. Jennifer Maiden-Brooks. Jennifer has chosen as her book selection:
The Power of Habit: why we do what we do, and how to change, Charles Duhigg
Book Review by Dr. Jennifer Maiden-Brooks - Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change (William Heinemann, 2012), Random House Books ISBN - 978-1847946249
There have been many books published on the subject of managing change – and since good businesses are in a constant state of growth and development, it seems inevitable that there will be countless more in the future. And whilst many of these works simply build on, and perhaps refine, tried-and-tested studies which have gone before, every once in a while a book is published which looks at things from a slightly different standpoint.
Charles Duhigg’s ‘The Power of Habit’ is one of these ‘different breed’ of texts. For in this work, Duhigg explores the subject of why we do what we do; he examines how people deal with change, and more importantly, how we can positively elicit change for ourselves. Duhigg starts out by illustrating how habits work at an individual level – how each of us can recognise, and modify, our own behaviours in order to adapt and improve over time. But Duhigg also then goes on to identify, and to lucidly unpack, the habits of successful corporations - to show us how habits can be created at an organisational level in order to improve performance, resilience, cohesion and, ultimately, the ‘bottom line.’ Habits, Duhigg teaches us, can be shaped to our advantage, and in this book Duhigg provides his readers with a highly accessible ‘framework’, a toolkit which can be used by leaders and managers at all levels to ‘gain power over…change’ and to proactively develop a beneficial change management culture that people can create and shape for themselves.
Dr. Jennifer Maiden-Brooks.
Jennifer worked as a university lecturer and course leader for a number of years, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students - managing both their academic progression and pastoral support. Jennifer then decided on a change of career and re-trained as a Project Manager and then later a Programme Manager, and during this time she managed a range of initiatives - from redevelopment and infrastructure projects to a multi-million pound, multi-agency service improvement programme.
Jennifer moved into corporate policy a couple of years ago, and this role has allowed her to help shape and influence the development of organisational practice, and to ensure that the decisions we make at a strategic level are the right ones to effect productive change for the organisation.