BOOKCASE : Changing Gears

David Irving, Darl Kolb, Deborah Shepherd & Christine Woods • Auckland University Press • RRP $29.99

A book to start the year with. If you have taken break and thought about how to take your organisation into the future, particularly small business enterprise, kick out by reading Changing Gears. It is excellent home-grown management and leadership advice from The Icehouse founder, David Irving, and his band of colleagues from the University of Auckland Business School.
Easy to read, accessible, sensible and short, this practical guide to growing Kiwi business is useful starter to the year. The book is based on Kiwi companies in action. Irving, former Heinz Wattie’s Australasia chief executive, has taken look at what inhibits growth in otherwise smart local enterprises. What he and his team found is revealed in series of practical answers to constantly encountered questions like: how to identify business models and financial drivers; how to become leader with vision of the future; how to build team, share information and delegate effectively; how to evaluate future options and pursue growth opportunities to scale up an enterprise, and more.
The point is, given the direction of global enterprise, home grown is good and particularly relevant to small but innovative nation like New Zealand. Irving believes our home-grown small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to perform better to not just survive but succeed and foot it with the rest of the world. Multinationals decide for themselves where they want to live, he says. Our SMEs are here but often “not going anywhere” so, Irving and his Icehouse team have come up with thoughtful, practical guide to tackling the management issues of how to grow, how to lead and how to improve management and leadership performance – Kiwi-style.
Changing Gears is an inspirational and practical read. Reading it is good way to turn those New Year resolutions into something more than just wishful thinking.

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