In many people’s eyes, the 8-step Kotter Model is the gold standard for Change Leadership, supported not just by real stories in The Heart of Change but by the powerful adult fable of a brave penguin with a heightened sense of urgency in Our Iceberg is Melting.

So when John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber published a new adult fable about Meerkats, red10 were extremely interested.

That’s Not How We Do It Here! is the story of a Mob of Meerkats in Kalahari, whose world was changed by a surprising sustained lack of rainfall causing a lack of food and an increase in predator attacks.We follow a very frustrated Nadia and Ayo who fail to persuade their large, successful and extremely efficient mob to listen to – never mind try – any of their creative solutions to the new problems…resulting in them choosing to leave.

After several failed attempts, they meet Matt – a fellow explorer – and finally find a small clan that is truly different. Meeting in a circle, the urgency of the problem is clearly stated and they are stunned by solutions being invited and listened to from anyone who wanted to give them.

The small clan innovates and grows successfully, before hitting an interesting problem – their circles no longer work for them. Everything is at risk of falling apart as they ask themselves “Was there something of value in their original Square Mob after all?”

Relating the fable to their real-life situation, a team I worked with recently said, “It lulls you into thinking this is too simple a tale, yet before long it has shown its depth and shared some very clever yet practical techniques that we will use”.

Re-labelling the original 8-steps as accelerators, the accompanying book XLR8 builds upon them with the concept that a Dual Operating System is the way to build strategic agility in a faster-moving world.

With our version of Circles (our “Good to Great” Diagnosis process) linked to our version of Squares (the 9-Dimensions of Team Effectiveness), we in red10 think that we’re well-placed to help organisations that need to be efficient yet agile and creative too…let us know if you’d like us to explore this framework with you.