Strategic Leadership: Leading Change in a New Age
by Joseph King Jr.
Trafford Publishing

"The changes that are shaping the nature of work in today's complex organizations require that we develop the political will, expertise and personal skills to become more flexible, innovative and adaptive."

This book discusses the leadership requirements that will be necessary for the U.S. Army to transform itself for the 21st Century, in the context of a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). The author has strong credentials in the fields of military human capital and organizational quality, including studying at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and tenure as a chief human capital officer in the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC).

King applies lessons learned from successful business initiatives to the military's requirements, such as using Total Quality Management (TQM) for process improvement; and meeting the needs of both "internal" and "external" customers. The key areas of attention in the book are leadership, strategic planning, customer, and market focus, information and analysis processes, human resources development, process management, business results (organizational performance) and "leading change and innovation."

One of King's key recommendations is adopting prescriptions for "leading innovation and change" advocated by Harvard professor Peter Senge in his book, "The Fifth Discipline: The Arts and Practice of the Learning Organization." Quoting Senge, King says that "the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than its competition." That requires encouragement of creativity throughout the organization. While the book contains poor editing, it makes a number of significant points.

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