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Change Richard Gerver

Impressions after reading  

I really enjoyed reading this short book and many of Gerver’s ideas made real sense to me. The book is written in short sections which each give clear points on how you can enact change, in your school, or organisation, with Gerver’s own examples about embracing change and working with it as part of your every day life.  Gerver challenges the reader to develop our own “Change App’, asking questions which reinforce his main points he is making about change and how we plan for it, react to is and lead others into it.

Different sections of the book talk about how we can shape school culture, work with our colleagues, make a difference to the lives of students,  shift attitudes in our own life, as well as others.

I found myself thinking a lot about about the vision and values discussed in this book and how they related to my own school. Most resonant with me after reading was the idea that one person cannot be the sole catalyst for change, you have to trust your team ( Lencioni would concur!) and remember that the best ideas will most likely come not from you, but from the teams around you.

Key Points

  • Change – learn to love it, learn to lead it
  • Change is inevitable and embracing it is vital
  • No one person can be the sole catalyst of successful change
  • Many people feel threatened by change. We need to over come this with them
  • Change must be led from the heart

 Is it based on proper research?

Yes:  Gerver uses examples based on his many real experiences as a head teacher, backed up with research evidence from a wide variety of sources. There is a comprehensive bibliography at the back of the book.

 Some Quotes from Change Richard Gerver

‘The twenty-first century is the era when the pace of change has finally overtaken our ability to control it. And we are finding this unbelievably difficult to come to terms with.’

‘We need to build change into the very fabric of our organisations and cultures. We must learn to recognise that the ability to change is built on the the ability to question, to challenge and to live outside a comfort zone.’

‘I live in a world of personal action research: have an idea, work it through until it feels right, and give it a go. Then analyse the results.’

‘Question yourself regularly, the more abstract the better. Nurture and develop curiosity in yourself, and others, to ensure a transformational mindset.’

‘Freeing up people is a real leadership art: you want to free them, but at the same time ensure that there is a genuine link back to the core purpose, aim and vision.’

‘People need people. That is why change cannot be successful if it is tackled alone.’

‘There is nothing better for self-growth than somebody challenging your own viewpoint.’

‘Even if what we want to do or change is based on cold, hard logic, we must find ways to lead the communication of it from the heart.’

‘How do we actively develop in people the ability to utilise their creativity and curiosity on a daily basis: to question, to challenge, to research, hypothesise and trial; to fail, to analyse, to evolve, refine, interrogate and share?’

‘Our ability to change, to lead change and love change is entirely dependent on the way we behave and the conditions our behaviour creates around us.’


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