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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Managing Director of Leading Change of ABChange Consultancy Jennifer Bryan shares what inspired her to write her new book, Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Jennifer Bryan about her life and career, what inspired her to write her new book, Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide, and how she helps her readers.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a TEDx speaker, published author and Managing Director of Leading Change of ABChange Consultancy, which is my own company. Before I got into business, I was a professional dancer, predominately ballet and I still love to dance. I live in London with my husband and two children, although my eldest has just gone off to University.
I specialize in helping people and organisations in leading change and have had the privilege of working with over 40 different companies, such as Microsoft, Technicolor Creative Studios, CBRE, KPMG, Gartner and Mott MacDonald to name a few.
I am Vice President of the Association of Change Management Professionals in the UK and volunteer at the local foodbank.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
When I was studying for my Masters degree, I was coaching a lot of Senior Civil Servants and many of them would come to me and say, “Yeah, Jennifer, I know all about Kotter, but what the heck do I do with this thing on my desk?” I knew then I wanted to answer that question. The result of my dissertation research was the ABChange model, and I knew then, I wanted to write a book about it so that I could share the model with everyone that struggles with leading change.
When did you take a step to start writing?
Beyond academic papers, I started writing articles after I finished my Masters, with the first one being published in 2012. When that went well, I knew I had the bug and would write articles from time to time, fitting it around work and raising a young family.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
When I decided to write a book on the ABChange model, I wanted to share a number of different case studies that would show the good, the bad and the ugly. For some reason, I decided I needed 24 case studies. I started a spreadsheet to keep track and wrote the case studies as they happened. It took 10 years to collate 24 case studies, but once that was done, it only took me 3 months to write a first draft that I then shared with some trusted colleagues for feedback. I made some tweaks, then sent it to publishers and it was published a year later.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide?
My biggest challenge was collating the case studies as that took quite a lot of time. My other big challenge was getting to grips with understanding the publishing world. I come from business and had to written a book before and did not know very many people who had, so I have learned from the ground up and am still learning a good deal.
What was your research process for Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide?
The research was predominately done when I wrote my Masters dissertation, so there was only some minor research completed to include more updated information and perspectives.
How did you plan the structure of Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide?
I am an avid reader of non-fiction and fiction books. So between experience and my previous blog and article writings, I planned the table of contents to create the structure. I did change it a couple of times, but I would always do that by talking through the table of contents.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Leading People In Change: A Practical Guide need?
The publisher assigned an editor but the only editing that was required was very minor – mostly grammar with the odd suggestion here and there.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
My first piece of advice would be to write for yourself – because there is an internal drive to do so. Don’t write seeking necessarily money or fame because the chances of that happening are small. It is much more about you having something to say and you want to share that with the world. That is why you should write.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am in the process of writing another book on leading change, but this one is more about my holistic approach to change, which includes the ABChange model, but that is not the end all be all in this book. The last book was sharing the model and how it has been used, but this is more about how leaders can prepare their people/teams and organisations for the future, as the world continues to be in constant state of change.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I am very proud of my book. It was a major step for me and I am thrilled to be in a position where I can share what I have learned with the world. It was well worth it and I am looking forward to finishing the next book.
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