Author: Camille F. Bishop,
Publisher: Authentic Publishing
'We're in This Boat Together' is a 2-in-1, a business novel and a dissertation about the Leadership Succession Between Generations or the Generation Gap and its effects on leadership. The experiment with the format is laudable but the result is a little unsettling. Read on for my perspective.
When the request for review came, I asked for and got a peek into the first few pages of the book ending with the prologue. I skipped the preface etc. and read the prologue and was thrilled. Here is a book on management with a good focus on leadership transition between the generations written like a business novel and the prologue was so good in style! I accepted the review request and got the printed book.
The book is printed well, the paper quality is good, the type is clear and the readability is good. As already mentioned, the starting is good, rather racy in fact!
The book is about the team building exercise through a river rafting expedition, an exercise to which a team of four from the IT Department of a mid-size company was sent by the management. The team starts as four independent individuals wondering why they were sent for this and ending up as a well knit team at the end of the expedition, in which they were subjected to challenges that test their willingness and ability to work as a team in a crunch situation. The team finds a real life parallel in the office when leadership transition takes place. The concept is good and the parallel of the river with its rapids is highly apt to life in general and change management in particular. Thus the author is to be commended for taking up a worthwhile topic in change management. Leadership transitions are brought on by several factors and the leadership transition brought on by generation gap is an important element. There are other factors of course that affect leadership styles.
The book adopts a rather novel approach. The text keeps alternating between the smooth flow of a novel and the not-so-smooth flow of a good dissertation on the effects of generation on leadership. The smooth flow of the novel like presentation is interrupted by the highly academic dissertation on the leadership styles of the different generations. Much as the author tried to present that part in a simple and readable style, the transition is too abrupt. This continued throughout the book.
Having read and enjoyed management books written in the novel format (who hasn't read The Goal?), as well as a non-fiction essay format, I found the sudden changes in the style and the pace rather unsettling. It is as if the author was affected by the river!
I hope the author will attempt a smoother transition between the two formats in a future edition. I believe that it is possible to convey all serious topics on science and management through the novel format.