Agile Leadership and the Management of Change: Project Lessons from Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain


Book Title:  Agile Leadership and the Management of Change: Project Lessons from Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain

Authors:  Mark Kozak-Holland
Publisher:  Multi-Media Publications
List Price: US$34.95

Format: soft cover, 312 pages
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN:  9781554890354

Reviewer: Carol Kacinko

Review Date: May 2012



Agile Leadership and the Management of Change by Mark Kozak-Holland is written with a historical analogy focus, as evident in the subtitle ‘Project Lessons from Winston Churchill and the Battle of Britain’.  Mark uses the example of the first defeat of the Germans by the British in September of 1940 where the team uses agility and priority setting through leadership to achieve their goal.

Each of the twenty-five chapters is built along the timeline of May to October 1940 based upon the nine Knowledge Areas from the PMBok.  Summarized at the end of each chapter are key lessons and best practices, with some exercises intended to be used for a training workshop.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The focus of the Agile Leadership and the Management of Change is to describe how organizations can become more agile.  Agility enables an organization to better respond to change and the external influences causing that change in a timely manner. With all the qualities of an agile leader, Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister, using agile project management skills enabled him to ward off enemy invasions winning the Battle of Britain, making him recognized as one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century and changing the course of history for the world.

Thrown into a catastrophic situation where ‘no’ was not an option, Churchill planned and triumphed; overcoming opposition from peers, critical issues, resource constraints, a rapidly changing war climate, and more.   Implementing and adapting a Governance Framework integrated military forces in an otherwise departmentalized and separate military.  Churchill increased the ability of the Royal Air Force (RAF) with Beaverbrook’s supply chain achievements while adopting new methods to improve inefficiencies.

Winston Churchill faced the invasion with limited resources.  Staying abreast of technology, Churchill became aware of how warfare had changed, developing a strategy to compensate for the lack of forces through building a command and control and decision support framework.  This would be known as an Adaptive Environment today.


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About the Reviewer

Carol Kacinko

Carol Kacinko is an IT Consulting Executive with over 30 years of experience, specializing in Program  and IT Management.  She has led multi-million dollar, multi-year projects, one awarded the ‘Smithsonian Institute Award for Technological Innovation’; established Project Management Offices (PMO) where one CIO was recognized in the ‘Top 10 CIO’s of the Year’ for the Governance implemented; established strategy and led design through implementation of successful Business Intelligence solutions to major corporations.   As Principal of her own consulting company she has provided services to Fortune 500 companies and Federal Government Agencies in the United States specializing in Project Management, Business Intelligence, Data Architecture and Enterprise Architecture.  Carol has provided instruction for both Oracle and IBM in all Database Administration curriculum and Business Intelligence.  Carol can be contacted at [email protected] .

Editor’s note:  This book review is the result of cooperation between publishers, PM World and the Graduate Program in Project Management at the University of Texas at Dallas in the United States (http://jindal.utdallas.edu/executive-education/executive-degree-programs/project-management/).  Publishers provide books, which are delivered to UTD; the books are given to faculty, graduate students or alumni for review; the reviewer provides a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since reviewers are normally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].