Book Review

Leading in a Culture of Change

By Michael J. Fullan and Arlette C. Ballew

Reviewed by Perry Berkowitz
Assistant Professor of Education Leadership and Administration,
College of Saint Rose, Albany, N.Y.

When Michael Fullan’s book Leading in a Culture of Change was first published in 2001, The School Administrator reviewer reported, “This small but powerful book is a primer on transformational leadership. He (Fullan) neither oversimplifies the mission of the school administrator nor makes the work appear impossible.”

The companion to that work by Fullan, dean emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto, and his associate Arlette Ballew, a writer on experiential learning, is Leading in a Culture of Change: Personal Action Guide and Workbook. If you loved the original, you will love this action guide.

The focus is Fullan’s five-component framework of change leadership, which includes moral purpose; understanding the change process; building relationships, creating and sharing knowledge; and making coherence. The themes are explained in the first chapter (especially important to those who have not read the 2001 book). In the next five chapters each theme is developed into a set of personal and group activities.

The workbook design provides ample room to write answers to the personal inventory questions, record the results of group discussions and keep a diary of the outcomes.

What is apparent is that the activities will work best in a group setting. This would enable group understanding to successfully apply difficult change strategies for improving the health of a program, a school or an entire district.

(Leading in a Culture of Change: Personal Action Guide and Workbook by Michael J. Fullan and Arlette C. Ballew, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif., 2004, 244 pp. with index, $24.95 softcover)