How to Lead for Success: Bruno NICOLAS


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Written on 29 Sep 2017.


Bruno Nicolas

Students in the Strategy Consulting & Digital Transformation (SCDT) programme kicked off their 2017 academic year with a keynote address from Bruno Nicolas, President at BN Consulting SAS and former Vice President – General Manager Europe & Africa of Johnson Controls. The address offered SCDT students direct access to Mr. Nicolas’ 30-year experience in leading business operations.

He generously shared his firsthand insights on the successful practices of executing a change management strategy.  Some of Mr. Nicolas’ personal thoughts on how to execute a successful strategy are shared in this slide. He also gave the class a short list of strategy books that have proven useful in helping him lead business transformation initiatives.




How to Read for Success

Recommendations by Bruno Nicolas



Our Iceberg is Melting

Our Iceberg is Melting

By John Kotter

In this book, Kotter presents a corporate change initiative through a fictional story about a colony of Antarctic penguins.

Short, funny, easy and quick to read, but compelling description of how individuals and groups react in front of a change. I distributed this book to the 250 key European Managers when we launched the company turn around. It created a common language and became a source of private jokes between all of us when confronted with resistance to change, with teams selection, or just when courage to go ahead was needed!




Leading Change

Leading Change

By John Kotter

This book outlines a comprehensive eight-step framework that can be followed by executives who are implementing and leading transformation initiatives in the corporate world.

While Our Iceberg is Melting is a “fable” to show how groups and individuals react to change, Leading Change is the more academic and pragmatic book on how to address change management. It provides an eight-step detailed road map to demonstrate the importance of doing things in the right sequence.

Sometimes you hear an interview, read an article or attend a conference and feel that the content perfectly matches your own experience, built over years, of what works and what does not work. This book reflects that experience. I shared this book with my direct reports, during the organisational turn-around  that I was driving. It bolstered our confidence and gave us the “academic” support proving that we were on the right track.




The Power of Story

The Power of Story

By Jim Loehr

This book examines the way we tell stories to craft an action plan to transform our business and personal lives.

In a world where we are constantly faced with choices, allegedly based on predetermined constraints, this book challenges us to reimagine the possibilities presented to us. The Power of Story teaches us that we block progress or unleash unimagined potential concerning what is possible and what is impossible in our lives based on the stories we tell ourselves and others.





The Art of Action

The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps between Plans, Actions and Results

By Stephen Bungay

This book shows how the approach known as 'mission command' has been applied in businesses as a means of helping managers turn planning into execution, and execution into results. 

Success does not rely on the brilliance of a strategy but on the efficient alignment of the organization and relentless execution of that strategy.

The Art of Success offers a unique insight based on years of experience and illustrated by real cases and anecdotes.  Historian and former BCG Consultant, Stephen Bungay walks us through different military and business examples to show the leadership and management principles that make strategy plans happen. It is one of the most brilliant books that I have ever read on the subject.  It provides both a diagnostic and a framework to put a strategy plan into action.






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