REVIEW: Erika Andersen — Change From The Inside Out (BOOK)

There’s something fun and upbeat about the tempo and pacing of Erika Andersen’s new book — titled Change From The Inside Out: Making You, Your Team, and Your Organization Change-Capable. She writes with an enthusiasm for the material that proves infectious, and never feels preachy or overtly paternalistic. Part of this being avoided is due to Andersen writing about a specific set of methodologies, but without a fixed, individualized framework.


Generally speaking the application of such tenets and practices is best associated with a professional environment, but what Andersen advocates for arguably is also relevant to how one structures their overall, daily routine. This kind of generality is likely due to Andersen’s work as an advisor and consultant herself, having been a founding member of the firm Proteus International. The word choice she applies to the read isn’t exactly akin to salesmanship. But it has that kind of cool, assured quality.

Andersen never comes across as questioning herself or narratively slacking in any area, despite that being a pitfall even some of the best of the best encounter. She knows what she stands by, specifically a five-part ‘change model’, and never deviates from the immediacy of what she observes such a model places into action. However it would be well-advised that people looking for something akin to Donald Trump and Eric Schwartz’s The Art of the Deal or Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In might come away disappointed. The book is much less about the tangible facets of instituting certain corporate theory, as it is about instituting the mindset enabling said theor(ies).


An interesting footnote to Andersen’s methodology is how she never states the outcome being itself a done deal. Rather, and again this is a tip of the hat with respect to mindset, the outcome is part of a long, dynamic process. Change will be a constant necessity within one’s personal and professional endeavors, and remaining open to change as it comes at you is really the name of the game. “One day you’ll wake up and realize that nonstop change really has become your new normal; that you’ve stopped expecting things to ‘stay the same’; that you feel capable and confident to keep evolving; that you even — gasp! — may be starting to enjoy figuring out how to surf the waves of change,” she writes, with aforementioned wit. “You feel as though you know how to accelerate your own movement through your personal change arc around new changes as they arise; you don’t feel held hostage to your own impulse toward homeostasis. You realize you can help others accelerate through their individual change arc, too — and you embrace that as an important part of being a good twenty-first century leader.” She finishes this rumination with the following: “You’re becoming change-capable.”


The holism within what Andersen advocates for is part of the charm. These kinds of convictions aren’t things you’d see even ten to twenty years back. But the world, as Andersen is quick to remind us, is changing. Certain mores and corporate boundaries are becoming outdated. There has never been a time more aligned with the saying Out with the old and In with the new.

Colin Jordan