Change Or Die: How to Transform Your Organization from the Inside Out

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 - Business & Economics - 101 pages
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For every business, the choice is stark: Change-or die. At any moment, fully two-thirds of America's companies claim to be in the midst of some type of organizational revamping, though most of these initiatives will fail. What many companies neglect to recognize is that organizational change needs to come from within, no matter how profound the external forces. Positive change requires change agents throughout the organization-those individuals who can translate the strategic vision of leaders into pragmatic behavior. This book identifies the qualities of great change agents and how these skills can be mastered to serve as a catalyst for change throughout the organization. Illustrating these principles through examples from world-class organizations, Dealy and Thomas highlight the five key qualities of great change agents; they: * challenge the status quo; * stoke the fire of creativity; * embrace the necessity of conflict; * manage risk rather than avoid it; and * develop new change agents. Bringing the process of change out of the realm of the analysts and consultants and to the front lines, the authors show you how to thrive in a world that demands nothing less than continuous change.

For every business, the choice is stark: Change-or die. At any moment, fully two-thirds of America's companies claim to be in the midst of some type of organizational revamping. We don't need research from the Harvard Business School (even though it has been conducted) to tell us that most of these initiatives will fail. The business landscape is littered with the carcasses of giants who were unable to adapt to change-Digital, Prime, Wang, and Polaroid, to name a few. What many companies fail to recognize is that organizational change needs to come from within, no matter how profound the external forces. Positive change requires change agents throughout the organization-those individuals who can translate the strategic vision of leaders into pragmatic behavior. They will be the early adopters of the new values, actions, and skills required by the company.

This book identifies the qualities of great change agents and how these skills can be mastered to serve as a catalyst for change throughout the organization. Illustrating these principles through examples from world-class organizations, Dealy and Thomas demonstrate the techniques for acquiring and executing those skills-and how corporate leaders can encourage and reward this behavior, creating a culture of risk-taking, innovation, and a focus on the future. From seasoned executives to entry-level employees, readers will learn that great change agents: * challenge the status quo; * stoke the fire of creativity; * embrace the necessity of conflict; * manage risk rather than avoid it; and * develop new change agents. Bringing the process of change out of the realm of the analysts and consultants and to the front lines, the authors show you how to thrive in a world that demands nothing less than continuous change.

 

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Contents

The Inevitability of Change
1
The Great Change Mistakes
13
The Change Agent Solution
27
Great Change Agents Challenge the Status Quo
41
Great Change Agents Embrace the Necessity of Conflict
51
Great Change Agents Manage Risk Not Avoid It
59
Great Change Agents Stoke the Fire of Creativity
73
Great Change Agents Develop New Ones
81
Change Expectations and the New MBA
87
Notes
95
Bibliography
99
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About the author (2006)

M. DAVID DEALY is Senior Vice President of Transportation for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. A twenty-five-year veteran of railroad management, he has served in top-level positions in operations and marketing throughout the industry, as well as on the boards of several companies and non-profits, including the National Alzheimer's Association. With Andrew Thomas, he is coauthor of Defining the Really Great Boss (Praeger, 2004).

Andrew R. Thomas is the managing director for Erhart Enterprises, S.A., a worldwide distributor of commercial and industrial products.

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