The Leader's Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action

The Leader's Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action

The Leader's Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action

The Leader's Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action

Synopsis

Recently, the nation's top business researchers and practitioners gathered on the University of Southern California campus. They came together at the invitation of USC's Leadership Institute and the Center for Effective Organizations, two of the country's premier think tanks on leadership and change. Their mission: to collaborate on a book that would present the most advanced ideas about the role of leaders as they attempt to radically transform their organizations. This elite group of thinkers, influential authors, and business gurus shared their experiences, asked the tough questions, and conspired to create the most up-to-date and authoritative work in the field. The result is The Leader's Change Handbook.Full of fascinating case studies, action strategies, and unbeatable advice, The Leader's Change Handbook contains the best new thinking from each of its distinguished contributors on the twin challenges leaders face as they try to create leaner, more responsive organizations while empowering their workforces. This compilation of essays is a unique synthesis of wisdom and insight presented by a coterie of business luminaries¿David Nadler, Richard Pascale, Bob Quinn, Christopher Bartlett, Ron Heifetz, and Susan Mohrman among them¿working toward a common vision.Taken individually, each chapter offers specific solutions for executives, managers, consultants, and human resource professionals struggling to implement change within their organizations. Taken together, they form a comprehensive handbook that outlines the key elements of effective change management, expands the traditional notions of leadership, and anticipates the future of organizational transformation.

Excerpt

Toward the end of 1997, the Leadership Institute and the Center for Organization Effectiveness of the University of Southern California convened a two-day seminar on the current status of leadership theory and practice. the “usual suspects” were all there: eminent and highly visible scholars and consultants. Looked at one way, they were rather a diverse group, representing a wide range of disciplines from psychiatry to social psychology and economics. in a far more important way, they had a lot in common: many years of pondering and writing about leadership and, for the most part, attempting to understand the complexity of leading change in what's often referred to as the New Economy—this spastic, turbulent, confusing, vertiginous, messy, and awesomely complex world that all of our human institutions are creating, participating in, and overwhelmed by. As one of my ceo friends put it, if you're not confused, you don't know what's going on.

The chapters in this book resulted from that conference and, one way or another, address the role of leadership in contemporary organizations. I think the book is a prize for all who are interested in leadership. Open it just about anywhere and it gleams with insight, experience, professional knowledge, and useful generalizations. the editors, with phenomenal grasp of leadership research and with an instinct for relevance, have done what could be done in one volume to bring some coherence to this complex topic. the result is a treasury.

I want to draw a few generalizations from the papers and conversation the papers elicited. First of all, it became clear that the last word on leadership will never be said, not in the papers that follow or the books the participants have written. in fact, reading over these papers reminded me of that famous Indian legend about the Blind Men and the Elephant, written in the middle of . . .

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