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

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

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

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

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

Heraclites

Although it was 20 years ago, it seems like just yesterday. Life was good. After 8 years with the company, I was promoted to a job with a big title and even bigger salary. Everything seemed to be going my way until that day when my boss, the general manager, called me into his office.

I felt that I could handle anything. I had started at the bottom and worked my way up. In the railroad business that meant working on the track with large gangs of other guys who also started at the bottom. And it meant being outside all day long in the blistering heat of summer and the painful cold of winter. We rebuilt track by replacing creosoted cross ties and steel rail. It was hard work, with long hours that left little time for anything else.

Fortunate enough to be promoted from job to job, I had established myself as a "change agent." I don't think the term had been coined yet, but that is what I was. The common questions on audit trips by senior management always revolved around . . .

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