Magazine article Journal of Property Management

The Trust to Change

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

The Trust to Change

Article excerpt

Worried about a changing workplace and its effect on your company? The key to a positive corporate culture may lie in the mystical tale of The Eagle and the Monk, a business "fable" that combines Eastern philosophy and Western management theory. As the book's Sage says," With the belief in both the worth of the individual and the value of the team, cemented together firmly by real trust, change becomes not an enemy but an ally."

The book's co-author Richard W. Oliver is a professor of management at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and the co-author of several business books including The Eagle and the Monk: The Principles of Successful Change, with William A. Jenkins.

JPM: Why did you decide to frame your book on change around a fable?

Oliver: Our initial idea was to write a management textbook, but when we began talking to CEOs to test out ideas, they told us they didn't need another text. Instead, they needed a book that was easily accessible and did not belabor the basic points on corporate culture we wanted to make. We realized that our competition for the hearts and minds of Corporate America was not Peter Drucker, but Dilbert.

The story of the eagle and the monk tells of two diverse individuals trapped on a mysterious island and forced to overcome their individual differences and distrust in order to change and survive.

JPM: Your book deals not with techniques to implement change, but with the underlying principles that permit change to occur. What are some of these?

Oliver: The book is centered around seven principles: acknowledge the worth of yourself and others, generate trust, learn empathy, embrace changes, unleash synergy, liberate decision-making, and discover the leaders and motivators to steer your course. The principles are designed to demonstrate a value set for corporate culture within an organization.

The principle that seems to strike the most responsive cord with readers is that of generating trust.

JPM: Why is generating trust so imperative?

Oliver: The corporate downsizing of the last fifteen years has created a "slash and burn" atmosphere that destroyed trust. …

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