Change without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout

Overview

For more than two decades, businesses have been warned to "change or perish." Yet a growing number of companies are perishing because of change. What's going on?

Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson argues that while change is necessary for companies to grow and prosper, many organizations have blindly taken the mandate too far. The "creative destruction" advocated by change champions has resulted in a painful cycle of initiative ...

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Overview

For more than two decades, businesses have been warned to "change or perish." Yet a growing number of companies are perishing because of change. What's going on?

Columbia Business School professor Eric Abrahamson argues that while change is necessary for companies to grow and prosper, many organizations have blindly taken the mandate too far. The "creative destruction" advocated by change champions has resulted in a painful cycle of initiative overload, change-related chaos, and widespread employee cynicism.

To reverse this cycle, Abrahamson says, companies must learn to change how they change. Drawing on a decade of research and dozens of company examples, this book offers a positive new approach to change called "creative recombination." Rather than obliterating and then reinventing anew, creative recombination seeks sustainable, repeatable transformation by reconfiguring the people, structures, culture, processes, and networks the company already has. Abrahamson offers a broad toolkit of techniques for achieving smoother, more cost-efficient, less painful organizational change-and helpful guidance for how and when to implement each tool.

A refreshing paradigm for change has arrived-and companies don't need anything new, revolutionary, or radical to make it happen. The inspiring result: Change will actually work, for a change.


About the Author:

Eric Abrahamson is Professor of Management at Columbia Business School in New York City and an internationally recognized expert on change management.

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Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
A starting point for thinking about change in the paradoxical context of continuity.
The Economist
...a good deal of practical advice, especially when discussing painless change in company structure or in a management team.
July 26th 2004
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578518272
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 1/22/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,084,827
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Organizational Change and Its Discontents 1
2 Creative Recombination 21
3 Redeploying Talent Rather Than Downsizing 39
4 Leveraging Social Networks Rather Than IT Networks 63
5 Reviving Values, Not Inventing Them 89
6 Salvaging Good Processes Rather Than Reengineering Them 113
7 Reusing Structures Rather Than Reorganizing 131
8 Large-Scale Recombination 151
9 The Fine Art of Pacing 167
10 Becoming a Better Recombiner 189
Notes 207
Index 213
About the Author 219
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