Changing the Way We Change: Gaining Control of Major Operational Changeby Jeanenne LaMarsh, Jeannenne LaMarsh
Change is always a difficult and expensive proposition for any organization, and yet the ability to change - to adapt to rapidly shifting demands and developing technologies - is an essential ingredient for success in today's fast-paced business environment. Change is so important and so risky that it cannot be left to chance. This book offers a systematic plan of… See more details below
Change is always a difficult and expensive proposition for any organization, and yet the ability to change - to adapt to rapidly shifting demands and developing technologies - is an essential ingredient for success in today's fast-paced business environment. Change is so important and so risky that it cannot be left to chance. This book offers a systematic plan of action for initiating, implementing, and dealing with change. Using a case study of a manufacturing organization's challenge to change its engineering processes, it gives you the practical knowledge and skills you need to implement change successfully for significant improvements in efficiency and quality. You will gain an in-depth understanding of all the critical change factors, including the process of change and its impact on people within an organization. You will learn how to cope with the "delta," the chaotic transitional stage between the status quo and the future, and will come to understand the role of change sponsors, agents, and targets. Numerous tools that facilitate change are discussed in detail, and a comprehensive example demonstrates how all of these factors come into play. Most important, you will develop a new perspective on change - not as a one-time phenomenon, but as a continual process of adaptation that can become an integral part of the way your organization operates.
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PREFACE: I have been a student of change for many years. I have watched companies, governments, and individual people struggle with change. Change can cause pain, and it can bring great joy. Because change is becoming an increasing force in our lives, I am convinced that the companies, governments, and individuals who understand and cope with change will take us into the future. If this book helps, use it.
My knowledge of change and the change process comes from a rich variety of thinkers cited in the following pages. This knowledge has been expanded, challenged, and enhanced by the people and companies I have worked with over the years. The lines between the teacher and student are often blurred. That is as it should be: understanding change is a constantly changing process.
This book is written to share with you what I know about change and how it can be managed. For many of you, incorporating this understanding will require a change in the way you have managed change; for others it will validate and help to organize what you have learned from your own experiences. For everyone, it will be an opportunity to determine how your companies are going to deal with change in the future.
The body of knowledge about change can be best understood by looking at it as four elements. Those elements form the structure and organization of this book:
- The process of change
- The people in that process
- The systems that support change
- The planning to make change happen
Putting this learning into a book was a task made easier by several people. I cannot thank them enough for their insights, criticisms, and support. Heath Izenson came to me fresh out of the University of Michigan and changed me. He helped me to tighten up my writing style and, most important, he challenged my thinking about the whole change process. He continues to do that and often moves faster than I do to absorb and integrate new thinking about change. Heath has reminded me what change is like and I thank him for that.
My partner, John Karnatz, made great changes for himself and for LaMarsh & Associates as this manuscript was being prepared. Those changes also had a profound impact on my thinking about change and how to share my observations and knowledge with the reader. John, too, will continue to influence and challenge my thinking about change and I thank him also.
I also thank the following reviewers: Barry Bebb, William Bridges, Sandra Harrison, Gary Kissler, Craig Lundberg, Mark Michaels, Charles Savage, Michael Sheahan, Debbie Steffenson, John Wesner, Earl Young, and Herman Zwirn.
I am very grateful to Jennifer Joss of Addison-Wesley for her support and advice in the development of this book. Jennifer made sure that we worked as partners and always made me feel as though I had a great support system behind me as I struggled to find a way to help people understand how to make change happen.
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