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SAGE Publications
Learning to Change: A Guide for Organization Change Agents / Edition 1

Learning to Change: A Guide for Organization Change Agents / Edition 1

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"A good balance between theory and practice . . . it definitely fills a void in the [lack of] texts in the area and the change literature in general . . . a good fit for my graduate class on 'Managing Organizational Change.'"

—Anthony F. Buono, Mc Callum Graduate School of Business, Bentley College

"Like Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization, this book is a superb blend of theory and practicality. It demystifies chaos and paradox, and it encourages the understanding of organizational dynamics from multiple perspectives. It is refreshing to read a book that presents diverse theories and interventions so even-handedly."

—Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D., President, OB&D, Inc.

Learning to Change: A Guide for Organizational Change Agents provides a comprehensive overview of organizational change theories and practices developed by both U.S. and European change theorists. The authors compare and contrast five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change: yellow print thinking, blue print thinking, red print thinking, green print thinking and white print thinking. They also discuss in detail the steps change agents take, such as diagnosis, change strategy, the intervention plan, and interventions. In addition, they explore the attributes of a successful change agent and provide advice for career and professional development. The book includes case studies that describe multiple approaches to organizational change issues.

This book will appeal to both the practitioner and academic audiences. It can be used as a text in graduate courses in change management and will also be a useful reference for consultants and managers.


  • Discusses the abilities, attitudes, and styles of successful change agents
  • Describes five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change
  • Presents a state-of-the-art overview of change management insights, methods, and instruments
  • Summarizes an extensive amount of organizational change literature
  • Supplies readers with useful insights and courses of action that will allow them to design and implement change professionally

Learning to Change became a bestseller upon its initial publication in the Netherlands. The color-model on change is very popular among thousands of managers and change consultants and presents a new approach to change processes and a new language for change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761927020
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 10/04/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Léon de Caluwé is senior partner with the Twynstra Group, management consultants and part time professor at the Free University in Amsterdam.

Léon de Caluwé (1950) studied social psychology at the University of Utrecht. He received his science degree in 1975 and his Ph.D degree in 1997 at Tilburg University. He was appointed professor in Amsterdam in 2000. He leads the Center for Research on Consultancy at the Free University, which is part of an international network. He regularly works as expert for the OECD and the Council of Europe.

At Twynstra Gudde (where he works since 1988) he is member of the thinktank of the company.

In his work he is specialized in change, conflict resolution, quality of cooperation, culture-interventions, facilitation of policy development sessions. He works regularly with gamesand gaming metods as an intervention for advanced learning.

He works for all types of clients, in government and in industry.

He published more than 80 articles and more than 10 books. Several of them are in English, e.g. 'Changing organizations with

gaming/simulation' (Elsevier publishers, 2000). The subjects are: change, consultancy and interventions.

His dissertation: "Veranderen moet je leren" (1997) received the ‘Best-book-of-the-year’ award by the Dutch Association of Management Consultants.

He is member of the Academy of Management, editor of several scientific journals and lecturer in many postgraduate and Masters programs.

Hans Vermaak (1961) is a partner with the Twynstra Group.

Hans Vermaak studied environmental sciences and organisational psychology in Utrecht and Florida. He received his science degree from the University of Utrecht in 1985. He worked as a faculty member at both the science and psychology departments of the University of Utrecht between 1982 and 1987.

He was a social activist for many years and worked between 1987 and 1992 with the Institute of Environmental and Systems Analysis where he mediated conflicts between industry, government and the environmental movement and helped industries to create strategic environmental management. He followed courses in psychotherapy and counselling and has taught counselling since 1987 and has worked as an independent psychotherapist.

He received a masters degree in Management Consulting from the

'Vrije Universiteit' in Amsterdam in 1994 and works as a management consultant with the Twynstra Group since 1993. His principle area of consulting concerns change management in professional firms and institutions. He trains and coaches change agents and he heads the knowledge center 'Change Management' of the Twynstra Group. He is a guest lecturer at several universities and frequently publishes articles and books on change management, professional organizations, coaching, futuring, etctera. His English publications include the articles "Conspiring fruitfully with professionals: new management roles for professional organisations", the paper "Prevailing Perspectives on Change" and the booklet "In Search of Corporate Learning; The Archipelago of Learning".

Table of Contents

Why Change is so Complicated
On Loosely Coupled Systems
On Managing and Being Managed
On Chaos Thinking
Sociopolitical Mechanisms
Four Irrational Families of Theries Full Irrationalities
Thinking About Change in Five different Colors
Change Strategies and Approaches
Five Meanings of the Word Change
Five Ways of Thinking About Change in More Detail
Ideals and Pitfalls
New Colors and 'Super Páradigm'
Working With Colors: The Joseph and Johanna Case
The Main Elements of Planning Change
Elements of the Method
The Preceding Change Idea and the Actual Outcome
History: Driving Factors Behind the Change Idea
The Change Phases
Communication and Sense Making
Playing With the Elements: A Case Illustration
From Idea to Outcomes
Change Strategy
Intervention Plan
Case "Organization X "
Examples of Diagnostic Models
The Eisenhower Principle, Curriculum Vitae, Time Sheets
Profit Formula for Professional Organizaitons, Herring Bone Diagram, Task Dividion Scheme
Balanced Scorecard, Portfolio Analysis, Activity-Based Costing
Competition Structure, Environment Analysis, Experience Curves
Core Qualities, I/R Professionals, Competencies
Team Roles, Conditions for Team Success, Roles of the Staff Units
Culture Types, Organization Configurations, The Organizational Iceberg
Network Organization, Public Private Cooperation, Industrial Ecology
Biographical Fit, Power Sources, Levels of Learning
Optimal Conflict Level, Learning Curve, Process/Result Orientation
The Clock, the Passage of Resistance, Two Change Forces
Force-field Analysis, Mega-trends, National Cultures
In Conclusion to This Chapter
Examples of Intervention

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