The Change Monster : The Human Forces That Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change
A brilliant, original, and powerful look at corporate change--mergers, reorganizations, transformations--and why it succeeds or fails.The Change Monster is the first book on the central issue that blows so many change efforts out of the water: the human interactions and emotional dynamics of the people involved. It is also an unusual book about business, one written from the heart as well as the head.The Change Monster is a tough-minded but compassionate book about leadership when major changes are demanded: after a merger, when profits are falling or markets being lost. It is also about the discipline and kindness it takes to get the people who report to and depend on you to confront their fears and move on to a new agenda, strategy, or company.
Although the concept of managing the implementation of major changes in business has existed for at least two decades, Duck contends that senior management often overlooks or underestimates the emotional impact of fundamental changes such as mergers, reengineering and strategic initiatives on employees. While "emotional data" (e.g., fear of job elimination, the sense that senior management doesn't know what it's doing) may not be easy to define, it's as critical to executing strategic change as financial data. In her work as a senior vice-president of the Boston Consulting Group, Duck came to the conclusion that while every company's experience with strategic change is unique, each will go through the same five phases of a model she calls the "change curve" (stagnation, preparation, implementation, determination and fruition). Understanding these components is what makes the difference between success and failure, she contends, offering countless anecdotes to support her claim. She stresses that leaders must help "institutionalize the proclivity for change," which, she maintains, can be "their most important legacy." Eschewing a formal business tone (she assumes her audience knows how to execute strategy), Duck frames her argument well, and even includes elements from her personal life to explain the emotional components of change. While the ultimate responsibility for managing change lies with those with the most authority, her message is pertinent to managers at all levels. Refreshing and to the point, Duck offers corporate leaders uncommon business advice in this evolving age of bricks, clicks and bricks-and-clicks. (May 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
December 31, 2000
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Change Monster by Jeanie Daniel Duck
"The Change Monster" is my catch-all phrase for the complex, sometimes scary, human emotions and social dynamics that emerge like a dragon surfacing from the ocean depths during any major change effort. Mergers, reorganizations, and transformations all involve people, and that means emotions worn on the sleeve (or hidden, which is even worse) and egos on the loose. Ironically -- and in some cases, tragically-many leaders involved in change would much prefer to ignore the people issues altogether. That's why I wrote The Change Monster -- to talk about the emotional and behavioral aspects of the people and organizations involved in change, a subject that has been too long unaddressed. Those leaders who do think about people issues tend to simplify them, brand them as "personnel" issues, and quickly hand them over to the folks in Human Resources. A few wise souls recognize that the human issues are both deep and important, but make the assumption that there is little or nothing to be done about them.
When people -- executives, in particular -- start a change initiative, they believe they understand what will be involved. But, once they get into the process, they are always astonished at how muddled, painful, protracted, tiresome, complicated, and energy-consuming creating change can be. They wish they had known more going in, had been better prepared, so they could have anticipated messy situations and recognized problems before they arose, or, at least, before they escalated into serious trouble. Some might have chosen not to start the journey at all.
I can't claim to make the process smooth or easy; to change an organization in a significant way is not, never has been, and never will be, quick or easy. That's why the majority of change efforts fail or achieve only partial results, and why the successful ones take so long. What I do in this book is prepare you for the realities of living through major change, so once you're into it you'll be less likely to lose heart, go crazy, give up, bail out, or think you're the only one on the planet ever to have felt so worn out and beaten up by trying to make change happen. I liken the change process to an arduous journey of discovery and exploration, not unlike those of the early voyagers. We can provide better maps and technology than they had, but even the best map won't keep the thunderstorms from striking and the monster from rearing its ugly head.
Those who have completed such a journey will recognize themselves and others and will understand the lessons from hard-won experience. Those who haven't been through a transition yet will be convinced I'm exaggerating or have found only odd people to work with.