About the Book

Everywhere you look our institutions are failing. Big financial firms, government agencies, healthcare providers, and school systems all too frequently fail to deliver on their promises. The familiar management by objectives, lean/six sigma, continuous improvement, change management, and a myriad of others, all carefully analyze, identify, and solve a raft of very real problems, yet the failures persist. What’s wrong? Many blame the institutions’ people.

We prefer not to blame. Times have changed and obsolescent management techniques with outdated rules simply no longer suffice. New thinking, new behaviors, and new approaches are required. Instead of selling you on yet another proprietary technique, we will help you uncover and explore the foundations beneath all these techniques, and help you, through your own change efforts, learn how we combine them into adjustable approaches tailored to today’s world.

The book is anchored in the observation that different business environments or landscapes foster distinct corporate cultures, each needing a different change method. You will learn how to analyze your culture and determine the right approach to match.

You will see the critical overprint that your corporate strategy places on your approach and resulting organization, and discover the interplay between landscape, culture, and strategy. As a cornerstone of each approach, you will use the extensive knowledge and experience of your employees as an integral feature of the work. Employee engagement is built into each approach in a manner consistent with its associated culture.

The Six Ways This Book is Different

Technology: In today’s interconnected world technology has totally changed the way business is done. Our design process incorporates technology's ubiquitous role and using it yields organizations which can embrace emerging technologies.

Landscapes and Cultures: We make explicit that different business environments foster distinct corporate cultures, each needing a different change method. We show step-by-step how to adapt our approach for each culture.

Strategy: Our method involves aligning organizations around their strategy. We detail how this works for each of several common generic strategies. Each case study involves a different landscape, culture, and strategy.

Engagement: Research continues to indicate that less than one-third of today’s workforce are engaged in their work. The resulting lost innovation and creativity are the very things many companies are missing in their journey to profitability and purpose. Engagement is built into our approaches.

Integrated: We have found that to really accelerate change, organization design and change and project management separately are not enough. We integrate them along with effective sponsorship into a systemic, and comprehensive approach that yields sustainable success.

Applications: In place of disconnected anecdotes, we will follow Theresa’s, Shawn’s, and Suh’s projects all the way through the book. They are closely based on actual ones we have encountered and illustrate how real people, with all their foibles, use our approach to mix-and-match tools and techniques to build the needed relationships and get the work done.

Quotes From Workshops and Book Reviews

“Cutting edge techniques every business needs to stay competitive in today’s complex and volatile world”

“Brings it all together in one comprehensive package”

“The theory and tools are great but what really makes this book different are the descriptions of practitioners just like me wrestling with real-world dilemmas”

“Takes cutting edge innovations, describes them in clear business terms, and develops the logical steps that you as a practitioner can use to apply in your business”

“A technical manual that presents a complex model for change management that recognizes one size does not fit all the types of organizations and needs that users might have”

“The concepts outlined are sound and integrated into a larger process as a whole”