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The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems Paperback – January 4, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Proven change strategies for tapping human potential in organizations and communities

This extensively updated new edition of the classic bestseller features profiles of sixty-one change methods by the originators and foremost practitioners of such high-leverage change methods as Appreciative Inquiry, the World Café, Six Sigma, Future Search, and Open Space Technology. Each author outlines distinctive aspects of their approach, answers frequently asked questions, and provides case studies and references to learn more. A one-stop comparative chart helps you determine which methods will work best for you, along with chapters on mixing and matching and sustaining results. This tremendously expanded second edition is the definitive resource in the exciting area of engaging "whole systems" of people to create their own future.

"What the Encyclopedia Britannica does for facts and the Oxford English Dictionary does for words, this book does for changing whole systems (both organizations and communities). A definite reference must for your organizational book shelf."
--Martin Rutte, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

"Get ready to re-think your work and have it set in a larger perspective. This book is for those seeking a pragmatic blend of spirit and practice. It is the best book on large system change methods, bar none."
--Geoff Bellman, Consultant and author of The Consultant's Calling

"A treasure trove that, with disciplined application, can ignite a performance step change in an individual or organization. Its extremely practical tone brings distilled `What to do' insight and remarkable `How it works' clarity to each tool. This will be an invaluable contribution to even the best change agents in the world."
--Tony Singarayar, Senior Director, Business Models/Business Case, Advanced Technologies, Johnson & Johnson Consumer and Personal Products Worldwide

"The Change Handbook is what I turn to when I want to review a process I have run before or select to a new one. Invaluable for all facilitators who want to rise above the ordinary!"
--Gifford Pinchot III, President, The Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and author of Intrapreneuring

"A terrific resource. I highly recommend this book to change leaders who want to find and learn about methods for creating and sustaining change."
--Francis M. Duffy, PhD, Professor of Change Leadership in Education, Gallaudet University

About the Author

Peggy Holman brings generative processes to organizations and communities, increasing their capacity for achieving what is important to them. Her work encourages people to take responsibility for what they love.

Tom Devane is an internationally known consultant and speaker who helps companies plan and implement transformations that utilize highly participative methods to achieve sustainable change.

Steven Cady is a professor in the management department at Bowling Green State University. He is also the director of the institute for Organizational Effectiveness and former chief editor of The Organization Development Journal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 732 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2nd edition (January 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753798
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Nagy on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today's Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems by Tom Devane, Steven Cady, and Peggy Holman (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) is the most comprehensive guide available to methods of organization and community change. It's designed for quick and easy access to information about high leverage change from today's foremost practitioners. This new edition is updated to describe more than 43 additional change methods and includes new chapters on selecting a method, mixing and matching methods, and responsibilities of the people involved, conditions for success, and more. This tremendously expanded second edition--400 pages longer, nearly twice the length of the first edition--will undoubtedly become the definitive resource in this rapidly expanding area.

This book offers practical insights and how to affect systems in positive ways to make them do the things we wish them to do and to mitigate the harm caused by some systems. Anyone who is interested in social change and personal change at any level will find the practical suggestions for intervention in this book to be positively enlightening.

In 1999, the first edition of The Change Handbook provided a snapshot of a nascent field that broke barriers by engaging "whole systems" of people from organizations and communities in creating their own future. In the last seven years, the field has exploded. In this completely revised and updated second edition, lead authors Peggy Holman, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady profile sixty-one change methods--up from eighteen in the first edition. Nineteen of these methods are explored in depth, with case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and details on the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, conditions for success, and more.
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Format: Paperback
We have been waiting for that book for a long time. Peggy Holman's Change Handbook is now available in its second edition. Since its first edition in 1999, it has increased in volume and in significance. Holman and her co-authors describe 61 collaborative methods that can be applied for working with large groups in private corporations, the public sector and for the development of democratic institutions. The book provides more than a thesaurus and an encyclopedia of change - it contains probably more than 90% of the current world knowledge on whole systems change applications. Beside the well-known methods and frameworks such as Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, etc. there are a lot of new methods that I have never heard of. Unfortunately, there is no article on Worldwork and the Process Oriented Psychology Framework. Next Edition, please?

The Change Handbook is very well organized, methods are categorized and there are good hints for when to apply the different methodologies. It is a must for Change Practitioners. If you are keen on The Standard Reference, you need to buy The Change Handbook.
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This book is a must-have guide of over 60 techniques for anyone implementing systemic change. The first part of the book gives a detailed overview of how to select methods, mix and match methods, and create sustainable results. The next part is a detailed section describing each of the methods, broken down into the following categories: adaptable methods, planning methods, structuring methods, improving methods, and supportive methods. There is also a section that gives quick one-page summaries of each method, including the following key information: purpose, outcomes, when and when not to use, number and type of participants, typical duration, and a brief example.
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Fantastic resource! Can't believe I didn't find it earlier. Structured in a well organized manner that makes for easy reading and reference. Highly recommend for anyone who is overseeing a change project.
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It will be a long time before I run out of either tools that I've used -- and this book gives me additional validation to my use of same -- and also twists on new processes. A wonderful tool and I recommend it highly to both new and experienced OE/OD practitioners
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Favorites in the book were Appreciative inquiry and Soar Methods of change initiatives. The book is large in volume but the reason is there are an abundant amounts of templates to use for organizational change. Almost any situation could be place into one of the modules. This is a twice through read.
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Obviously, this was a requirement for class and I had rented it; however, after receiving it, I thought it would be good to own (and I am one who sells back all textbooks!). If you're an OD practioner or a manager looking to implement change and want some ideas, this book is great. Gives a great synopsis on all of the various methodologies out there. Great reference book.
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EDIT of 9 Feb 09 to add links (capability not available at the time) and to commit to attending NEXUS II in Bowling Green, OH 30 Mar - 1 Apr 08.

I could spend the rest of my life trying to learn, use, and share each of the methods in this book, and never finish. When it was first published in 1999, it was before its time. Now, in 2006, this is a book made for our times, when Burning Man is now Green Man, Al Gore is a rock star, and even the greediest Wall Street CEO is starting to realize the party is over and we have to get real, real fast.

I have been an admirer of Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) and a champion of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and have gradually learned about other "opens" that are coming to the fore: Open Spectrum, Open Access, Open Culture, Open Innovation, and of course George Soros' Open Society. From this book I now add Open Circle, to complement the Open Space concept I learned recently in Seattle's Town Hall while listening to Paul Hawken talk about the World Index for Social and Environmental Responsibility.

I have to confess that this book is over-whelming, and I can barely scratch the surface. This is more of a book where you should read one author, one segment, each night, and fall asleep thinking about how to implement that one small section, how to embrace someone else and engage them with that one method.

Having three teen-agers, all three of whom have completely rejected the prison/child care format and the rote learning objectives of the current school system (even as good as it is in Fairfax County) I will go so far as to say that this book, combined with serious games/games for change, is a complete one-to-one substitute for our current educational process.
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