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Discontinuous Change: Leading Organizational Transformation Hardcover – November 23, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0787900427 ISBN-10: 0787900427 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Few executives expect the future to be more stable than the present. Yet, few have seriously begun the long journey of rethinking and redesigning themselves and their organizations for the future. For those who have, Discontinuous Change, while not eliminating the inevitable uncertainty that is part of the journey, can at least make it less perilous and vastly more comprehensible. For those who have not, the insights and methods presented by David Nadler and his associates will, hopefully, engAnder the courage to embark." (Peter M. Senge, director of the Center for Organizational Learning, MIT's Sloan School of Management and author of The Fifth Discipline)

"This book addresses the most important challenge facing senior executives today--the management of change. David Nadler and his colleagues at Delta have done a terrific job of drawing from their extensive experience to develop powerful, original, and highly useful strategies for action. A compelling 'must read' for the leadership of American enterprises." (Paul A. Allaire, chairman & CEO, Xerox Corporation)

From the Inside Flap

Explores the practical lessons learned from internationally renowned companies to bring about lasting and fundamental organizational transformation, providing a useful set of "field-tested" concepts and techniques for anyone seeking to promote change. In-depth interviews with such key corporate change leaders as Bob Allen of AT&T and Jamie Houghton of Corning, Inc., provide valuable insight and firsthand advice on the role CEOs and leadership teams can play in organizational transformation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (November 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787900427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787900427
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pepperdine Doctorate Student on October 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Introduction In the book Discontinuous Change the authors use anecdotes of prestigious organizations to enhance the understanding of the theoretical and practical ideology concerning organizational change. The authors begin the text by identifying the precursors of organizational change. The precursors are shifts in industry structure, technological innovation, macroeconomic trends and crises, regulatory or legal changes, market and competitive forces and growth. The authors introduce the concept of sustained success as arrogant, insular, and complacent. By remaining in the sustained success idealism, the authors state that the organization will fall into the trap of success which tends to lead to an internal focus; the perception that knowledge, insight, and ideas are found inside the organization rather than outside. Throughout the text, the authors create a clear distinction between incremental and discontinuous change. The authors define incremental change as a continuous pattern of large and small changes that may impact the functioning enterprise in small or large increments. In contrast, discontinuous change is defined as a shocking impact that creates radical departure from the past. Using a variety of models, the authors give the reader a visual picture of the types of change that could occur in an organization. Portrayed in one of the models, the reader will identify the leadership as the "champions and gatekeepers" of the change. By setting the pace, the leaders identify the new corporate identity, the degree to which change needs to happen, the design and organization of the change plan and the interventions needed to keep the plan on course.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "frankkr" on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One of the very best books read for my graduate degree. Nadler and Shaw point out that only those companies able to respond quickly and effectively to changing environmental conditions will survive in the coming decades. Successful firms must learn and act at a faster rate than their competition. Many leaders can affect some change in an organization-but it is normally short lived. But, to make change more long term and make that change take place at a faster rate-you must create destabilizing events in significant scope to get attention-and keep it! There are many take-aways in this book. If you want an outstanding "Leadership 101" book in 276 short pages-this is the one you want.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Pasternack (lordhappy@aol.com) on July 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever closed a book after finishing the last page and wondered how you might apply all that you've learned from its contents? By the same token, have you ever struggled through a book which you knew had great information and yet its presentation left a dry, chalky feeling in your head?
If not, then this book is for you. I found it to be very enlightening and the book gave clear examples of organizations which either failed to anticipate change or proactively sought to position itself for change. Nadler, et al, break down the stages of change management into readable bites and provide stepping stones of the thought processes that should be involved in change management.
Even better, the authors discuss how the corporate culture is directed by leadership's attitude towards change and covers how to bring about change in spite of internal resistance.
That said, this is tough stuff to dig into for any length of time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Culpepper, Pepperdine Doctorate Student on October 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Introduction In the book Discontinuous Change the authors use anecdotes of prestigious organizations to enhance the understanding of the theoretical and practical ideology concerning organizational change. The authors begin the text by identifying the precursors of organizational change. The precursors are shifts in industry structure, technological innovation, macroeconomic trends and crises, regulatory or legal changes, market and competitive forces and growth. The authors introduce the concept of sustained success as arrogant, insular, and complacent. By remaining in the sustained success idealism, the authors state that the organization will fall into the trap of success which tends to lead to an internal focus; the perception that knowledge, insight, and ideas are found inside the organization rather than outside. Throughout the text, the authors create a clear distinction between incremental and discontinuous change. The authors define incremental change as a continuous pattern of large and small changes that may impact the functioning enterprise in small or large increments. In contrast, discontinuous change is defined as a shocking impact that creates radical departure from the past. Using a variety of models, the authors give the reader a visual picture of the types of change that could occur in an organization. Portrayed in one of the models, the reader will identify the leadership as the "champions and gatekeepers" of the change. By setting the pace, the leaders identify the new corporate identity, the degree to which change needs to happen, the design and organization of the change plan and the interventions needed to keep the plan on course.Read more ›
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