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Managing At the Speed of Change Hardcover – January 19, 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this clinical study cum management guide, psychologist and business lecturer Conner discusses change as an inevitable, often disorienting element of the modern worker's business life. Citing the dysfunction likely to occur among employees facing corporate-merger upheavals or new high-tech equipment, he defines "resilience" as essential to viewing change as an "understandable and manageable process." Conner charts a system of "support patterns" for achieving transitions at "appropriate" speed. Also essential to successful navigation of change, he observes, is "interdependent synergy," exemplifed by the cooperation of a foxhole gunner and his ammo-toting partner, at every corporate level. In his book of wise counsel, Conner also points out that true resilience means "never being surprised that you are surprised." 25,000 first printing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this world of impermanent governments and topsy-turvy businesses, Yeats's line "the centre cannot hold" comes to mind as an apt description of our times. Taking advantage of this whirlwind of change is a plethora of "change doctors" who aid executives with their hyperdynamic responsibilities. Conner presents a well-reasoned, original approach to change management, relevant for any organization. Based on his extensive consulting experience, Conner describes the patterns of change, his unique principles of resilience, and the imperative that the change process be actively led by managers. More functional than either Rosabeth Moss Kanter's The Change Master (Touchstone, 1985) or Tom Peters's Thriving on Chaos ( LJ 10/15/87), this is a useful guide to managing change, especially for stressed-out managers. Highly recommended.
- Dale Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (January 19, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679406840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679406846
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An internationally recognized leader in the field of change management, Daryl Conner serves as a leading advisor and educator to senior executives across the globe. For more than 40 years, Mr. Conner's work with organizations has been built on a strong foundation of research and training in organizational consulting. He is the author of Managing at the Speed of Change and Leading at the Edge of Chaos: How to Create the Nimble Organization, and is a top authority on helping organizations achieve greater human resilience as they approach major transitions.

Using a highly disciplined approach, he helps managers deal with the human side of today's warp-speed cycle of change and gain competitive advantage. A prolific writer and speaker, Conner has written hundreds of articles for leading management publications and spoken to corporate audiences on almost every continent. He also maintains a blog (http://changethinking.net). His clients include a blue-chip list of the world's best-known companies, along with government agencies, non-profit institutions, multinational firms, associations, and educational institutions.

Photo by Maureen Edwards (www.maureenedwards.com)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an IT consultant and project manager, dealing with change management occurs on an almost daily basis. Sometimes change management works, and works well, but all too often it fails miserably. Here is an author who understands why this happens and how to remedy the problem.
Author Conner runs one of the foremost consulting firms devoted exclusively to change. He is experienced, and has an easy writing style, allowing you to completely focus on what he says rather than hammering through loads of hype, meaningless acronyms and technical gobbledygook. He explains clearly why change initiatives often don't seem to stay in place after the initial implementation of the change. He then offers sound recommendations on the roles and responsibilities required to execute changes, along with the various pros and cons of different infrastructures for those roles.
Conner illustrates that each of us moves through our lives at our own speed of change, and how we have the ability to enhance our skills by understanding the uniqueness of people who have effectively dealt with change. These people have a vast amount of flexibility, differentiated by being extremely focused, highly resilient, well organized, and very proactive. When people like this work within the configuration of change, leading others through the eight models in the organizational change process, constructive results are bound to happen.
This is definitely a powerful, five-star book, and one that I have no hesitation putting on my personal list of the top "must read" books for IT professionals and project managers at all levels.
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Format: Hardcover
Conner has introduced some interesting concepts in addition to a thorough treatment of how to increase personal and organizational "resilience" to change.
Conner explains why so many change initiatives don't seem to "stick" after the initial roll out of the change. He offers some concrete recommendations on the roles required to execute a change, and the pros and cons of different organizational structures for those roles.
Another interesting concept he introduces is that there is an extra cost associated with being "surprised that we are surprised." During the course of a change, unexpected events occur -- if we are expecting to be surprised, we are better able to absorb the events even if we don't know what they are in advance. This is a strong argument for communicating early and frequently to an organization before and during the change process, rather than holding off until every tiny detail of the change has been worked out.
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Format: Hardcover
Daryl Connor has offered a management success classic with "Managing At the Speed of Change". His is a unique study in how to overcome others' failures in managing (you can learn from others' mistakes and Connor shows you how).

Connor's non technical style makes his 281 pages (hardback) interesting and informative. He defines a problem, suggests a remedy, and then proffers effective resolution.

Connor's greatest contribution comes through his discussions about change and its management. He says that resilient people are those who succeed. The book studies change imperatives and how one becomes more resilient. (His five basic characteristics of resilience, on page 238, are fascinating and illuminating.)

The book offers a plethora of graphs and drawings to illustrate Connor's thinking. His views will certainly create discussion in business courses and mangement training groups.

One of Connor's many helpful dictums arrives in his presentation for implementing the "synergistic process" (page 212 and following). He suggests four approaches for successfully implementation: (1) strategize, (2) monitor and reinforce, (3) remain team focused, and (4) update. Connor understand these to be "vital elements" for sound management practices. (For me, they are working.)

Connor's discussion of the unseen dangers in management is also helpful. His section on crisis management (chapter 14) is brilliant. His talk about Danger-Oriented People and Opportunity-Oriented People (pages 232-238) is alone worth the price of the book.

This book is recommended to all managers, to any who are looking to grow their careers in our fast-paced society, and those who study change.
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Format: Hardcover
I have lived through over a decade of watching companies waste millions on failed software implementations, sales initiatives, and -- yes--the much dreaded "Business Process Re-engineering."

After reading Daryl's book three times, I have distilled his 30 years' of wisdom down to some probing questions. I recommend every company undergoing significant change consider these questions as "book discussion guide..."

1. What is the most profound change you face as a leader? Please think through all lenses, including client changes, industry, regulatory, global, demographic, political, environmental, technology, and personal/health/spiritual/relationships.

2. Daryl Conner says "our lives are the most effective and efficient when we are moving at a speed that allows us to appropriately assimilate the changes we face."

What phase of assimilation is your team experiencing now? (Chapter 8)

3. "Future shock" is the point where humans can no longer assimilate change without displaying dysfunctional behavior. Name 3 dysfunctional behaviors that represent future shock in your company.

Now describe how you would help your colleague change those behavior(s). (pages 55-57).

4. Conner describes how "The Beast" loves to take dreams and turn them into nightmares. What is the loudest message The Beast says within your culture?

5. What are the top 3 change initiatives within your organization today?

6. What key values (behaviors, beliefs or assumptions) are essential to supporting these most pressing change initiatives?

7. Name 1 behavior you are willing to change to foster synergy and resilience (Chapters 12-14).
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