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Real-Time Strategic Change: How to Involve an Entire Organization in Fast and Far-Reaching Change Paperback – January 15, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-1576750308 ISBN-10: 1576750302 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2 edition (January 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576750302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576750308
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Business consultant Jacobs promotes here a strategy that involves both managers and employees in planning and incorporating change throughout companies on a regular basis. He stresses that "real time strategic change," which "involves an entire organization in fundamental, far-reaching and fast-paced change," unleashes "extraordinary energy and optimism" among employees by focusing their attention on mastering change and achieving business goals, a process Jacobs contends rarely happens in American companies. He argues that democratic procedures allow employees to develop loyalty to organizations "they want to call their own." Jacobs's organizational theories make good sense. Illustrated. Executive Program Book Club selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In business, dynamic change is the name of the game. Jacobs, a "change" consultant, has written a primer for positively effecting organizational change, a process that, without the real-time process, more often than not results in failure. Jacobs posits that success is achieved by involving everyone at once in the process. The immersion process he champions, while used successfully in noncommercial applications, is an innovative practice in the business world. A number of organizations (Ford, Corning, Boeing, etc.) that have employed the techniques are used as examples. While generally well written, this book has a few flaws. Chapters 4, 5, and 6, which align process, people, and principles, could benefit from the graphic presentations found in the other chapters. Jacobs's distinction between "real time" and "strategic change" is beyond all but scholastic philosophers. For academic collections.
Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, Philadelphia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Through my consulting work I've adopted (and been adopted) by a number of theatres including The Performance Network in Ann Arbor, MI, and 24th Street Theatre and The Theatre at Boston Court in Los Angeles. My work with non-profit organizations including Autism411.net , The Child Care Network of Michigan, Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, St. Mary's Student Parish at the University of Michigan, and The Accelerated School in Los Angeles has also been an important part of my practice.

Before starting my firm, I worked as an internal consultant at Ford, director of the University of Michigan's Athletic Tutorial Program, an investigator at Institute for Social Research, and an interior garage painter (my first entrepreneurial business).

I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan and received a Masters of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University.

I now call Los Angeles home with my wife Cheryl, children Alison and Aaron, our cat Chloe, a spunky rescue dog Stella and my best friend black lab, Theo.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rand M. Gee on October 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
As an OD practitioner, I highly value Jake's simple but powerful method of making change happen. His approach overcomes the root cause for so many befuddled change attempts. The whole idea that involvement must precede commitment isn't new but the easy-to-accept approach is. With a little practice, anyone with high concern for both the relevance of the change and the well-being of the people making the change can apply Jake's ideas and make almost any change scenario more effective and lasting. Similarity to most problem-solving processes with slight twists to connect a change process with the strategy of the organization provides familiarity which employees need when working differently.
For the past 4 years I have been applying Jacob's key principles to a variety of change interventions including groups from 10 to 350 employees. The natural hesitation from Senior Leaders is quickly overcome when they see the power that commitment can have in quickly lowering resistance and developing an almost unbridled desire to move to a new state. Employees who initially greet the process as potentially laborious, quickly see that "going slow now to go faster later", as a friend once said, is really worth it.
This book is a key text and resource in a Masters in Management class that I teach. Students frequently leave class with insight and return the next week telling me that they have already applied some of the thinking in their daily management of the business. To their delight, Jacob's mental model gives students enhanced ability to envision and plan change initiatives. Often I get e-mail suggesting that this book has been one of the best investments that they made during their masters program and that the book is a reference that they rely upon.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great overview of Real-Time Strategic Change (RTSC), a method for involving dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people in the planning of organizational change. The meetings usually require a single bloc of three days and two nights.
The underlying theory is that people support changes that they help to plan. Processes such Future Search or Search Conference can be used by smaller groups (usually 15 to 65 people) to develop an initial plan. RTSC can bring that plan to an entire company for refinement and implementation planning.
Ford Motor Company's Mustang division used a version of RTSC to introduce total quality management in the 1980s, responding to the challenge of Japanese automobiles.
Generally speaking, RTSC involves the "whole system" - everyone who is involved in the development of a product or service as well as the customers who buy it. In the food industry, for example, an RTSC conference would include suppliers of raw materials and grocery retailers as well internal groups such as Logistics, Manufacturing, Sales, etc. Suppliers and customers can provide information on how the company stacks up compared with competitors, often by using a panel discussion format. Industry experts may also provide information on key trends.
Work is done in a combination of large and small group settings. In the large-group sessions, people are assigned to sit at round tables of eight to ten people. These are "max-mix" groups representing different departments or organizations. Following various presentations, the groups are asked to discuss what happened and formulate a brief response. This helps keep the meetings lively and creative.
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Format: Paperback
A key assumption as noted in a discussion of planning failures, the underlying reason was described as: "the key people who are interested in and affected by these changes are not included in planning and implementing them" (p. ix). This book is a good strategic planning approach for those with some planning experience who are interested in incorporating wide participation. Some strengths of this approach: participation, buy-in and ownership of strategies and plans, underpinned with a true sense of human responses to change and a value for each person's history, knowledge and voice.

A wonderful addition to the strategic planning literature.
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By R. Smith on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not that bad for a text book. Plenty of good ideas and an easy read. Thumbs up.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Consultant Robert W. Jacobs walks you through his "Real Time Strategic Change" program, which, he explains, has been successfully implemented in numerous companies and organizations. He discusses how and why it works, and points out why other commonly used change strategies don't. Although the book achieves its mission nicely, it gets bogged down by continuous, detailed examples of each step in the process, which provide little in the way of illumination. His excellent guidelines for change still manage to shine through. We [...] recommend this book to all those who are or will be involved with implementing individual, group or organization-wide change.
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