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The Change Monster: The Human Forces That Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change Hardcover – April 17, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1st edition (April 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609607715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609607718
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fear, curiosity, exhaustion, loyalty, paranoia, optimism, rage, and revelation--not quite the kind of emotions that are anticipated or discussed when leaders embark on organizational change, but exactly the kind to expect, says Jeanie Daniel Duck in her treatise on the human element of growth. The Change Monster examines how to effectively plan for, address, and manage the least predictable and perhaps the most important aspect of a successful transformation.

Duck's experience with change has been widespread and varied. During an early career running her own consulting practice and more recent years spent as a senior vice president with the prestigious Boston Consulting Group (BCG), she has guided companies all over the world through the mountains and minefields of mergers, reengineering ventures, and strategic transformation projects. In the process, she has developed and refined her understanding of the five phases of the Change Curve, her own map of the territory of change. The monster in hibernation is the first of those phases, Stagnation, and it's awoken by forceful impetus from on high, through either internally or externally initiated change. Duck discusses both the signs of stagnation and various methods for recognizing the problem--the questions that need to be asked, the analyses that need to be conducted, and the appetite for change that needs to be generated. During the Preparation stage, there are essential tasks for the leaders (achieving alignment and commitment on vision, strategy, and values) that will provoke behavioral-change requirements of all members of the organization, and Duck introduces a BCG tool used to help assess the change bias of any organization. For the Implementation and Determination stages, Duck shares tips on walking the talk, being on the alert for human dynamics that threaten to derail the initiative, and communicating effectively, and offers advice on testing one's assumptions as a leader and staying involved with the process of change at all levels--strategies designed to lead the organization through to the final stage of Fruition. Throughout, Duck refers to the largely positive change experience of a real company, Honeywell Micro Switch, and the less-effective actions of a fictional merger between two pharmaceutical firms.

Duck has also spent time as an artist and teacher, occupations reflected in her understanding of how people cope with both the reality of change and the manner in which it's brought about. Though targeted at the change-management drivers of the business world, The Change Monster is infused with a sense of the effects of change in all areas of life. A sensitive exploration of an often-difficult process. --S. Ketchum

From Publishers Weekly

Although the concept of managing the implementation of major changes in business has existed for at least two decades, Duck contends that senior management often overlooks or underestimates the emotional impact of fundamental changes such as mergers, reengineering and strategic initiatives on employees. While "emotional data" (e.g., fear of job elimination, the sense that senior management doesn't know what it's doing) may not be easy to define, it's as critical to executing strategic change as financial data. In her work as a senior vice-president of the Boston Consulting Group, Duck came to the conclusion that while every company's experience with strategic change is unique, each will go through the same five phases of a model she calls the "change curve" (stagnation, preparation, implementation, determination and fruition). Understanding these components is what makes the difference between success and failure, she contends, offering countless anecdotes to support her claim. She stresses that leaders must help "institutionalize the proclivity for change," which, she maintains, can be "their most important legacy." Eschewing a formal business tone (she assumes her audience knows how to execute strategy), Duck frames her argument well, and even includes elements from her personal life to explain the emotional components of change. While the ultimate responsibility for managing change lies with those with the most authority, her message is pertinent to managers at all levels. Refreshing and to the point, Duck offers corporate leaders uncommon business advice in this evolving age of bricks, clicks and bricks-and-clicks.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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A good read, with lots of reasons to use your highlighter.
Voracious Reader
As a matter of fact most of Managements pretend to reorder their organizational environment without primarily, undertaking an inner transformation.
Hiram Gomez Pardo
It's loaded with Ms. Duck's personal experience working as a Change Management Consultant for BCG.
Cheng Linda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Whenever I ask executives about what their biggest problem is, they always say that it is getting the people in their organization to change. The executive rarely sees a need to change her or him self. This perception of the situation is at the foundation of every change problem I have ever seen in my career.
This slanted perspective usually reflects having a lousy idea for what needs to be changed that is being legitimately resisted, a poor understanding of how to communicate about change, and a one-sided view of who should benefit from any change (usually the executive).
In The Change Monster, Ms. Duck addresses the communication issues directly, the one-sided view of who should benefit indirectly, and pays not enough attention to what the idea for change should be.
The book opens with the perspective of organizations that have to change . . . or else because they have just been taken over, taken someone else over, or won't be around if they don't change. Those situations create the potential for a burning platform to get everyone's attention.
Relatively little is said about getting attention when the wolf isn't so near the door, except to cite Dr. Grove's advice, "Only the paranoid survive." That's the hard part. I hope the author will spend more time on that point in future books.
The book describes a new taxonomy for evaluating where you are in the change process: Stagnation (essentially stuck in a rut that isn't working); Preparation (getting people ready for making an important change); Implementation (figuring out and announcing the details of what to do); Determination (actually carrying through on the plans and new commitments); and Fruition (using the new success to strengthen the foundations of future progress).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ross on May 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As someone who's helped plan and implement major change initiatives at numerous companies (and numerous corporate cultures) I've had a large stake in searching for and hoping that someday someone would publish a helpful guide focusing on the human aspect of change, the emotional roller coaster ride experienced by the employees undergoing the change--rather than the often dry treatises focusing on structural archetypes or the academically-oriented anthropologist's view of change. Jeanie Duck has done, and done it beautifully. If you are undergoing change at your workplace I can't recommend this book more strongly. I've already given it to several people I've worked with who have come back to tell me how helpful and meaningful they found it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cheng Linda on August 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In emotionally draining management situations, you as a manager, or you as an employee feels totally lost and alone. You think that this dark cloud over your head is so unique that you don't think there is hope. Nobody will understand how this is done. I think the use of this book, akin to personal self-help book, is to tell you you are not alone. This situation you are going through is normal and you are not going out of your mind. Yes, there might not be concrete steps on how to do things, but in dealing with human beings, nothing is set in stone. That's why it's so hard to manage. That's why we have shrinks. There is no formularic way of "fixing the problem". You will just have to learn from experience, and reading about other people's experiences will help you identify potential red flags.
That's what's good about this book. It's loaded with Ms. Duck's personal experience working as a Change Management Consultant for BCG. She presents two real cases (one real and the other one an amalgamation of similar companies), tells us what was going through in the heads of management and employees. She painstakingly details the action that was taken and how it affected the company as a whole. It's a very good book to start your way into the realms of change management.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By david goldman on May 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Change Monster and Winning at Mergers and Acquisitions both score big time in the areas of change and culture. But the information contained in both of these books creates a synthesis of change management that when blended together provides extraordinary results. Both books provide tools to help drive change and forge buy-in. Change Monster speaks more from a consultant standpoint while Winning at Mergers comes from the voice of corporate management. Winning at points out grave mis-steps in leading change and critical success factors to reverse them. Change Monster fills in some of the more detailed steps. Together these groundbreaking guides are more than enough to help you lead, structure, and support change efforts at any company whether or not they're M&A driven or economically derived and whether you're a consultant or corporate manager.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As an internal consultant to a Fortune 500, part of my job is to assist with change management efforts. Thus, I was excited to see this new title on such a pertinent element of the change process. My anticipation was quickly replaced with disappointment as the book is long on stories but short on content. Aside from expanding Lewin's change model with before and after processes, the author does little to guide the reader in understanding the dynamics of change. Her tactics for dealing with change are so covered in war-stories that they are difficult to find. In all, a disappointment for both the experienced and novice reader of change management processes.
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