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The Change Monster: The Human Forces That Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change
 
 
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The Change Monster: The Human Forces That Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change [Hardcover]

Jeanie Daniel Duck
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)


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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.

From Booklist

Change is now a constant topic, and it has been represented by many different metaphors. Change is cheese, it is five frogs on a log, it is a rampaging river. For Duck, a senior vice-president at Boston Consulting Group, change is now a monster, but in a seminal article she wrote for the Harvard Business Review in 1993, she likened managing change to balancing a mobile. Regardless, she warns that corporate transformations fail not because of operational tasks or systems but because of emotional factors and social issues. The unpredictable "human issues that swirl around change" constitute the "change monster." To understand and control the monster, Duck devised the "change curve" to represent the five phases of change: stagnation, preparation, implementation, determination, and fruition. Duck explains that each company's experience along the curve will vary; the phases, though, will always remain the same. She then uses two examples, one real (Honeywell) and one mythical, to illustrate successes and difficulties in negotiating the curve. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“Since any change effort--from merger to corporate reorganization--inevitably involves people, it’s hard to believe that no book has ever addressed this issue head-on. The Change Monster is all about the ‘hard part’ of strategy--getting the organization to internalize, commit to, and follow through with change. As Jeanie Duck well knows, even organizations that know they need to change often can’t get up the head of steam needed. The Change Monster not only talks intelligently about the social dynamics and emotions of people, it does so with wisdom, insight, and practicality. With Jeanie Duck’s book, managers now have a creative, powerful tool for understanding and dealing with this crucial subject.”
-- Daniel Leemon, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, The Charles Schwab Corporation

“Where else can you explore companies like Sisyphus Systems and FastMovingGoods or learn why Ennui International is mired in the past and Worldwide Frenzy is going nowhere fast? With scores of such tales from the consultant's trenches, Jeanie Duck offers a practitioner’s primer on revitalization. She puts you in the shoes of some who have failed and others who have succeeded, and in doing so graphically delivers her main message to management: Learn to master the emotions and obsessions of those who stand in the way of change, including your own, and once you do, you have your hands on a miraculous engine for change.”
-- Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Center for Leadership and Change at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Leadership Moment

From the Inside Flap

A brilliant, original, and powerful look at corporate change?mergers, reorganizations, transformations?and why it succeeds or fails.

The Change Monster is the first book on the central issue that blows so many change efforts out of the water: the human interactions and emotional dynamics of the people involved. It is also an unusual book about business, one written from the heart as well as the head.

The Change Monster is a tough-minded but compassionate book about leadership when major changes are demanded: after a merger, when profits are falling or markets being lost. It is also about the discipline and kindness it takes to get the people who report to and depend on you to confront their fears and move on to a new agenda, strategy, or company.

The Change Monster is a reminder, through stories and anecdotes, of the essentials of the heart and mind that provide the basis for leadership. It also offers warnings that probably will be heeded only after they have been ignored. How, when you think you have made it clear to people what the new objectives are and how they need to behave differently, you are suffering serious illusions. And how, when you think they are not watching, they are, scrutinizing and often misinterpreting your every move.

The Change Monster is also a personal journey. It will take you for a roller-coaster ride and make it clear why you have to muster the courage to take people down to reality before you can lead them back up to success, no matter how brilliant the strategy or plan.

Jeanie Duck has a voice and style unlike those of any other business book. She introduces her own life into the book and writes with efficiency, informality, humor.

The Change Monster has an important tool, the Change Curve, at its core. Developed from Jeanie Duck?s years of experience working with some of the most important change efforts of our time, it provides a highly practical way to help you understand and deal with ?the change monster? ?the emotions and fears everyone has when going through major change. It will serve as your compass in making judgments about where, both intellectually and emotionally, your people are in their readiness and ability to execute a new strategy or make a new organization succeed. So valuable is it that a General Electric vice president commented after seeing its five stages: ?I feel like someone who?s been suffering for years with an unknown ailment and finally got a clear diagnosis. You can?t imagine how helpful this is.?

E-mail your comments about The Change Monster to change.monster@bcg.com.

From the Back Cover

“Since any change effort--from merger to corporate reorganization--inevitably involves people, it’s hard to believe that no book has ever addressed this issue head-on. The Change Monster is all about the ‘hard part’ of strategy--getting the organization to internalize, commit to, and follow through with change. As Jeanie Duck well knows, even organizations that know they need to change often can’t get up the head of steam needed. The Change Monster not only talks intelligently about the social dynamics and emotions of people, it does so with wisdom, insight, and practicality. With Jeanie Duck’s book, managers now have a creative, powerful tool for understanding and dealing with this crucial subject.”
-- Daniel Leemon, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, The Charles Schwab Corporation

“Where else can you explore companies like Sisyphus Systems and FastMovingGoods or learn why Ennui International is mired in the past and Worldwide Frenzy is going nowhere fast? With scores of such tales from the consultant's trenches, Jeanie Duck offers a practitioner’s primer on revitalization. She puts you in the shoes of some who have failed and others who have succeeded, and in doing so graphically delivers her main message to management: Learn to master the emotions and obsessions of those who stand in the way of change, including your own, and once you do, you have your hands on a miraculous engine for change.”
-- Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Center for Leadership and Change at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Leadership Moment

About the Author

Jeanie Daniel Duck is senior vice president of The Boston Consulting Group and a leader in its organizational practice. She has worked with companies around the globe on major change efforts. Her article in the Harvard Business Review, “Managing Change: The Art of Balancing,” has been a bestselling reprint used by many companies in executive education programs and many business schools as required reading. She is not only an expert in change management but also an artist--with a master’s degree in sculpture--and has a keen sense for what makes people tick.
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