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The Chocolate Conversation: Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform Your Business Hardcover – April 16, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

“Rose Fass is the undisputed master of organizational dynamics, and this book proves she has the bead on what it takes to transform companies and brands in these challenging times. The simplicity of her idea—that everything that matters happens ‘in the conversation’—is both essential and critical for success in a complex world. Read the book, join the conversation, and bask in Rose’s wisdom, as I’ve done many times in my career.”  (Bob Greenberg, founder, chairman and CEO, R/GA)

 

“My senior leadership team was formed through acquisitions, restructuring, and a compelling need to reinvent our business. We had a clear mission, or so we thought. Instead our team was fragmented and we needed help. In walks a dynamic, insightful woman asking us to define chocolate?! It triggered a conversation that led us to recognize that past victories would not take us into the future—and to instead frame a unified strategy and focused actions. We got the job done. When I assumed my next executive leadership role, the first call I made was to that same dynamic woman, Rose Fass, for my next ‘chocolate conversation.’”  (Karen T. Cone, general manager, Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft)

 

“Rose Fass is a skilled practitioner of the thoughts, ideas, and concepts she writes about in this outstanding book. The Chocolate Conversation is not a pie in the sky reading. Her conversations with you throughout these pages are full of rich insight that will strip away the fluff and demonstrate that meaningful organizational change is rooted in multi-level, cross-functional conversations. Rose’s book underscores the old maxim: if you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevancy even less.”  (Thomas A. Kayser, author of Mining Group Gold and Building Team Power)

 

The Chocolate Conversation is a must-read and field manual for anyone setting out to change their company from the heart and hand of the master change maker herself, Rose Fass. Rose’s warmth and wit, down-to-earth style, and galvanizing authority is on every page. Run, don’t walk, to get your copy of this delightful and wildly informative book.  (Kevin Allen, founder and CEO, re:kap, and author of the WSJ best-seller The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following)

“Rose Fass has written a remarkably rich book that carries the reader along swiftly, easily, and enjoyably from cover to cover. In just two hundred pages, the author shows her experienced judgment on to reframe thinking and conversations, and incites her readers to take action.”

 (Peter Koestenbaum, PhD, founder and chairman of PiB and the Koestenbaum Institute)

 

“True brilliance is not about developing complex theories or pontificating about piles of research reporting out on what has already happened. True brilliance is about simplifying complex issues and harnessing people’s energy to change the world. In that light, The Chocolate Conversion is simply brilliant. Rose brings her experience, inherent intellect, and frankly raw talent forward in to this book. She is a strategist, motivator, and business leader. She brings clarity to chaos, finds solutions to big business problems, and most importantly drives and delivers results. Putting the tools delivered in this book into action will be the single most important business investment you can make in the coming years.”  (Martha Delehanty, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Verizon Enterprise Solutions)

 

“I know Rose and, boy, do I know chocolate. Together they hold a conversation that will change you and your company. In today's world, laden with so many know-it-all books full of the same old promises, Rose Fass' insights beg us to have a dialogue that reframes our thinking and ‘talk time’ to get people to act.”  (Albert Gaulden, founding director, The Sedona IntensiveTM and author of You're Not Who You Think You Are)

About the Author

Rose Fass is the founder and CEO of fassforward consulting group and does specialized coaching for leaders in the executive suite. She has over 35 years of corporate experience in technology and consumer-based industries. During her career she has opened new businesses, acted as a general manager with full P&L responsibility, and led major corporate transformations. As the Chief Transformation Officer at Xerox Corporation she enabled acquisitions, diverse cultures, and operating units to develop and execute the enterprise strategy. Prior to starting fassforward consulting group, Rose was a corporate SVP at Gartner where she was responsible for the operational business strategy and strategic management system. A dynamic speaker, Rose is frequently invited to speak at private and public sector events and has been a guest on CNBC. Rose has a bachelor's degree from Boston University's School of Management and completed the Advanced Executive Studies Program at Harvard Business School.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bibliomotion; First edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937134490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937134495
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rose Fass is the founder and CEO of fassforward Consulting Group, a leading edge business transformation boutique. Rose works with executive teams from fortune 500 companies. Her work delivers thought leadership along with methodologies, and tools that enable clients to address tough challenges, solve complex business problems, execute on their strategies, and deliver bottom line results.

She has over 35 years of corporate experience in technology and consumer-based industries. During her career she has opened new businesses in the United States, been a general manager with full P&L responsibility and led major corporate transformations. As the Chief Transformation Officer at Xerox Corporation, Rose led the transition to the global industry and solutions business. She integrated acquisitions, diverse cultures and operating units to develop and execute the new enterprise strategy. Prior to starting fassforward consulting group, Rose was a corporate SVP at Gartner where she was responsible for creating the new business model, and working with the business units to execute on the global strategy.

A dynamic speaker, Rose is frequently invited to speak at private and public sector events. She has been a guest on CNBC, is quoted in several bestselling business books and is the author of the newly released book, "The Chocolate Conversation: Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform your Business." She is listed in Forbes' 2012, Top 10 Women Business Leaders of New York. Her firm has been awarded the Inc.500/5000 for three consecutive years.

Rose has a bachelor's degree from Boston University's School of Management and completed the Advanced Executive Studies Program at Harvard Business School.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ask three people about chocolate and you are likely to get at least three different answers. That's okay when you're talking chocolate; but what happens when you're trying to address a business question?

In The Chocolate Conversation, Rose Fass makes the case that many business conversations are like death by chocolate: People aren't having the same conversation. Their starting points are different, their goal posts are in different places, they're operating under different assumptions and different rules, and the things that keep them up at night rarely mesh. So is it any wonder that running a successful business is so hard?

The book is all about "unwrapping" these chocolate conversations--with employees, with partners, and with customers. What I like about The Chocolate Conversation is that the book is filled with examples of companies (and corporate leaders) who have re-framed their conversations to achieve business success. While so many books focus on profit and loss, Fass focuses on people. After all, companies can make promises--but it is up to people to deliver.

While The Chocolate Conversation does not have the typical boxed or end-of-chapter takeaways and next steps I often look for from business books, Fass substitutes instead a series of "sketchnotes" at the end of the book. They provide an awesome, visual reminder of the key points--and the perfect endnote.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are a leader, this book will change the way you think about culture and communication inside your organization. You will start to notice "chocolate conversations" all around you — and when you do, this book will help you resolve them and get each member of your team speaking the same language.

I have shared the author's story about "chocolate conversations" with every business leader I have met since I first read this book, and they all have been blown away by the power of this analogy. They immediately recognize the sort of cultural and communicative disconnects that Fass describes in their own organizations, and I am sure you will as well.

But "chocolate conversations" and how to get beyond them are only one part of what this book is about. Fass also offers important advice for companies that are dealing with mergers and acquisitions on how to build a common culture, and she provides valuable lessons for organizations dealing with "bittersweet change."

A must read for anyone interested in changing culture and changing minds!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to be honest, the title of the book was genius and I still find the analogy strange after reading the book but the content of the book is well worth the read. Fass has a great writing style that is no nonsense and direct to the point. She has sprinkled so many pearls of wisdom throughout the book and her lessons on leadership are invaluable. I would recommend this book to anyone in the leadership role and there should be more than a few ideas that can really elevate your game.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rose Fass has never been at a loss to captivate an audience and has done it this time in her book "The Chocolate Conversation". Who could take a seemingly simple concept like chocolate and turn it into a story that can lead a business leader through a thought process associated with transformation? And, wether it be a transformation that is large in scale for a company; or a division, a business unit, a team.... it pulls out the basics and provides clear direction on what to consider. You understand why you're not alone, and how to proceed beyond what may be your comfort zone. The beauty is, it is what we all know, but may never have known how to act on. Being relevant, listening instead of "tell and sell", clarity of the message demands that we reach deep inside and truly think through and know ourselves and our direction. Transformation becomes less intimidating and can become a rewarding art of creating something new.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book as part of an internal training. I wasn't too interested in the beginning, but as I started reading it, I started to really like it. I would definitely recommend the book. I met the author in person at another internal training, and asked her to sign it. On that note, I also recommend the in-person training they provide. It helps you stay on the cutting edge of marketing, and they tailor the training to your organization/company. The presenters are highly experienced individuals and come from the top echelons of the corporate world, and they provide a lot of insight from their own experiences.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book fully expecting to be bored by page 20 as most of these books continue to say the same thing over and over in endless different ways! Not so in this case. Rose Fass uses so many interesting and real-life examples of big business situations and events to illustrate her points that the read is quick, informative and highly useful. I have recommended it to several people.
PS- Say "chocolate" to me and I think chocolate chip cookie!
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By sdewan on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ever since I started my MBA at Fordham I have been on the hunt for good business books that arent dense text book-y material. This was a great, easy and insightful read. The way Rose breaks down business into "4 Considerations" makes for easy learning. Without these four simple words, businesses are more likely to fail.

Id recommend this to anyone that is business savvy or needs to be!
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