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Change your Mind, Change your Business: Using Co-creation to unlock the hidden potential of your organization Paperback – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
Paul Brand is a management consultant working with global blue chip organizations such as Shell, Heineken, Sony, ABN AMRO Bank, Ahold, and EON. Evolving from an operations perspective, Paul’s focus moved into providing specific expertise on growing and nurturing the innate ability to change. Paul leads organizations through the confusion of change management from “just another management methodology” to the understanding that change management is about the development of people. With Change Your Mind, Change Your Business, Paul’s purpose is to dispel the common misunderstanding and even negativity surrounding change management, and how you can begin successfully applying it in your own environment.
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But how *then* to to 'get change done'?
'Change Your Mind, Change Your Business' ardently advocates cocreation as the answer, and offers a flood of sensible, hands-on advice to get you going.
While such material could easily make for a tough read, with lots of smart, preachery bangs-over-the-head, change-consultant Paul Brand has taken enough of his own medicine to do better than that. Whether as a reader you are a full-blooded cocreator, a hesitant beginner, or maybe still taking your 'hard knocks' in old-fashioned change-management, you'll love how Brand makes an effort to understand *you*, rather than to just make *himself* understood. His recounts of his own soul-searching, lessons learned, and prices paid, help to read his insights as encouragement, not correction, from one who has definitely been where you may be.
On the conceptual level, I found less reason for enthusiasm: the book's insights are meagerly underpinned, and occasionally even flawed. Especially, Brand's basic contention that 'organizational development derives from individual development' is as dangerously misguided as it is common.
Sadly, as for many change-professionals, a substantial part of my own practice consists of bringing dead-at-birth change-programs to life. More often than not, I find that the actions that have deadlocked such programs stemmed from this very fallacy: the notion that, just because organizational change depends on what all the concerned individuals do, the way to change the organization should be to teach these individuals to change their ways.
As notable contributor to the systemic approach of organizational reality Louise Arnold Bik puts it, an organization is a lot more than a sum of individual behaviors. Indeed, if the past few decades of organizational research have proven one fact beyond question, it is probably that organizations do not change by having their employees trained, coached, or otherwise 'developed'. The relationship is actually reversed: changing the conditions surrounding people is often what it takes to get *them* to change.
Admittedly, many of Brand's suggestions do correspond with this insight, as one would expect from the passionate cocreator he proves himself to be. The instances where his approach towards employees is suddenly instrumental and directive, therefore struck me as all the more odd. For example, Brand advises to admonish those who show particularly strong resistance to a change-effort, and to minimize the attention given to their 'negativity'; rather than to take an interest in their views, and to let the change-effort cocreatively benefit from what lies behind their resistance.
That said, what I would definitely acknowledge as a condition that can get people to change, is inspirational change-leadership - based on an unwavering belief in the power of people, their collaboration, and their continuous development. True to his justified endorsement of cocreation, this is exactly what Brand offers his readers many building-blocks for. In this sense, 'Change Your Mind, Change Your Business' could go a long way in breaking through its observed conceptual flaws and fulfill its own prophecy.
All in all, this book is a not-to-be-overlooked contribution to the practice of cocreative organizational change, which has in Paul Brand a fervent ambassador, and which will inspire anyone who is open to his stimulating message.