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Everyone is a Change Agent: A Guide to the Change Agent Essentials Paperback – October 5, 2016
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About the Author
April K. Mills is a devoted student and practitioner of the art of change. Everyone is a Change Agent is her first book. Her personal mission is to give the world words that can ignite actions that solve problems, seize opportunities, and enrich lives. A native of Amery, Wisconsin, she studied Engineering Mechanics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and was the first in her family to graduate from college. After graduation, April and her biochemist-turned-lawyer husband, Matt, moved to Bremerton, Washington. There, for nearly 14 years, she worked proudly as a civilian for the U.S. Navy at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF). The Navy and the Bremerton community nurtured April’s love of change and lit a fire in her to make a positive difference in the world. In 2014, April joined Intel Corporation as a Leadership Engineer and Change Coach, a custom position designed to bring her practical, cutting-edge ideas about change to Intel’s global workforce. Since 2009 April has blogged at Engine for Change (engine-for-change.com), her website dedicated to sharing stories of driving change and the change agent essentials. April lives in Cornelius, Oregon, with her husband and their four children, large black lab, and two cats. She rarely has free time, but when she does, she loves to relax with a great book or drive with her husband and kids to their next adventure—usually at a national park or a stop along the Lewis and Clark expedition route.
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Top customer reviews
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If you want to change something, especially in a larger organization, you and your team need this book.
April starts with a simple story of failed change. It will sound familiar to anyone who's tried to "make things happen." But instead of quitting like most do, April analyzed what went wrong and figured out the solution. Her answer is a simple but powerful model for influencing change in any organization. She identifies seven key principles that work with human nature and organizational reality:
1) Drive change, not people.
2) Create and sustain change buffers (spaces/protections for the change).
3) Set a concrete goal (clear end result).
4) Map the terrain (how far should it go? who may be impacted and needs to be considered?).
5) Challenge assumptions (yours—about those who might "resist" change).
6) Focus on sustainment (anchor the change so it lasts).
7) Try (start taking action using the principles above)
The book includes specific examples, practical tactics, and related principles you'll understand, remember, and actually use. (Example: How to "bury the corpse" of an old, failed project and start again in a trivially easy way.) It uses simple but fun diagrams help drive home the points.
"Everyone Is a Change Agent" is a great book. I highly recommend it. Give it to your team, discuss and use the principles together, and watch great things happen around you.
This is for individuals, groups, organizations, and projects of all sizes. If you want to change your workplace, read this book. If you want to change your life, read this book. But reading it is not enough, as April Mills emphasizes; not just inspirational, she provides a solid conceptual and executable platform for anyone wanting a change.
This is an easy-to-read piece on an important subject, but prepare to have your current world views challenged (and some feelings validated). Through real-life experience and examples, Mills makes the information, insights, and concepts easily accessible, entirely relatable, and immediately actionable. Key points include:
*Driving change vs. driving people (chapt.s 1-4);
*Creating "change buffers" (chapt. 5);
*Identifying and dissolving excuses and other barriers to change (starting on pg. 61), including "becoming the power to create change", finding the boundaries, and exposing and challenging an array of assumptions;
*A simple way to form and articulate a goal statement for your change (pg. 78);
*Why a traditional focus on stakeholders - rather than different types of "settlers" - is often counter-productive (Pg.s 99-100);
*Why change must be sustainable and how to accomplish that (chapt. 11).
Obviously, I highly recommend this book for change agents, project managers, and leaders of all stripes.
Sarah's drawings bring April's words to life. If you are trying to make a change and need to map and instructions, this is the book for you.
I've already started using some of the key principals to make my efforts to change my organization more impactful with more purpose.