Summary of Making Change Happen

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Making Change Happen book summary
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Rating

6

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

Ken Matejka and Al Murphy take the principles of change that others have pioneered and present them in an exceptionally clear and applicable fashion. However, for a book on change, this one presents few new ideas. In fact, at times, the authors' statements come close to being hoary platitudes. Still, the book provides good advice - platitudes get that way because they express well-known truths - and its presentation is even better. The book takes the form of a useful manual, with tips, questionnaires, checklists, definitions and diagrams. Name your favorite tool; it's here. However, don't let the book's utility deceive you into thinking that you'll be able to handle even the most revolutionary and disruptive transformations with a little reflection and a clipboard. In real life, change is more complicated than a few checklists. getAbstract recommends this book to beginners to whom the clichés will seem newly minted, and to experienced managers who can take advantage of the organizing tools while retaining their awareness that true change is always a messy business.

About the Authors

Ken Matejka, a professor at Duquesne University, has published five business books, including A Manager's Guide to the Millennium. Al Murphy is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University and a consultant on change.

 

Summary

The Corporation - It's Alive!

You already know you're living in a time of fast and sweeping change - and that's not going to change. So, you must learn how organizations change, what you can do to smooth the way and what obstacles you'll face.

People once viewed corporations as "fine-tuned machines." Now they perceive them as organisms, living creatures caught in a Darwinian struggle to adapt or die. The situation has created paradoxes such as the following:

  • Strategizing about change requires time, yet today's challenges often require you to take quick action.
  • Organizational change happens on the individual level.
  • You make a profit by repeating well-known processes - doing what you've always done. Changes in strategy will disrupt your organization's efficiency.

To persuade people to change, you'll have to make them unhappy with things as they are - no easy task, since most people prefer the devil they know to the devil they don't know.

Do You Really Have to Change?

To guide your organization through change, identify what's driving the urge to change. Is change necessary? Will it give you an edge over a competitor...


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