Summary of Leading Continuous Change

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable


Change consultant Bill Pasmore compares leading change initiatives to riding an old, rickety New York roller coaster called the “Comet.” You either hold on for dear life, or you learn to manage it. This is a cautionary tale for anyone who expects to execute complex change by following a standardized set of steps. Pasmore uses odd snippets from case studies and distracting analogies instead of actual, concrete examples. But he offers a realistic description of what it takes to lead organizational change. He describes a hard road of setbacks navigable only by careful examination and experimentation. You must learn, adjust and improve slowly, after years of practice. getAbstract recommends this quick read about a slow, steady process to leaders and anyone else facing with multiple, simultaneous change initiatives. 

About the Author

Bill Pasmore consults for large firms and does research at the Center for Creative Leadership. 



Riding the “Comet”

The great majority of change efforts fail. Leaders often approach each change separately rather than planning all of their change initiatives holistically. Globalization and technology put change and disruption on a fast track. To try to keep pace, companies implement complex enterprise technology, and acquire or merge with other enterprises. Leaders can underestimate the amount of change they need to implement to build operations abroad. Global expansion means enormous, complex change, which often can defeat the most admired leaders – such as those at Procter & Gamble and Walmart. Modern business propels leaders into uncertainty like a “roller coaster,” including ups and downs, blind corners and fear. If you step off the roller coaster, you’re certain to fail. Intricate change rolls on continuously and affects everything in your organization. You may feel that you’ll never catch up. Instead, you can anticipate and prepare for the “3 Cs – complex, continuous change.”

You can learn to leverage and manage change, just don’t think you can control it fully or that you can count on a happy ending. Just ask Blockbuster, Borders...

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    M. M. 2 years ago
    Mairi Eliphaz Mark Lubang.
    Thanks for the summary, it helps me to identify issues that require changes, development and innovation in an organization