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Learning to Change
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Learning to Change
A Guide for Organization Change Agents


October 2002 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"A good balance between theory and practice . . . it definitely fills a void in the [lack of] texts in the area and the change literature in general . . . a good fit for my graduate class on 'Managing Organizational Change.'"

—Anthony F. Buono, McCallum Graduate School of Business, Bentley College

 

"Like Gareth Morgan's Images of Organization, this book is a superb blend of theory and practicality. It demystifies chaos and paradox, and it encourages the understanding of organizational dynamics from multiple perspectives. It is refreshing to read a book that presents diverse theories and interventions so even-handedly."

—Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D., President, OB&D, Inc.

 

Learning to Change: A Guide for Organizational Change Agents provides a comprehensive overview of organizational change theories and practices developed by both U.S. and European change theorists. The authors compare and contrast five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change: yellow print thinking, blue print thinking, red print thinking, green print thinking and white print thinking. They also discuss in detail the steps change agents take, such as diagnosis, change strategy, the intervention plan, and interventions. In addition, they explore the attributes of a successful change agent and provide advice for career and professional development. The book includes case studies that describe multiple approaches to organizational change issues.

 

This book will appeal to both the practitioner and academic audiences. It can be used as a text in graduate courses in change management and will also be a useful reference for consultants and managers.

 

Features:

  • Discusses the abilities, attitudes, and styles of successful change agents
  • Describes five fundamentally different ways of thinking about change
  • Presents a state-of-the-art overview of change management insights, methods, and instruments
  • Summarizes an extensive amount of organizational change literature
  • Supplies readers with useful insights and courses of action that will allow them to design and implement change professionally

 

Learning to Change became a bestseller upon its initial publication in the Netherlands. The color-model on change is very popular among thousands of managers and change consultants and presents a new approach to change processes and a new language for change.


 
Preface
 
Introduction
 
Why Change is so Complicated
On Loosely Coupled Systems  
On Managing and Being Managed  
On Chaos Thinking  
Sociopolitical Mechanisms  
Four Irrational Families of Theries Full Irrationalities  
 
Thinking About Change in Five different Colors
Change Strategies and Approaches  
Five Meanings of the Word Change  
Five Ways of Thinking About Change in More Detail  
Ideals and Pitfalls  
New Colors and 'Super Páradigm'  
Working With Colors: The Joseph and Johanna Case  
 
The Main Elements of Planning Change
Elements of the Method  
The Preceding Change Idea and the Actual Outcome  
History: Driving Factors Behind the Change Idea  
Actors  
The Change Phases  
Communication and Sense Making  
Steering  
Playing With the Elements: A Case Illustration  
 
From Idea to Outcomes
Diagnose  
Change Strategy  
Intervention Plan  
Brainstorming  
Interventions  
Case "Organization X"  
 
Examples of Diagnostic Models
The Eisenhower Principle, Curriculum Vitae, Time Sheets  
Profit Formula for Professional Organizaitons, Herring Bone Diagram, Task Dividion Scheme  
Balanced Scorecard, Portfolio Analysis, Activity-Based Costing  
Competition Structure, Environment Analysis, Experience Curves  
Core Qualities, I/R Professionals, Competencies  
Team Roles, Conditions for Team Success, Roles of the Staff Units  
Culture Types, Organization Configurations, The Organizational Iceberg  
Network Organization, Public Private Cooperation, Industrial Ecology  
Biographical Fit, Power Sources, Levels of Learning  
Optimal Conflict Level, Learning Curve, Process/Result Orientation  
The Clock, the Passage of Resistance, Two Change Forces  
Force-field Analysis, Mega-trends, National Cultures  
In Conclusion to This Chapter  
 
Examples of Intervention

"A good balance between theory and practice . . . it definitely fills a void in the [lack of] texts in the area and the change literature in general . . . a good fit for my graduate class on ‘Managing Organizational Change."

Anthony F. Buono
McCallum Graduate School of Business, Bentley College

"Like Gareth Morgan’s Images of Organization, this book is a superb blend of theory and practicality. It demystifies chaos and paradox, and it encourages the understanding of organizational dynamics from multiple perspectives. It is refreshing to read a book that presents diverse theories and interventions so even-handedly."

Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D., President
OB&D, Inc.
Key features
Strengths:
Contemplative and practical Case studies
  • describe multiple approaches to the same presenting problem. Well-researched and balanced presentation
  • sets out change management ideas without promoting or subscribing to any one particular school of thought engagingly written
  • as one reviewer said: "The authors guide readers with ease through what could have been a cluttered maze of change theories and practices. A superb blend of theory and practicality."  

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