Books

New Eyes

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A book from the Change Leaders, a community of practice dedicated to see change practices applied based on data, on respect for the individuals involved and on bringing sustainable results. The book includes eight practical ways to simplify complexity, handle turbulence and improve results in change and business transformation.

  • Have two effective tools for better trust and integrity in organisations
  • Identify your change leadership communications style – wolf, parrot, spider or koala?
  • Use performance metrics to drive transformation globally
  • See a pathway to explore new organisational structures
  • Be able to lead integrating big data, customer centricity and innovation
  • Discover how to begin unlocking lock-in in your mind
  • Improve value created from projects at Board Level
  • Know when to apply innovative approaches to complex human change

Margareta Barchan and Jeanne Westervelt Rice suggest two approaches they have found effective in influencing organisational and personal values. They suggest thoughtful practices in the work place, namely guided dialogues and reflective writing. They also address the inadequacy of Codes of Conduct in promoting ethical behaviour.

Susan Goldsworthy takes a fresh look at the power of communications and its effective use by leaders. She enlists social psychology and motivational theory to offer suggestions for more effective approaches. Are you a wolf, parrot, spider or koala in how you lead and communicate change?

Silke Grotegut, Anja Reitz, and Wulf Schönberg consider the organisation of the future. They call it Organisation 3.0. They point to multi-generational sharing of work processes, the increasing role of personal values, longer and healthier life spans, the ubiquity of work, the growing impact of social media, and employee empowerment.

Martin Thomas addresses long term sustainable business performance. Using scenarios, he projects out to 2050 to look back on what leading organisations would do today. Thomas proposes to use Purposeful Self-Renewing Organisations as a construct for a re-assessment of performance measurement systems in corporate governance.

Mick Yates considers Big Data and its broad impact in our lives, and the need for “Big Data Leaders”. Yates discusses how the value of Big Data can be realised, notably by embracing customer centricity and creating innovation networks. He also introduces a pragmatic leadership framework for enabling organisational change and performance.

John O’Loan sees that digital technology is not only changing the exterior nature of reality but also our interior landscape, our brains and minds. In an age of hypertext and cut-and-paste, we process information differently and hence think differently. O’Loan brings to bear the work of Walter Ong, Dan Tapscott, and particularly Jason Lanier.

Joanne Flinn and Alexander Budzier look at two key entities in the changing world of work: Boards of Directors and project teams. The former wield significant power over policy and execution. Project teams form the means for which work actually gets done. Flinn and Budzier explore the nature of risk and how it can be misperceived.

Jane Lewis and Roberto Saco tackle one of the most surprising and unusual change management movements of the past 15 years, Positive Deviance, also called the Bright Spots approach to change. They delve into the nitty-gritty of work in the field, and address the wider aspects of fit within the landscape of change management methods.

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An extract from the forward by Art Kleiner 

I’m suggesting that the word “change” might be a misnomer for the real subject of this book: the progress of organisations to a generally better place. In the spirit of being careful what you wish for, serious change may be the opposite of what the organisation truly needs. The leader may really want to have an organisation that is more like the best of itself, and not really changed at all.

This fits more closely with the way human society was organised for millennia. Before the industrial revolution, organisations were expected to improve slowly. Most people grew up expecting to live all their lives in a locked-in society, unaware of alternatives. Even entrepreneurs were stable souls, members of great lineages of traders and merchants. They spent their lives fulfilling business relationships that had been forged generations before; they married deliberately to ensure that their family-owned enterprises would continue. Change was not a cure for organisational problems; it was a disease.

But if change isn’t really change, then organisational interveners face a dilemma. They are expected to produce a genuine transformation, but they’re most effective if they help a company get closer to its identity. They’re also working with people who evolved their organisational senses through millennia of stability. Not only that.

The principles by which change occurs are untested, unpredictable, obscure, and often mutually contradictory. They are hired under a variety of named purposes, but they are usually asked the same thing: to align the formal structures – codes of conduct, written rules, reporting relationships, and so on – with the unwritten knowledge and behaviour that comprises an organisation’s culture. In other words, they have to bring change the rigid, while celebrating the stability and identity of the evanescent. To accomplish this, they use a variety of techniques which you will read about in this volume: writing, workshops, scenarios, playgrounds for adults, and so on. They propose a variety of organisational redesign moves, including abandoning hierarchic in favour of workflows, and codifying ethics and externalities.

The result is a book of theories of organisational change – with the third definition: the progress of organisations toward a generally better place. We may never reach a time of perfect consensus of what a better place means, or how one should get there. And the theories in this book are far from uniform. But organisational change should not be treated as a science. It is an emerging craft, with true mastery attainable by those who practice. Here are the starting points.

Art Kleiner

New York, August 2013

Art Kleiner is editor-in-chief of strategy+business. the award-winning management magazine published quarterly in print and weekly online by Booz & Company. He is the author of The Age of Heretic, and Who Really Matters: The Core Group Theory of Power Privilege and Success. Formerly, he was the editorial director of Peter Senge‘s Fifth Discipline Fieldbook series and on editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue.

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“New Eyes offers leading edge thinking about leadership and change. the ideas are fresh, challenging and grounded in reality. It also honors how difficult culture change is, how it requires something more than tools and training. It is about an act of faith much more profound than solving a problem or meeting the expectations of a market”.

Peter Block, best selling author Stewardship, Freedom and accountability at Work, and Community:The Structure of Belonging

“This book’s great value is a number of open windows onto the worlds of change leaders in institutions and corporations, allowing readers to tap into what’s happening in an evolving field”.

Dr. Patricia Shaw, Visiting Professor, Business School of Hertfordshire University

“New Eyes is undoubtedly extremely relevant for everyone responsible for leading change”.

Betrand Moingeon, Professor & Deputy Dean, HEC Paris

“New Eyes is a welcome addition in a growing movement to foster an ecosystem of leadership approaches to complex adaptive systems”.

Jon C. Lloyd, MD, Sr. Associate Positive Deviance Initiative

“I heartily recommend this insightful book to leaders everywhere”.

Bharat Wakhlu, Resident Director, Tata Services (India)

“New Eyes helps the change leadership conversation”.

Maria Pathrose, Strategic Programs, HP-Shell