Popular wisdom suggests that about 80 percent of all change initiatives end in failure. More alarming still for top managers, a 2005 BusinessWeek survey of 1,087 corporate directors found that 31 percent of CEOs fired by their boards were removed because they mismanaged change ? more than any other reason given. Why is this happening and why do we need another book purporting to have ?the answer?? Herold and Fedor have spent the last ten years pursuing this question through a series of studies that have examined more than 300 organizational changes and over 8,000 individuals who have lived through them. They asked executives to think of an unsuccessful change initiative and to identify the key factors that were responsible for the failure. They found that, while almost all advice about organizational change focuses on a few steps applied to a single change, few people actually lived in a ?one change at a time? environment; rather, they lived on a ?roller coaster of change,? with overlapping changes being driven by different events, led by different executives, and originating from different parts of the organization. In other words, change is never a stepwise or easily prescribed process. Rather, it is messy, complicated, and its outcomes are easily swayed by a host of factors. In this context, leaders need to develop and utilize realistic frameworks for organizational change. They need to implement a holistic change model that takes account of both the abilities of those who will be asked to lead and carry out the change and the context in which the change is to occur. Herold and Fedor developed such a model and then reality-tested their ideas by bouncing them off hundreds of managers who were living change on a day-to-day basis. Those ideas are collected in this practical book, which will be of use to anyone who is likely to lead change initiatives in almost any organizational environment-from executives, to consultants, to management students.
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David M. Herold now professor emeritus, was the Gary T and Elizabeth R Jones Professor of Management and area coordinator for organizational behavior and Human Resource Management at the College of Management, Georgia Institute of Technology. His research has been published in the major management and psychology journals, and he is a popular educator with a variety of executive audience. He has consulted for many organizations, including Lockheed Martin Corp, NASA, Ford Motor Co, and the MITRE Corp.
Donald B Fedor is currently a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the College of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has worked with organizations such as General Motors, Milliken & Company, IBM, Corning and The March of Dimes, and has received research support from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Institute, and the Institute for Paper Science and Technology.
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