Change or Die
How to Transform Your Organization from the Inside Out
by M. David Dealy, Andrew R. Thomas
November 2005, 112pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98405-2
$64, £48, 56€, A87
Paperback: 978-0-313-36192-0
$20, £15, 18€, A28
eBook Available: 978-0-313-02724-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Identifies the five key qualities of people and organizations with the courage and insight to inspire positive change—and get results.

For every business, the choice is stark: Change—or die. At any moment, fully two-thirds of America’s companies claim to be in the midst of some type of organizational revamping, though most of these initiatives will fail. What many companies neglect to recognize is that organizational change needs to come from within, no matter how profound the external forces. Positive change requires change agents throughout the organization—those individuals who can translate the strategic vision of leaders into pragmatic behavior. This book identifies the qualities of great change agents and how these skills can be mastered to serve as a catalyst for change throughout the organization. Illustrating these principles through examples from world-class organizations, Dealy and Thomas highlight the five key qualities of great change agents; they: * challenge the status quo; * stoke the fire of creativity; * embrace the necessity of conflict; * manage risk rather than avoid it; and * develop new change agents. Bringing the process of change out of the realm of the analysts and consultants and to the front lines, the authors show you how to thrive in a world that demands nothing less than continuous change.

For every business, the choice is stark: Change—or die. At any moment, fully two-thirds of America’s companies claim to be in the midst of some type of organizational revamping. We don’t need research from the Harvard Business School (even though it has been conducted) to tell us that most of these initiatives will fail. The business landscape is littered with the carcasses of giants who were unable to adapt to change—Digital, Prime, Wang, and Polaroid, to name a few. What many companies fail to recognize is that organizational change needs to come from within, no matter how profound the external forces. Positive change requires change agents throughout the organization—those individuals who can translate the strategic vision of leaders into pragmatic behavior. They will be the early adopters of the new values, actions, and skills required by the company.

This book identifies the qualities of great change agents and how these skills can be mastered to serve as a catalyst for change throughout the organization. Illustrating these principles through examples from world-class organizations, Dealy and Thomas demonstrate the techniques for acquiring and executing those skills-and how corporate leaders can encourage and reward this behavior, creating a culture of risk-taking, innovation, and a focus on the future. From seasoned executives to entry-level employees, readers will learn that great change agents: * challenge the status quo; * stoke the fire of creativity; * embrace the necessity of conflict; * manage risk rather than avoid it; and * develop new change agents. Bringing the process of change out of the realm of the analysts and consultants and to the front lines, the authors show you how to thrive in a world that demands nothing less than continuous change.

M. David Dealy is Senior Vice President of Transportation for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. A twenty-five-year veteran of railroad management, he has served in top-level positions in operations and marketing throughout the industry, as well as on the boards of several companies and non-profits, including the National Alzheimer's Association. With Andrew Thomas, he is coauthor of Defining the Really Great Boss (Praeger, 2004).

Andrew R. Thomas, PhD, is assistant professor of international business and associate director of The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at University of Akron. A New York Times bestselling writer, he is author, coauthor, or editor of 15 books including, Direct Marketing in Actionn: Cutting-Edge Strategies for Finding the Best Customers, Supply Chain Security: International Practices and Innovations for Moving Goods Safely, Change or Die!: How to Transform Your Organization from the Inside Out, Managing by Accountability: What Every Leader Needs to Know about Responsibility, Integrity—and Results, Global Manifest Destiny: Growing Your Business in a Borderless Economy, and Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel.

Reviews

"Dealy, senior vice president of transportation for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, highlights the key qualities of change agents who challenge the status quo. He outlines techniques for embracing conflict, managing risk, and developing new change agents, and demonstrates how corporate leaders can encourage and reward this behavior. Co-author Andrew R. Thomas teaches international business at the University of Akron."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2006

"Change - Or Die! is the right book at the right time about one of the most critical issues facing almost every company today - how to constantly adapt and change while maintaining a laser-sharp focus."—John P. Rathbone, Executive Vice-President Administration, Norfolk Southern Coroporation

"Change' is the one constant in our lives. M. David Dealy and Andrew Thomas 'get it,' and they help the rest of us 'get it,' too. Successfully transforming any organization takes leadership from within. I have made this book mandatory reading for my team, and recommend it to anyone who wants to make change work as a positive in their organization."—Jim Schultz, Senior Vice President, Employee and Customer Engagement, Waste Management Inc.
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