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Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World

Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Garvey Berger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A significant contribution towards re-imagining how we go about developing leaders. Jennifer invites leaders and those of us engaged in developing leaders to be more precise in our support and to think anew about the role that organizational context plays. This book calls on us to become more capable, agile, and better aligned with the increasing complexity of a global economy, while showing us how to stitch together an approach to our work that is fit for this task." - Sally DeWitt Miller, Director, Leadership Development Group, Microsoft Corporation "People have been asking for years, 'Where can I go for a rich, practical, and incisive guide to the relationship between adult-developmental theory and coaching?' Now there is an answer. You are holding it, and when you start reading it, it will hold you." - Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, author of In Over Our Heads, and co-author of Immunity to Change "What are the three hardest things in the world to do? How about: 1) transform the culture you're part of; 2) transform a meeting or conversation you're in; and 3) transform your own mind? Want to learn how? A great way to begin is to read Jennifer Garvey Berger's Changing on the Job and begin looking at your own work/life through the lenses she provides." - Bill Torbert, Boston College Leadership Professor Emeritus and Director of Research, Harthill Consulting Ltd. "In increasingly complex times, it really matters that more people are able to think in complex ways. Jennifer Garvey Berger shows how we can change and grow, as adults and leaders, to better handle complexity in all aspects of our lives and work. The ideas in this book are critically important and Jennifer presents them as a compelling story." - Robyn Baker, CEO, New Zealand Council for Educational Research "Destined to become a classic in the field, this is quite simply the best book on leadership and adult development out there. In addition to offering the clearest explication of adult development theory, this book breaks much needed ground in applying the deep insights of theory to practice, and in offering numerous suggestions for working with leaders to expand and transform their ability to cope with complexity. Managers, HR professionals, coaches and others involved in helping leaders grow to meet the demands of our day will greatly benefit from reading this book. So will their clients!" - William H. Hodgetts, Ed.D., Vice President of Enterprise Talent, Fidelity Investments

Product Description

Listen to people in every field and you'll hear a call for more sophisticated leadership—for leaders who can solve more complex problems than the human race has ever faced. But these leaders won't simply come to the fore; we have to develop them, and we must cultivate them as quickly as is humanly possible. Changing on the Job is a means to this end.

As opposed to showing readers how to play the role of a leader in a "paint by numbers" fashion, Changing on the Job builds on theories of adult growth and development to help readers become more thoughtful individuals, capable of leading in any scenario. Moving from the theoretical to the practical, and employing real-world examples, author Jennifer Garvey Berger offers a set of building blocks to help cultivate an agile workforce while improving performance.

Coaches, HR professionals, thoughtful leaders, and anyone who wants to flourish on the job will find this book a vital resource for developing their own capacities and those of the talent that they support.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1623 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Business Books (30 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z24QS0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,102 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the cognitive-developmental coach! 14 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This engagingly written book is accessible for both people who are new to Kegan's Orders of Mind theory on which this book is based as well as those who are already well-versed in the theory. The book is well-structured to reach readers using the book for different purposes: personal development, HRD, organisational development and coaching to name just a few.

As a cognitive-developmental coach this book reads as if it was written for me, as it gives a fantastic insight into approaches which work with clients operating at different levels. However, the book is cleverly constructed to offer plenty of practical insight into the theory to those who are taking a more personal interest as well as those who are looking to use the theory to help others develop. One of the best coaching books on my (groaning) bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, concise and operational. 25 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book. Building on the work of Robert Kegan, Garvey Berger outlines for coaches and consultants meaningful and practical ways to engage with clients. There are a number of models of adult development, of which Kegan's is just one. Nevertheless, these frameworks, whilst differently annotated, have broadly similar characteristics. So arguments about which " church" this text is allied to, are immaterial. Garvey Berger produces in a clear and useful way a structured approach to deeper psychological work. For the curious it is fascinating and insightful. For the working consultant and coach it has multiple practical applications. Garvey Berger stands out as a leading thinker in the emerging field of developmental coaching.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Useful book on change 2 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very insightful and useful way at looking at change.
I am a fan of Bob Kegan and very happy to see how well this author has developed the methodology to practical use.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformational Leadership 7 Jan 2012
By mnomalley - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't know where to start. I got so much out of this thoughtful, beautifully written book. Importantly, it provides a comprehensive definition of what it means to be a transformational leader (referred to as self-transforming in the book): in the way they think, take action, and interact with others. Additionally, I appreciated the balanced treatment in that Garvey-Berger doesn't assume that a high level of thought necessarily translates into better leadership since, like everyone, even transformational leaders have their blindspots and have to deal with people who are dissimilar -- and not all goes smoothly. Above all else, the author provides leaders and coaches with guidance on how to develop and function more fully and expansively on the job, in meetings, and in any other endeavor where people are called upon to work harmoniously and productively together. This is a one-of-a-kind book that is a prototype for what business writing should be. Michael O'Malley, author of Leading with Kindness; The Wisdom of Bees; and Every Leader is an Artist (forthcoming).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changing complexity and leadership on the job: So what? 3 Oct 2012
By Steven Michael Carpenter - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jennifer Garvey Berger has a clear and distinct voice. The larger discourse that this book tackles -- complexity, constructive developmentalism (CD), and their application to leadership -- speaks to a wide range of debate amongst a wider range of readers. The author leverages her experience in the constructive development world in a way that those who are not experts will be educated. She uses the context of CD theory to lay the groundwork for applying the concepts of complexity, coaching, and change in today's work environment.

The book is well organized into three parts; Growing complexity, where she sets the context and backstory; Helping others grow, where she addresses how individuals grow differently and how to work within that individualism; and Changing on the job, where she applies the developmental theories to leadership within the workplace and within the structure of organizations.

Jennifer's style is straight-forward and easy to comprehend. If you are a novice to CD theory, she will intrigue your interest. If you are graduate student or CD practitioner, you will find new insight about applications and developments in change and leadership theory. The most compelling aspect of her book for me has been her ability to make sense of complex theory in a practical, pragmatic application. Most specifically, Jennifer asks the most important question that should be asked of any theory, and applies that to her work, "So what?" Jennifer is critical of CD theory, of her own application of the theory to the workplace, and it is this critical view that makes here work more valuable in that it is practical and applicable.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applying Systems Thinking to Coaching 11 July 2013
By factoid junkie - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The majority of leadership development still focuses on competence and seldom advances to higher order ways of thinking and being a leader. Many development cycles contain a series of activities or instructional periods (both in-house or staged at a university) that provide overviews of system-thinking. I know many a mid to senior level leader who can use terms like "systemic difficulties," ""unintended consequences," or "strategic ambiguity" without demonstrating how to use this level of thinking or communicating on the job.

The author provides us a practical and helpful look at how to coach against a familiar, but well developed theory of mind (mental stages) that helps individuals actually think in complex terms, not just use the terms conversationally. I believe the leadership development community is better at coaching individuals to move from self-authoring to self-transforming than we are at teaching them (in an instructional manner). Current teaching models and normal maturation allow many to reach self-authoring, but the paucity of available self-transforming exemplars means many plateau at self-authoring.

The author encourages a focus on listening to a manager's symbolic lines of reasoning (metaphor and story) as a way to map mental boundaries. Helping leaders communicate complexity through better stories and metaphor is the traveling companion to helping them think and calculate strategically.

A terrific book for those genuinely interested in helping maturing managers up their game to a more complex plane.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for all leaders in organizations 2 Oct 2014
By Kelly Sachter - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has been an invaluable resource to me as a manager to understand adult development and how this influences the relational dynamics that come up in supervisory relationships. In my field (social work/psychology/mental health/child welfare), we often talk about child development and expect that when you reach a certain age, everyone should be on the same playing field, as if development has stopped. This book helps look at the continuation of brain/thought development to gain an understanding of the different mindsets and worlds that we are each living in. When we understand the variety of human perspective, we can better work together and be effective leaders, working to everyone's strengths.

Jennifer Garvey Berger's voice shines throughout the book as a knowledgeable colleague helping to navigate the relationships that I see everyday in my role. Her writing is both challenging and accessible at the same time. I would purchase any book by this author.

I actually need to buy a new copy of this one as I never received mine back after lending it to someone to improve leadership in the organization. It must be invaluable to that person as well!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource to learn about adult development 23 May 2014
By Messy Miracles - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm an experienced executive and team coach who's become interested in learning more about building leadership capacity for our more complex and VUCA world. This is one of the most in depth guides I've come across that's helping me learn and apply the concepts of the stages of adult development to my actual coaching clients. I took my time reading it and it's very content-rich, but not too complex to understand. I particularly like the way Ms Garvey Berger focused on supporting the 'growth edge' by helping clients discover it, then in Chapter 4 provides specific tools/coaching interventions to expand capacity. If you are really interested In leadership and adult development, this book is a good choice.
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