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Managing at the Speed of Change: How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail Paperback – 30 Oct 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; New Ed edition (30 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471974943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471974949
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"Through the author's creative and strategic use of storytelling, Managing at the Speed of Change paints a compelling picture: The biggest, most expensive thing that can derail success is resistance to change in all its forms, from arrogance and complacency to fear or ignorance. As an authority on change management, Conner writes a wonderful prescription, providing relief not just in the race for business but on a personal level, too."-Bob Nardelli, chairman, president, and CEO, The Home Depot "While many of the concepts in this book's first publication have now become classic, they are every bit as relevant and impactful, especially to an organization for whom change is an imperative."-Howard Pien, chairman and CEO, Chiron Corporation "Managing at the Speed of Change provides essential working knowledge for anyone leading or implementing major change. I have been using this material since it was first published, and it is as valuable today as it was then. Daryl Conner's insights are timeless and enduring."-Valerie Norton, executive director, organizational development, Merck and Company, Inc. "It is refreshing to finally read a book that contains simple, clear, actionable concepts and ideas that deal with change management and can be used by all levels of management who face today's staggering business realities. I found Mr. Conner's book to be educational, thought-provoking, insightful, and stimulating. He recognizes 'the need for speed.' "-Lloyd H. Dean, president and CEO, Catholic Healthcare West

From the Back Cover

"If you′re initiating major change, prepare yourself by taking two aspirin, read Darly′s book, and get plenty of rest" Craig E. Weatherup, Chairman and CEO, Pepsi–Cola North America Finally, an indispensable source for anyone – from mid–level managers through to top–level executives – who needs to implement business decisions on time and within budget. In today′s ever–fluctuating world, it′s not enough to recognize that you and the way you do business need to change. You must know how to make changes quickly, effectively and economically or you are bound to fail. Everywhere today you hear the concern of those trying to adapt to the rapid flux created by an uncertain economy, ever–changing market demands, and the threat of international competition. Businesses worry that they can′t keep up, and every day another corporation falls prey to the myth that the status quo still works. Daryl Conner, president and founder of the consulting firm Organizational Development Resources, Inc. (ODR), is the world′s number one expert on change management. Conner has taken his twenty years of change management experience and written a ground–breaking guide on resilient, successful change. His system focuses on how to change rather than what to change. Business people at all levels now face the major challenge of initiating company–wide reorganization plans, responding quickly to competition, establishing new products and markets, and adapting themselves smoothly to fluctuations in the economy.

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The mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once observed that "the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the society in which they occur. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "pkarp15" on 14 Sept. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Working for one of the Big 4 consultancies I charged myself with the goal of learning more about Change Management. I found Conner's work to be just what I was looking for. Not only did I get a great introduction to the topic, but found Conner's real life examples to be quite fascinating - stuff to which I could easily relate. Particularly enjoyed the section on Synergy which is of course extremely useful for broader maangement issues.
The only negative comment I might make is that he tends to re-iterate points slightly too much though this will, of course, help in the learning process.
Overall, a great work and highly recommended.
A great work, highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
In part because author Daryl R. Conner applies common sense ideas, and in part because his ideas have spread throughout corporate culture, some aspects of this book may seem familiar. Conner would probably count that as a positive development, because one of his core premises is that change is exhausting and, therefore, you should try to make changes as palatable as possible to the people they will affect. Thomas Edison did this by making the first electric lights resemble the already-familiar gas fixtures. But even if you've heard all of this before, don't underestimate the book's usefulness. Conner's theories may not surprise you, but he offers many immediately applicable tools for dealing with change, and he uses clear, expressive language to do so. Because you'll learn several useful tips if you read even a few pages, we recommend this book to anyone guiding any kind of organization - family, nonprofit, business or school - through change.
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Format: Paperback
After reading several articles and books, I was at a loss to read anything about Change Management which made any sense. This book is comprehensive, clear and to the point with relevant and useful examples. On reading this book you will get an insight into what drives change, the process of change, the barriers and behaviours that inhibit change.

I found it fascinating on a personal level and both insightful and resourceful on an academic and professional level, as I am currently studying my MBA.

I would highly recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A "Must Read" Book for IT Pros and Project Managers 23 May 2001
By John Williamson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an IT consultant and project manager, dealing with change management occurs on an almost daily basis. Sometimes change management works, and works well, but all too often it fails miserably. Here is an author who understands why this happens and how to remedy the problem.
Author Conner runs one of the foremost consulting firms devoted exclusively to change. He is experienced, and has an easy writing style, allowing you to completely focus on what he says rather than hammering through loads of hype, meaningless acronyms and technical gobbledygook. He explains clearly why change initiatives often don't seem to stay in place after the initial implementation of the change. He then offers sound recommendations on the roles and responsibilities required to execute changes, along with the various pros and cons of different infrastructures for those roles.
Conner illustrates that each of us moves through our lives at our own speed of change, and how we have the ability to enhance our skills by understanding the uniqueness of people who have effectively dealt with change. These people have a vast amount of flexibility, differentiated by being extremely focused, highly resilient, well organized, and very proactive. When people like this work within the configuration of change, leading others through the eight models in the organizational change process, constructive results are bound to happen.
This is definitely a powerful, five-star book, and one that I have no hesitation putting on my personal list of the top "must read" books for IT professionals and project managers at all levels.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Nice combination of some standard and some new concepts 19 Mar. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Conner has introduced some interesting concepts in addition to a thorough treatment of how to increase personal and organizational "resilience" to change.
Conner explains why so many change initiatives don't seem to "stick" after the initial roll out of the change. He offers some concrete recommendations on the roles required to execute a change, and the pros and cons of different organizational structures for those roles.
Another interesting concept he introduces is that there is an extra cost associated with being "surprised that we are surprised." During the course of a change, unexpected events occur -- if we are expecting to be surprised, we are better able to absorb the events even if we don't know what they are in advance. This is a strong argument for communicating early and frequently to an organization before and during the change process, rather than holding off until every tiny detail of the change has been worked out.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This Book Will Help You Manage 29 Aug. 2005
By Readalots - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Daryl Connor has offered a management success classic with "Managing At the Speed of Change". His is a unique study in how to overcome others' failures in managing (you can learn from others' mistakes and Connor shows you how).

Connor's non technical style makes his 281 pages (hardback) interesting and informative. He defines a problem, suggests a remedy, and then proffers effective resolution.

Connor's greatest contribution comes through his discussions about change and its management. He says that resilient people are those who succeed. The book studies change imperatives and how one becomes more resilient. (His five basic characteristics of resilience, on page 238, are fascinating and illuminating.)

The book offers a plethora of graphs and drawings to illustrate Connor's thinking. His views will certainly create discussion in business courses and mangement training groups.

One of Connor's many helpful dictums arrives in his presentation for implementing the "synergistic process" (page 212 and following). He suggests four approaches for successfully implementation: (1) strategize, (2) monitor and reinforce, (3) remain team focused, and (4) update. Connor understand these to be "vital elements" for sound management practices. (For me, they are working.)

Connor's discussion of the unseen dangers in management is also helpful. His section on crisis management (chapter 14) is brilliant. His talk about Danger-Oriented People and Opportunity-Oriented People (pages 232-238) is alone worth the price of the book.

This book is recommended to all managers, to any who are looking to grow their careers in our fast-paced society, and those who study change.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Facing the Beast Called Change - This Book Does That Superbly 12 July 2007
By Lisa Nirell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have lived through over a decade of watching companies waste millions on failed software implementations, sales initiatives, and -- yes--the much dreaded "Business Process Re-engineering."

After reading Daryl's book three times, I have distilled his 30 years' of wisdom down to some probing questions. I recommend every company undergoing significant change consider these questions as "book discussion guide..."

1. What is the most profound change you face as a leader? Please think through all lenses, including client changes, industry, regulatory, global, demographic, political, environmental, technology, and personal/health/spiritual/relationships.

2. Daryl Conner says "our lives are the most effective and efficient when we are moving at a speed that allows us to appropriately assimilate the changes we face."

What phase of assimilation is your team experiencing now? (Chapter 8)

3. "Future shock" is the point where humans can no longer assimilate change without displaying dysfunctional behavior. Name 3 dysfunctional behaviors that represent future shock in your company.

Now describe how you would help your colleague change those behavior(s). (pages 55-57).

4. Conner describes how "The Beast" loves to take dreams and turn them into nightmares. What is the loudest message The Beast says within your culture?

5. What are the top 3 change initiatives within your organization today?

6. What key values (behaviors, beliefs or assumptions) are essential to supporting these most pressing change initiatives?

7. Name 1 behavior you are willing to change to foster synergy and resilience (Chapters 12-14).

I have used these questions with my clients to help them gain more focus on what's important, eliminate what is not important, and align their teams towards a common goal. I trust you may benefit from them as well.

Thank you, Daryl, for your dedication to helping leaders in highly volatile times.

Lisa Nirell
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Managing at the Speed of Your Change! 19 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Conner's premise is that all of us move through life at our own speed of change, and that we have the ability to enhance our skills by understanding the characterisitcs of people who have successfully dealt with change. These people have an enormous amount of resilience, characterized by being positive, focused, flexible, organized, and proactive. When these resilient people work within the structure of change, and lead others through the eight patterns in the organizational change process, positive results happen. This book is powerful, and few authors have shared their personal experience with change as openly as Conner, which lends this book a credibility few can match. When read with William Bridges' "Transitions", you have a 1-2 punch in making change your ally.
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