This is one of several paperbacks in the "Essentials" series, each of which offers "cutting edge" thinking on a major business subject. Mike Beer served as the adviser to Richard Luecke while he wrote this volume. Brief information about both is provided. There are seven chapters following an Introduction in which Luecke observes that "Accepting the necessity and inevitability of change enables [all companies and their decision-makers] to see times of transition not as threats but as opportunities -- opportunities for reinventing the company and its culture." Indicators include a merger, acquisition, or divestiture; the launch of a new product or service; a new leader; or a new technology. "In this book you will learn how to manage change constructively, and how to help your company, division, and people deal with the upheavals of change. You'll also learn practical things you can do to make change initiatives more successful and less painful for the people you manage."
Each of the seven chapters (which are arranged in a logical sequence) focuses on a separate but related component of effective management of change and transition. For example, in Chapter 2, Luecke explains why leaders must be respected and effective for change to happen, the role of motivation in change-readiness, the importance of a nonhierarchical culture in implementing change, and then offers several "tips" on how to become "change ready." To me, one of the most valuable chapters is the sixth (in which Luecke examines the four stages of reaction to change (i.e. shock, defensive retreat, acknowledgment, and acceptance and adaptation), how individuals can help themselves navigate change, how managers can help employees cope with change, and alternative ways for managers to think about change registers.
At the conclusion of each of the seven chapters, Luecke offers an especially useful "Summing Up" section which facilitates a periodic review of key points. I also appreciate the provision of Appendix A ("Useful Implementation Tools") and Appendix B ("How to Choose and Work with Consultants"), both of which provide basic but sound information to supplement material covered in the previous chapters.
Those who share my high regard for this volume are urged to check out Jim O'Toole's Leading Change, William Bridges' Transitions and Managing Transitions and Jon Katzenbach's Real Change Leaders, all of which are available in paperback editions.