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The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (A Fifth Discipline Resource) Paperback – 15 Apr 1999


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The Dance of Change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations (A Fifth Discipline Resource) + The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization: Second edition + The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies for Building a Learning Organization
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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (15 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857882431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857882438
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 3.3 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

In a constantly changing world, businesses need to be constantly changing to keep up. The trouble is, as anybody with even a limited experience of business knows, the majority of change programmes fail. Reengineering, Total Quality Management, Empowerment, all tend to peter out unfinished in most companies, despite the application of substantial resources and the best efforts of top management.

The premise of this book is that the solution is not more of the same-- more experts, more advice or better leadership. (In fact the book takes some pains to establish that business leaders are rarely powerful enough to drive change from the top.) What is needed, it argues, is a better understanding of the factors that limit change and the nurturing of leadership at all levels in the organisation. Peter Senge and his team identify 10 factors such as "not enough time, fear and anxiety" and "not relevant" which obstruct change and they aim to provide a framework for dealing with these obstacles. Senge is a senior lecturer at MIT and Chairman of the Society for Occupational Learning and this book draws heavily on his previous works, Fifth Discipline and The Fifth Discipline Field Book.

It is serious and substantial. But what separates it from the many other books on similar themes are its detailed analysis and structure. This is a text book bearing many of the same qualities as texts you might have used at school. In modern parlance it as an "interactive book"--but of the highest order. The reader isn't merely a passive audience, instead he or she is invited to browse, to read the book in any direction and to dip in and out in any order they like. The reader is encouraged to participate with exercises and techniques and to engage others in their organisation to debate issues. --Alex Benady

Review

PRAISE FOR THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE SERIES 'If you believe, as I do, that people are the only long-term competitive advantage and lifelong learning is the way to fully develop that advantage, you must read this book. It's about the real work, the work of implementation!' -Richard F. Teerlink, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson, Inc. 'Senge's message of growth and prosperity holds strong appeal for today's business leaders.' --Fortune 'Peter Senge's concepts take work. They take time. They take personal commitment. But, I believe, they hold the potential for sustained success.' --Robert E. Allen, Chairman of the Board, AT&T 'Peter Senge's advocacy of the learning organization helped begin a revolution in the workplace. And, the relevance of Senge's work is growing rather than diminishing over time. As more businesses go global, the need to overcome psychological barriers to necessary organizational change increases.' --Management Today 'A landmark book.' --Christian Century 'This should be a valuable guide and reference to those leading, or simply taking part in, organizational transformation. There's a lot to learn and use in the Fieldbook.' -Philip Carroll, President and CEO, Shell Oil Company

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 5 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
This book completes Peter Senge's trilogy on learning organizations. After The fifth discipline and The fifth discipline fieldbook comes The dance of change: The Challenges of Sustaining Momentum in a Learning Organisation.
The first book lays the theoretical foundation, and introduces the five disciplines which Peter Senge believes are the key to creating learning organizations. They are personal mastery, systems thinking, shared vision, team learning and mental models. The second book contains practical tips on how to implement each of the five disciplines. By now we're already past the 1000-page mark.
The dance of change brings the tally up another 550 pages, and deals with the challenges that all change initiatives in organizations meet. The link between change and learning permeates the book. You can't turn an organization into a learning organization without changing. Conversely, any strategic change in a company, that doesn't contain learning in some form is probably doomed. So change is learning and learning is change.
I won't go into any details about the books contents (there are just too many), but the book contains a huge number of eye openers (for me at least).
The book outlines three dynamics that promote change - and ten dynamics that hinder it, (see - the odds are stacked against change from the beginning). Each of these is described thoroughly, with plenty of exercises, tips and case stories (I just love a good case story).
Reading the book will give you a much better understanding of why so many change initiatives fail (70% fail according to some statistics). And more importantly, there are plenty of tips to make sure that your next strategy will succeed.
As usual from Peter Senge the book is well written, extremely well structured, and fairly easy to read. I cannot recommend this book enough, and learn much more about change.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
I have scan-read this book only, having ordered it from Amazon on approval. I am a trainer and personal coach in management, leadership and personal development. I require two types of books a) those which further develop my knowledge and skills to teach others. b) those which I may pass to my "students" to read for their own learning.
Bearing all the above in mind, I have this to say about the book.
It is suitable for business leaders responsible for conceiving and implementing change. It is quite "heavy" and therefore not for the faint-hearted. It is less suitable for those having policy changes imposed on them from "above" in the organisation. It is not suitable for those needing to learn leadership skills in an organisation which is largely conventional and static,unless they are being called upon to make it less traditional!
The "crown" system is difficult. For those needing to implement change I would classify it as a five star. For "maintenance" leaders the text is less relevant.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
Of the FIFTH DISCIPLINE SERIES books, THE DANCE OF CHANGE is by far the most important. THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE and THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK are wonderful, valuable books, but they largely avoid the tough question of how to sustain a Learning Organization initiative. Based on lots of experiences in different companies, THE DANCE OF CHANGE is the most realistic, thorough, thoughtful work on achieving large-scale organizational change that has ever been my pleasure to read. I immediately found it helpful in overcoming some of my bad habits (including falling in love with my own jargon rather than using common English). Like THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK, THE DANCE OF CHANGE allows you to focus on the areas where you need help the most. The beginning is a wonderful systems-dynamic analysis of how successful change occurs, and how it can be derailed. Even if you do not want to have a Learning Organization, you will find THE DANCE OF CHANGE very valuable for giving you direction on how to achieve permanent, valuable changes. On the subject of achieving the strategy you wish to implement, I strongly urge you to also read THE BALANCED SCORECARD. These books are good complements to each other.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really good to dip in and out of, I'm currently doing my MA in leadership and found this invaluable when writing my assignments, well worth buying
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Don't buy this $4.95 eBook 7 July 2005
By Y. HUANG - Published on Amazon.com
The $4.95 eBook is not digital edition of Peter Senge's book. It is merely a 14-page introduction to the book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Best Long-Term Perspective on Change Management 14 Sep 2004
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Of the FIFTH DISCIPLINE SERIES books, THE DANCE OF CHANGE is by far the most important for you to understand. THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE and THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK are wonderful, valuable books, but they largely avoid the tough question of how to sustain a Learning Organization initiative. Based on lots of experiences in different companies, THE DANCE OF CHANGE is the most realistic, thorough, thoughtful work on achieving large-scale organizational change that has ever been my pleasure to read. I immediately found it helpful in overcoming some of my bad habits (including falling in love with my own jargon rather than using common English). Since I first read the book about 9 months ago, I have found it affecting my consulting practice by causing me to focus more on lasting change, than immediate change. That's an important lesson for everyone. Like THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK, THE DANCE OF CHANGE allows you to focus on the areas where you need help the most. The beginning is a wonderful systems-dynamic analysis of how successful change occurs, and how it can be derailed. Like THE FIFTH DISCIPLINE FIELDBOOK, you do not need to read THE DANCE OF CHANGE from front to back. I found myself skipping around, and enjoyed the experience. Even if you do not want to have a Learning Organization, you will find THE DANCE OF CHANGE very valuable for giving you direction on how to achieve permanent, valuable changes. On the subject of achieving the strategy you wish to implement, I strongly urge you to also read THE BALANCED SCORECARD. These books are good complements to each other. For picking up on your most important issues, you will find Peter Drucker's MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY to be invaluable.
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