Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical and pragmatic approach, 27 July 2008
This review is from: The Theory and Practice of Change Management (Paperback)
Change fails over 90% of the time according to Fortune magazine. In October 2007 the Hay Group published research that showed 97% of M&As in the UK and 91% in the EU fail to deliver on the strategic objectives expected. Often the failure comes from a less than ideal focus on leadership and the people aspects of change.

These figures suggest that people and organisations need all the help they can get. So could this book help?

John Hayes is Professor of Management at Leeds University Business School where he teaches change and organisation behaviour. The title immediately overcomes the potential barrier of an academic textbook in that the "practice" aspects are much more widespread than the 2002 edition. It includes material on practical interventions which engage people across the organisation rather than just the change initiator or their team. The other "growth area" is around the "soft skills for hard results" in terms of the stakeholder and leadership aspects together with managing relationships during the process of change.

Throughout the book there is a blend of the academic models, many of which will be familiar to MBAs together with illustrative case studies from Asda, BBC, etc as well as the public sector. These are complemented by reflective exercises which enable the practitioner and the commissioning manager/leader to take a holistic approach to the design of any intervention. All of these will help fill the gaps and abysses into which many change programmes fall.

So, who is the book for?

The immediate answer is for anyone who takes the process and success of change seriously, in that it addresses both the surface and deeper aspects - the latter often given insufficient attention hence the low success rate.

For the change and OD practitioner who wants a comprehensive reference in one place it is an everyday resource to have to hand. Certainly this is "must have" book for the corporate library.

For the practicing manager, whilst very readable, at 400 pages, it is perhaps too long to use in its entirety and is best used accessed by the relevant chapters.

For those of us who, as consultants, are helping organisations and teams through change this is a more accessible and practical book than many of the alternatives. I have certainly found the book a beneficial reminder and refresher of the do's and don'ts for success.
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