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Leading at the Edge of Chaos: How to Create the Nimble Organization: How to Create the Nimble Organisation Paperback – 22 Sep 1998
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Praise for Leading at the Edge of Chaos "If your organization is facing any anticipated chaotic event in the next six months-and who isn't-you should read Daryl Conner. His tough-minded definitions of winners vs. losers will make you think twice." -Craig E. Weatherup, Chairman and CEO, The Pepsi-Cola Company "Conner's new book is thoroughly original and useful on the mastery of leading change." -Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California, and author of Organizing Genius "Daryl Conner has done it again! The leading authority on managing change has given us what we need right now. Leading at the Edge of Chaos offers prescriptive advice for leading in today's world, where the tempo and thrust of change has escalated. A must read for anyone who is still breathing and leading." -Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager(r) "Delightful and thought-provoking ...[links] deep organizational research with useable 'real world' advice ...I would recommend this book to others-senior line leaders and their management teams."-Kenneth Schwenke, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Aramark Corporation "In the new reality in which the human need for control is continuously assaulted by escalating change, Daryl Conner provides [organization leaders] ...steps to take ...in clear language and vivid images, with psychological insight and knowledge born out of broad hands-on experience." -Judy Bardwick, author of In Praise of Good Business and Danger in the Comfort Zone "Every executive who is leading constant change in their organizations should read this book." -Don Beattie, Chief Executive, Personnel, The BOC Group (U.K.) "Gone are the days when innovations and new ventures were incremental in scope and sequential in nature. In their place is 'perpetual unrest,' unending, fundamental changes ..." -Daryl Conner In his 1993 classic, Managing at the Speed of Change, Daryl Conner showed managers how to implement business innovations on time and under budget. In this groundbreaking new book, he shows them how to ride the whirlwind. The tempo of change has sped up to a dizzying pace over the past few years.Globalization, rapid-fire technological innovation, and mounting pressure for shareholder value have pushed the markets into a state of ceaseless turmoil. What was cutting-edge change management theory just five years ago now seems naive. Success amidst such a maelstrom of change calls for much more than what change management models have to offer. It calls for a radically new kind of organization, nimble enough to adapt instantly to changing market conditions, and piloted by leaders versed in the art of Leading at the Edge of Chaos. This book is not about decision making; it is about execution. It is not about predicting change; it is about adapting to it at a moment's notice. Internationally renowned "Change Doctor" Daryl Conner defines the new roles that all leaders must assume in order to direct the changes that are crucial to their organizations' survival. He schools them in all of the essential components of the change process. And, most importantly, he arms them with action steps for instilling their companies with the nimbleness and resilience needed to survive and thrive in today's supervolatile markets.Conner also introduces the revolutionary concept of human due diligence-the human equivalent of financial due diligence and an indispensable tool for orchestrating major enterprisewide transitions. Strategic, results-oriented, and proactive, human due diligence focuses on people's capacity to absorb change as a limited resource, and offers tools for ensuring that there is sufficient capacity available to face the next challenge-and the many others sure to follow.
From the Publisher
Leading at the Edge of Chaos
This book is not about decision making; it is abut execution. It is not about predicting change; it is about adapting to it at a moment's notice. Internationally renowned "Change Doctor" Daryl Conner defines the new roles that all leaders must assume in order to direct the changes that are crucial to their organizations' survival. He schools them in all the essential components of the change process. And, most importantly, he arms them with action steps for instilling their companies with the nimbleness and resilience needed to survive and thrive in today's supervolatile markets.
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Conner has done a fantastic job of laying out pieces of change management. The tables he uses are excellent summaries of the chapter and make for easy reference for anyone who is attempting to keep key take-aways nearby. It is also fantastic for those that are doing seminars and would like ideas or ready-made visuals to help guide discussion. I especially found the chart on P. 290 that goes through the different stages a person could be in as they experience change. It really helps to explain why and where people get stuck and how they can pursue personal improvement and growth.
The reason I couldn't give it absolute full marks, though is that you get the impression that Conner has significant experience, but is sharing with you the culled knowledge only. Perhaps he can not share too much given client relationships. However, I feel like the book at times reads too dry because the personal stories, successes and failures are left out. I would have preferred more illustrative examples. Particularly with people issues, which the book drills on, knowing what some people do that is wrong and contrasting this with the correct way to do it is key.
He gives a couple of fantastic examples of a phone conversation of someone who is stuck at the Antabuse stage would say. (i.e. chance meeting vs. proactive approach). I would have loved lots more of these. Clearly the guy is an expert though.
· Learn to work in the Nimble Zone. Becoming a nimble organization means that you are able to succeed in unpredictable environments by implementing changes more efficiently and effectively than your competitors.
· Investigate the critical issues that will affect your workforce during change, not just the financial issues. How prepared are your people to deal with disruptive change and implement projects?
· Recognize the business imperatives that arise from opportunities as well as problems.
· Make sure that senior management promotes flexibility within the organization and are able to guide the organization through transition.