How People Can Survive and Thrive in Organizational Change
Publication date: 06/16/2008
Herding frogs. The image, you might say, “jumped” out at us as we thought about ways to visualize what it can feel like when you’re in the middle of a difficult change at work or in the nature of your professional life. Weathering change can be chaotic, frustrating, even maddening. At its worst, a challenging or sudden change can do such a number on your confidence that you might experience moments verging on hopelessness—and we thought trying to herd a bunch of frogs might have the same effect if you stayed at it long enough (say, anything longer than a minute).
Helping you move successfully through your change is the reason we wrote this book. Our goal is for your experience not to feel like frog herding. On a muddy river-bank. With a hundred bullfrogs. And in truth we set our sights higher than that: our hope is that there are lessons in this book that can help you not only survive your change but thrive in it. What’s more, you will be better equipped for the next work change to come your way. And the six-stage model we discuss can guide you through changes outside work as well, so whatever you find of value this time around will be there for any significant future change in your professional or personal life.
This book helps you navigate your way through change by utilizing The Change Cycle model (see front inside cover). The model depicts the six predictable and sequential stages of change and the xspecific thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with each stage. Each chapter covers one of the six stages of The Change Cycle and features stories of workplace change, draws on recent organizational and psychological research, and highlights the most important things we have learned in fifteen years of studying and teaching change. Here and there you might run into a little humor, too. Change at work is hard enough— we didn’t want this book to stare back at you like a dour academic. Or a displeased boss.
The Change Cycle has been road tested by people in companies and organizations across America and on four continents. It has been used by people contemplating a career change, by the self-employed, by the recently promoted, and by the recently laid off. The model works for people up and down an organization and that is how we wrote the book: it is meant for anyone who works, manages, supervises, or leads.
At times our advice is addressed specifically to employees. In other places the insights are directed toward managers. That said, we believe there’s value for everyone in these moments because they bring you inside the perspective of those on another level of your organization. Plus, any targeted discussion is set against the background of what we all experience going through change.
There are shelves of books about organizational change. This book is about what it actually feels like during a work change, and how to come out the other side. The Change Cycle meets people where their emotions are, said a friend of ours who read the book in draft form. We think that’s about right. We hope that as you read on, this book does indeed meet you where xiyour emotions are. And in so doing, that it helps you gain insight into your change experience—insight that will help move you through the process. Jump in.
Ann Salerno and Lillie Brock
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