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Strategies for Org. Change and Transformation; A Feats for the Intellect Published: Sunday, March 16, 2003 By: Eng. Ulises Pabón

We are constantly seizing situations and deciding what actions to take to manage them. Our success in this endeavor is a function of our mental models. The richer our repertoire of mental models, the better our decision making. When our repertoire is lean, we run into difficulties trying to interpret what is going on and in selecting proper courses of action.

Hence, I consider that what separates extraordinary books from good books is the ability of the author or authors to do two things. First, to expand my mind and expose me to a variety of mental models, particularly, mental models I have not entertained. Second, to make me reflect on the mental models I am currently using and invite me to enhance my repertoire through deliberate pondering and thinking.

By these Standards, “Estrategias de Cambio y Transformación Organizacional” – the most recent work published by QBS’s think tank – is an extraordinary book. In it, authors Ramon Rivera and Coco Morales invite us to a feast of mental models and challenge our thinking through the most comprehensive and well researched tour on the theory and practice of organizational change and transformation published to date.

Following a review of the forces of change, the authors dedicate the third chapter of their book (one of my favorites) to present a comprehensive inventory of strategies and tactics for organizational change. Among the variables studied and explained in detail are external and internal pressure, vision, reality, leadership, critical mass, planning and resistance. This chapter not only synthesizes the current state of knowledge on the subject but also incorporates the authors’ experience applying these concepts in all types of organizations.

Chapters 4 through 7, address specific applications or contexts for change and transformation. For example, for those who dare to suggest that the quality movement is out of steam, let me suggest you read Chapter 4. In it, the authors look at Quality as a platform for change and transformation, and explain the contributions Quality can make to a change effort.

Dysfunctional organizations present unique challenges to change efforts. While they need it the most, their capacity to change is impaired. Crisis and emergencies also bring unique challenges to change and transformation efforts. These difficult scenarios for change are addressed in Chapters 5 and 6 of the book where the themes of communication, empowered teams, and prevention are discussed thoroughly.

The paradox of success is presented in Chapter 7. In it, the authors explain that while success drives all change and transformation efforts (there’s no sense in changing for worse), success can become innovation’s worst enemy.Cocoand Ramón do an excellent job reviewing the challenges for radical change and innovation.

Change and transformation does not occur by accident. In Chapter 8, the authors present their thesis on super-leadership. Without direction and leadership, and without the capacity to turn others into leaders, a change effort will run out of steam.

Finally, the authors close presenting the science of design as a change and transformation strategy in and of its own.

The principles, ideas, and recommendations gathered in this book can be applied to all the manifestations of the human condition. Irregardless if we are concerned with change at the individual level, our family, the organizations we participate in, the sub-groups and teams within those organizations, or the society in general, “Estrategias de Cambio y Transformación Organizacional” will surely expand your mental models.

Copyright 2003 QBS, Inc.
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