June 1, 2004

Ichak Adizes ’65

On the Front Lines of Change


Returning from a 15-day tour of Asia and Mexico, Ichak Adizes, PhD ’65, was awed by the economic growth in China. “I’ve never seen a rate of change like this in my life,” he says, “and I’ve lectured in 48 countries so far.” But a boom can spawn problems, and Adizes points out that with 43 percent of managers changing jobs in the first year of employment, China faces a shortage of managerial talent and expertise.

As founder of the Adizes Institute, a management consulting firm, Adizes has spent 35 years restructuring such companies as Bank of America and Oil Dutch Shell Worldwide and has advised political leaders in Brazil, Ghana, Israel, Mexico and Sweden, among others. Promoting the concept that organizations follow specific life cycles, Adizes identifies prime as the condition of peak performance and aristocracy, recrimination, bureaucracy and death as stages of decline. Encouraging leaders to incorporate and actively manage change is a key focus of his approach, and he comments, “Often leaders are trained as individuals and not as members of a team. This is the biggest challenge facing business education today.”

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