For more than two decades, businesses have been warned to "change or perish." Yet a growing number of companies are perishing because of change. What's going on? Columbia Business School Professor Eric Abrahamson argues that although change is necessary for companies to grow and prosper, many organizations have blindly taken the mandate too far. The "creative destruction" advocated by change champions has resulted in a painful cycle of initiative overload, change-related chaos, and widespread employee cynicism. To reverse this cycle, Abrahamson says, companies must learn to change how they change. Drawing on a decade of research and dozens of company examples, this book offers a positive new approach to change called "creative recombination." Rather than obliterating and then reinventing anew, creative recombination seeks a sustainable, repeatable transformation by reconfiguring the people, structures, culture, processes, and networks the company already has. Abrahamson offers a broad toolkit of techniques for achieving smoother, more cost-efficient, less painful organizational change--and helpful guidance for how and when to implement each tool. Eric Abrahamson is professor of management at Columbia Business School in New York City and an internationally recognized expert on change management.
Abrahamson, Eric. Change Without Pain: How Managers Can Overcome Initiative Overload, Organizational Chaos, and Employee Burnout. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
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