Deep change refers to the transformation that occurs in people and organizations and requires new ways of thinking and behaving. Deep change is major in scope. Changes in an organization happen for the betterment of the organization. As a manager, you can play a significant role in the organizational change process.
In this course, you have read two books on organizational change:
· Quinn, Robert E. (1996). Deep change: Discovering the leader within. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
· Nadler, David A. (1998). Champions of change: How CEOs and their companies are mastering the skills of radical change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
How has completing this course changed your perspectives on organizational change and your role in the organizational change process?
With these thoughts in mind, write a Reflection paper that summarizes your learning from the readings, research, Applications, and Discussion activities. The summary should include the insight you gained from this course.
The Reflection paper must be substantive and at least 300 words long. Cite any references in the APA style.
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Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within, by Robert Quinn. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1996. 236p. $25.00. ISBN 0-7879-0244-6. LC 96-22674.
There have been many books written in the past three years on the subject of change. Many of these volumes are interesting, however, perhaps none is so personally applicable as Quinn’s Deep Change. Quinn, author of Beyond Rational Management (Jossey-Bass, 1988) and professor of organizational behavior at University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Business, in this important book delves into the subject of how individuals and organizations cope with, manage, and lead during times of tumultuous or radical change.
Beginning with a riveting argument that we all, as individuals and as organizations, face the dilemma of choosing between deep change and slow death, Quinn steps away from the heavily theoretical and research base of most academic management books to describe in very human terms what it means to face the very difficult choices we face in contemporary society. This is a book written from the heart, written with a passion and belief in the individual’s ability to make enormous personal changes in his or her own life and in organizations.
Using examples from his many consulting experiences and from his personal experiences with change, he builds a strong case for the power of the individual to influence the response to change in organizations. This book addresses the question of how to transform oneself and how to lead transformational efforts within an organization.
It should be noted that what this book does not do is to speak to the issues involved in “incremental” change, or change that is gradual and often managed and planned for. He is specifically speaking about the irreversible radical changes occurring in both internal and external environments of many organizations, including institutions of higher education.
The personal power of this book is great. Quinn closes each chapter with a set of questions for an individual to answer about change in their own lives and then a set of questions regarding change in the person’s organization. While the questions addressing organizational change do not seem to pay off at first, if taken seriously, they build and toward the end of this book, have great impact as they address transformational change.
His concept of “slow death” is a frightening but recognizable one. The characteristics of this condition within organizations are: the pervasiveness of opting not to make deep changes; violation of trust in that leaders and other members of the organization know when an organization needs to change and still choose a path that avoids that very need; indicators that people have lost hope and credibility in leadership; and burnout, a well-documented symptom of systemic problems.
Quinn believes individuals in organizations confront slow death in a number of different ways. They can choose a path he refers to as “peace and pay,” which means they put in a minimum amount of effort and hope to be left alone with the least possible demand placed upon them. Or, they can choose the “active exit” strategy which involves taking care of oneself, keeping an eye on the job market, and making a move when a seemingly better job appears. And, finally, the strategy that yields the highest personal and organizational return, an investment in the process of “deep change.” The first two strategies leave the organization unchanged and impaired in its ability to address environmental changes affecting it. They also do not hold much hope for the individual. Quinn believes that if individuals choose deep change for themselves it will naturally benefit the organization in which they work.
Deep Change is one of those rare management books which actually holds the power to change individual lives, and if taken seriously, even change an organization’s approach to radical change. In the change-saturated environments we live and work in, this is a highly recommended book.
By Kathryn Deiss, Program Manager, Association of Research Libraries, Office of Leadership and Management Services, 21 Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Source: The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 1999, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p241, 1p
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