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Thursday, November 01, 2012

 

Change-friendly Leadership by Rodger Dean Duncan - Book review



Change-Friendly Leadership

How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance


By: Rodger Dean Duncan, Ph.D.

Published: September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0985213507
ISBN-10: 0985213507
Publisher; Maxwell Stone Publishing












"Change really is a big deal. Work hard to accommodate people's feelings - their heads, hearts, and hopes - and your change effort can be one of the success stories", writes leadership and organizational change expert, and founder and CEO of Duncan Worldwide, Rodger Dean Duncan, Ph.D., in his visionary and wisdom filled book Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance. The author describes how change is an integral component of the modern world, and provides his people focused approach to transforming change from a time of stress to one of organizational engagement and competitive advantage.

Rodger Dean Duncan recognizes that change is not only inevitable for any organization, but also that constant change is the new normal for all of society. The author provides evidence that change management has moved far beyond just one more management skill. Instead, the author places the ability to manage change successfully in the ranks of crucial leadership abilities. Rodger Dean Duncan shares the concept, that engaging the feelings of the people in the organization, is the essential part of the change process.

Regardless of the organization or its industry, the idea of change is stressful. The author offers the important insight that the stress of he change is what creates the resistance to change; and not the actual change itself. To engage the people who feel this stress, Rodger Dean Duncan presents a process that focuses on the real human dynamics involved in the change.


Rodger Dean Duncan (photo left) understands that the human element of change is central to the change success. The author also recognizes that those very real feelings and emotions are all too often not taken into account by the leaders of the change. To help facilitate change through engagement of the people involved, and for considering their their hopes and fears, the author presents his Four T's strategy for change:

* Think-friendly: Being curious, asking questions, challenging assumptions
* Talk-friendly: Opening dialogue and really listening to others
* Trust-friendly: Earning trust and extending trust to others
* Team-friendly: Establishing genuine collaboration

With this overall framework in place, Rodger Dean Duncan shares his seven steps for change-friendly leadership. Those seven steps are as follow:

* Validate the journey: Make a sold case for change
* Scan for speed bumps: Understanding and handling resistance
* Chart the course: Earn everyone's commitment
* Build a coalition: Bond people together for synergy
* Ford the streams: Understanding emotions and the company culture
* Stay on message: Provide open and honest communication
* Mind the gap: Keep on course so the goal becomes reality

For me, the power of the book is how Rodger Dean Duncan combines a strong theoretical framework for understanding the human dynamics of change, with the practical strategies and techniques for facilitating successful change. The author establishes the crucial leadership attribute of understanding and facilitating successful organizational change management. Rodger Dean Duncan moves beyond the standard position that change is a management issue, and places change firmly in the realm of leadership.

Rodger Dean Duncan takes a visionary viewpoint that change is already, and will continue to be a key element of business, the economy, and of society as a whole. As a result, the book employs a holistic approach to engaging people and the entire organization in the change process. To further illustrate the various principles in action, in real world settings, the author also includes a series of important case studies.

I highly recommend the essential and important book Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance by Rodger Dean Duncan, to any leaders in any organizations, regardless of industry or economic sector, seeking a clear and people oriented approach to managing the inevitable and now ubiquitous change. This book will change how you think about change as a whole, the role of leadership, and of the people who are affected by that change.

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