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Successful Change


Book reviews > Successful Change


Miller, D. (2011). Successful Change, Hayward's Heath, UK, Change First


Many think that change, and the problems therein, is a modern topic, yet complaints about it have been found as far back as ancient Rome and beyond. It seems that change happens in two ways: dictated or facilitated. Dictators can just tell people what to do and imprison or kill those who disobey. Modern business is a long way down from this and Miller's book takes particular note of the need to persuade people to change rather than just forcing them.

It's a strange phenomenon that, time and again, we seem to forget this basic need for to get the 'people stuff' right. Miller notes that around 70% of change projects fail in some way. The main reason for this is failure to manage the people element. And change practitioner Miller shows how.

There are several helpful models through the book. Culture is always important and is presented as a combination of known rules, hidden rules and actual behaviour. The heart of the book is in the 'change wheel', which presents six critical success factors: shared change purpose, effective change leadership, powerful engagement process, committed local sponsors, strong personal connection and sustained personal performance. Get this right and the probability of success will shoot up.

Miller's advice is common sense and sage, for example in basing change in a real business need, taking an incremental approach and ensuring proper engagement of senior management. Three essential change roles are described: sponsors, influencers and change agents. These do not happen by themselves and need to be created and sustained.

This is a small book, at only 144 pages. Yet it is highly practical and offers non-stop value for people who are seeking to implement and facilitate change in organizations. What to do and how to do it is spelled out at every level and it is highly recommended.



Buy Me

David Miller, Successful Change: How to implement change through people, Change First, 2011

  A straightforward book on doing change properly and effective. If you get the people stuff wrong, change will fail. This book tells you how to get it right.



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