Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.
The author opens this book with a discussion of the common errors people make in trying to implement organizational change. He then goes on to counteract those errors with his eight-stage process for implementing effective and sustainable change: 1) Establishing a sense of urgency; 2) Creating the guiding coalition; 3) Developing a vision and strategy; 4) Communicating the change vision; 5) Empowering a broad base of people to take action; 6) Generating short-term wins; 7) Consolidating gains and producing even more change; and 8) Institutionalizing new approaches into the culture. The first four stages are intended to defrost a hardened status quo, the next three introduce many new practices, and the final stage grounds the changes into the corporate culture and helps them stick. This book is a comprehensive approach to change management and highly recommended for anyone undertaking a major change effort within an organization.
The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, Peter Drucker, 2008. These five questions are essentially an organizational assessment, and although they are directed toward nonprofits, they can be used in any type of organization. The five questions are:
1. What is our mission?
2. Who is our customer?
3. What does the customer value?
4. What are our results?
5. What is our plan?
These five questions weave together a process of reflection an organization can undertake to determine its current reality and chart a future course. For those interested in further inquiry, Drucker lists a number of additional questions for additional exploration.
Although this book is specifically about sustainability, in a broader sense it is really about how to bring systems thinking into our institutions and into our global society. The revolution that the authors refer to is twofold: it is focused on our global environmental impact, and it is focused on the change in thinking that needs to take place in order to minimize that impact. Three key behaviors will create this shift in thinking: seeing systems, collaborating across boundaries, and moving from a problem solving mindset to one of creating the future. The book offers some great examples of how we got into our current predicament and companies that are starting to apply systems thinking to help move "beyond the bubble," as it is referred to in the book. Scattered throughout the book are sections called "Toolbox," which offer a number of exercises and activities that organizations can undertake to begin to address the issue of sustainability. This book is a great resource for any organization looking to do more than pick the low hanging fruit when it comes to sustainability.
I read about everything I can get my hands on related to neuroplasticity. David Rock in Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long applies what we have learned so far about the brain in that context and applies it to the world of work. This is one practical, easy to follow, informative guide. Rock is particularly strong at presenting the most recent research and applying it to every day practice. He not only tells us what is known, but how to use that knowledge to advantage. This is just an excellent volume. Don’t miss it. The reading of Bob Walter is very good.