Terms of Engagement, Second Edition by Richard H. Axelrod - Book review

Terms of Engagement, Second Edition

New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations

By: Richard H. Axelrod

Published: October 11, 2010
Format: Paperback, 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1605094471
ISBN-13: 978-1605094472
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

"Change management needed changing", writes leading authority on change management and founder and principal of the Axelrod Group, Inc., Richard H. Axelrod, in the second edition of his seminal classic book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations. The author describes the problems associated with traditional change management techniques, and offers a fresh alternative approach that is inclusive, engaging, and effective.

Richard Axelrod recognizes that any change management process that fails to include the real needs and desires of the people involved, is destined for failure. The author cites the startling statistic that over 70 percent of change management initiatives fail. With that very troubling number in mind, Richard Axelrod makes it very clear that the current models of change management are both flawed and ineffective. While it would appear that the need for engaging employees in the change is obvious, the techniques for accommodating people in the process have been difficult to ascertain and put into practice. Dick Axelrod provides the tools for effective and engaging change management, with his revolutionary but common sense ideas. In effect, the author is creating an entirely new form of change management that is a complete departure from the failed models of the past; and are very often still in use in many organizations.

Dick Axelrod (photo left) understands that definitions of what constitutes change management are very often poorly understood, or even counter-productive. With so much uncertainty in organizations about what change management is, and how to initiate it effectively, it is no surprise that most efforts fail to achieve even their most modest objectives. To provide a solid framework for creating engaging and effective change management, Richard Axelrod offers the following principles:

* Widen the circle of involvement
* Connect people to each other
* Create communities for action
* promote fairness

Dick Axelrod also shares the following practices for the new change management:

* Honesty
* Transparency
* Trust

For me, the power of the book is how Richard Axelrod describes the problems that confound current change management efforts, and then provides a viable and effective alternative set of principles and practices. The author effectively combines the theory of the new change management with the practical tools that are critical for creating an atmosphere conducive to positive change. The key to change management achieving its stated goals is to include and engage everyone in the process from the very beginning. With everyone in the organization understanding why change is necessary, it is then possible to move along to the next stage of the process. The author shares his proven strategies and techniques for moving the process forward, while ensuring that the real human needs of the employees are considered and taken into account.

Dick Axelrod also includes valuable and illustrative case studies of effective change management, where the book's principles and practices are used to achieve the desired results. Because change management is such a sweeping and holistic function, the need to have everyone included in the process is essential. When all stakeholders understand the larger picture, and see both the challenges and opportunities involved, the change process goes much more smoothly. Through wider participation, more creative ideas are generated, and the level of accountability increases. Dick Axelrod recognizes the core value of positive and fair change, and demonstrates that work and organizations can be developed with change and engagement as central components.

I highly recommend the revolutionary and transformational book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H. Axelrod, to anyone seeking a better and more effective concept of change management. This book not only points the way to more successful change management, but also provides insights into how to create a more fair process and outcome for everyone involved. The author doesn't simply talk about engagement, but shares a blueprint for turning the idea into a reality and core value in any organization.

Read the essential and important book Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations by Richard H, Axelrod, and put the concepts of the new change management into effect in your own organization. Instead of change being a source of employee resentment and ultimate organizational failure, this book guides leaders toward a better and more engaged process and future for everyone.

Tags: Terms of Engagement, Second Edition: New Ways of Leading and Changing Organizations, Richard H, Axelrod, change management strategies, business book reviews.

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