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Leading Change

Leading Change

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Held up as exemplary in a decade that's desperately seeking a new order for business, in case history after case history of corporations and their executives, are usually names like Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's, Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, and even Jack Welch of GE. But those models just won't work anymore, says professor, consultant, and award-winning author O'Toole. Instead, he uses examples from art, history, philosophy, and, yes, occasionally business to probe the answers to three questions: Why do organizations resist change? How can leaders effect change? What should the leadership philosophy be to most effectively (and morally) induce organizational change? He concludes that a values-based leadership is the only way to pull (not push) change; that change challenges the psychological comfort of the powerful--hence, the basis for resistance; and that imposing new values and new visions will work only if leaders create followers. A thoughtful essay, not a how-to manual, that will most likely spark discomfort among legions of American managers. Barbara Jacobs
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