Item description for Change Is Like a Slinky: 30 Strategies for Promoting and Surviving Change in Your Organization by Hans Finzel...
Overview This practical guide to navigate change in today's organizational climate provides a proven strategy and explores the six major phases in the cycle of change.
Publishers Description A practical guide to navigate change in today's organizational climate. Change or perish: this is a current motto for leaders in all types of organizations. But how does one adapt to such fast and furious change and effectively lead the organization through change? Hans Finzel provides a proven strategy in "Change is Like a Slinky," exploring the six major phases in the cycle of change. As he says, "Change is a lot like a Slinky... A slinky can be a lot of fun, but it is also completely unpredictable." Instead of grudgingly wading through inevitable change, readers will find themselves equipped and fired up to tackle it head on.
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Studio: Northfield Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.38" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2004
Publisher Northfield Publishing
ISBN 1881273687 ISBN13 9781881273684
Availability 0 units.
More About Hans Finzel
Dr. Hans Finzel is an author, a speaker, and a trusted authority in the leadership field. He is the author of ten books, including the international bestseller The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. With a doctorate in leadership studies from Fuller School of Intercultural Studies, Finzel is a globally respected teacher. After serving twenty years as president and CEO of WorldVenture, he now leads the nonprofit training ministry HDLeaders. He and his wife, Donna, have four adult children and live in Colorado.
Hans Finzel currently resides in the state of Colorado.
The phases could be redefined, relabeled, in any number of ways - but the principle here is a conscious, active effort at change. The emphasis on communicating is a very important aspect indeed. Follow through, and continual feedback are essential elements discussed. The area of negotiation and adaptation are not covered in as much detail as needed to learn these skills adequately.
The idea of input for resisters is important, as are not coddling this sector (or they will hold you back). Many poor implementers simply force change harder, and though this will get the tasking done - the environment will revert back to from whence it came once the bureaucracy gets hold of it.
I felt this was a relatively easy read (although I have read a lot on, and am academically trained in, this subject). The "30 Strategies" cited in the subtitle are not "apparent," you have to do your own organizing to get this information to stand out.
There are some good techniques and tactics to be learned. They are good beginnings, but the book is not big on detailed analysis. The stories are light, the analogies broad but basic principles are covered.
If you are looking for a deep treatise, this is not it. The author refers to a cofounder of Microsoft as David Allen, and bases chapter 18 on a quote from him. (David Allen is a time management author/guru, the cofounder of Microsoft is Paul Allen.) You can see here where attention to detail is not Finzel's strongest mark. Given this, you can be sure the book covers broad stroke principles - and does get the point across - but is not something I would rely on for very specific honing of change skills.
It is a start, an introduction however, particularly useful to the forceful (confused why they can't implement change). The trouble with the book is that the population it would best serve is not the population that will read it. The population motivated to read it, probably could do with the introduction in a few chapters and move to more detailed skills development more quickly.
Excellent book on change Feb 26, 2004
"Change Is Like a Slinky" examines the six stages of change as promoted by author Hans Finzel. These six stages are 1) accept the need for change, 2) aim squarely at the future, 3) anticipate your adversaries and allies, 4) advance the plan with courage and tenacity, 5) adjust course as you listen and learn, and 6) align your team as you stay the course of change. The things that make this book unique among the plethora of books on change are the fun and insightful comparisons between change and a slinky. These comparisons make it easier to remember the important principles so you can apply them in real life. Some of the observations include the fact that someone has to launch a slinky on its way, once started the course is unpredictable, it routinely gets stuck halfway down the stairs and has to be relaunched, and it rarely lands where you predict.
While the book contains a lot of useful information for those seeking to accept and deal with change, it is not without a shortcoming. The author uses a lot of side comments that often get into the way of the flow of the book. A short example will illustrate the problem. From the very beginning of the book: "Go ahead, Pick up a Slinky. No, not the newfangled plastic models. I'm talking about the good ol' metal kind, circa 1964. If you don't have one handy, then go ahead - you have my permission - put down the book (you just started chapter 1, so it won't be hard to find your place) and buy one. And No, I'm not getting kickbacks from the makers of Slinky. Nor am I an employee, or even a shareholder. (Although, now that I think of it ... maybe I'll take a break of my own, and call my stockbroker.)" This should have stopped at least by "1964". The book is littered with this stuff that just gets in the way of the otherwise excellent treatment of change. However, if you continue reading through all these choppy breaks in the flow of the book you will find it well worth your time, as it is basically an excellent book with a lot of value to those who persevere.
Immensely Practical...Potentially Invaluable Feb 20, 2004
Frankly, until reading this book, I was unaware of any similarities between change and a toy which I have purchased in substantial quantities for my own children and grandchildren as well as for countless others. In fact, as Finzel points out, there are quite a few similarities between them but it would be a disservice to both Finzel and to his book to reveal those similarities in this brief commentary. (Please see page 19.) It would also be a disservice to suggest that Finzel's clever use of the Slinky as a metaphor is essentially all that his book offers. On the contrary, he provides a remarkably eloquent as well as informative analysis of the nature of change itself and the most common barriers, then suggests specific strategies and tactics which can help to overcome those barriers.
I especially appreciate Finzel's use of two devices by which to help his reader absorb and digest the material, then take appropriate action: "What's the Point?" which summarizes the most important points in each of the 30 chapters, and, "Takeaways" (also at the end of each chapter) which assists effective implementation by the reader of those points. Finzel sees the change process as consisting of several phases. For example:
Phase One: Accept the Need for Change
"Hugely successful and always profitable Southwest Airlines prides itself on three company characteristics: [all in italics] nimble, quick, and opportunistic...Whenever possible, Southwest flies in the face of bureaucracy -- it stays lean, thinks small, keeps it simple...and more."
Phase Three: Anticipate Your Adversaries and Allies
"Forget about the `obvious' benefits when planning your strategy. Assume that everyone but you will absolutely hate your plan, at least initially...When we listen to our opponents, we can learn two things. First, we can recognize the flaws in our ideas...The second thing we learn from resisters is the hidden psychological barriers we have to overcome among members of the group."
Phase Six: Align Your Team as You Stay the Course of Change
"Trust is a nonnegotiable in the world of change. Kill trust and there is no hope for progress until you get it back. Change usually breeds doubt and lack of trust among people in an organization. Without a conscious effort to build trust and maintain trust, all your efforts will fail."
What we have here is immensely practical advice for those who are determined to achieve not only specific change(s) but also to establish and then nourish an organizational environment within which everyone involved recognizes and then reacts effectively to change, seeing it not as a peril but as an opportunity.
Level 5 Leadership Feb 17, 2004
Collins, in his book Good to Great, argues that only those organizations that had "Level 5" leaders made the change from good to great. Granted, there were a bunch of other variables that had to exist to make the final cut of those companies that went from good to great, but they all had Level 5 leaders.
Finzel's latest book addresses those leaders who want to be Level 5 leaders. One of the traitis that Collins' team discovered was the idea of "servant" leadership. This notion, not surprisinlgy, is a biblical concept that goes to to the heartbeat of who a leaders really is. This is not something taught in MBA school. The MBA schools have produced crook after crook; they have not seriously addressed (except in only a cursory way) servant leadership.
Finzel's book paints the picture of what a servant-leader looks like. No organization can tranistion from good to great without key leaders demonstrating & promoting servant-leadership. Period.
Lessons for Leaders Feb 7, 2004
As a pastor and D.Min candidate I have found this book to be an incredible tool for bringing about change in the church. Each chapter builds on the previous and leads you through the pros and pitfalls of being a change agent. I have taken a class by Hans Finzel and I recommend you taking a look at his other books as well. This author comes with my highest recommendation.