Conquering Organizational Change: How To Succeed When Most Companies Fail
Pierre Mourier and Martin Smith, CEP Press, 2300 Peachford Rd., Suite 2000, Atlanta, GA 30338, 2001, 240 pp., $18.95 (book).
Mourier and Smith define organizational change as "the activities associated with planning, designing, implementing and internalizing tools, procedures, routines, processes or systems that will require people to perform their jobs differently." The book acknowledges change needs to be well thought out and general and detailed in its directions. It also requires working carefully with employees.
Using research data, the book explains why change fails or succeeds. The chapter titled "What To Do: Planning Guides" explains the change effort roles so everyone involved knows what is expected of him or her and how to support each other. A few case studies offer examples of how the process works and tips for reviving a stalled change effort. The chapter titled "The First Steps to Conquering Change" offers suggestions to get the ball rolling.
I like the book because it is plain-spoken and forces the reader to complete questionnaires and checklists, focusing on a methodical approach. It doesn't include structured problem solving tools, so one of the Memory Joggers or the Team Handbook would be a good complement to use when following this guide.
CCL Custom Mfg.
The Business of Innovation
Roger Bean and Russell Radford, Amacom, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, 2001, 304 pp., $27.95 (book).
After a customary "why this book" introduction, the book is divided into three sections. The largest section, on the business of innovation, takes a high level view of how to manage for innovation. It includes chapters on systems thinking, innovative environments and organizational design factors. The section on supporting innovation covers policy, measurement, logical thinking and coping with serendipity. The section on leading innovation gives some ideas on helping the overall innovation process, exploiting markets and adapting to the new economy.
The tables and diagrams illustrate the ideas in the text and include some examples from real industrial situations.
The Business of Innovation contains commonsense information for managing innovation but, apart from that model, fails to innovate within the field. The result is a text that will be helpful for companies that are a long way from being innovative and are looking for a whole system approach for examining and improving all their parts. It is unlikely to help organizations approaching the leading edge of managing innovation and looking for new ideas.
Handbook of Industrial Engineering: Technology and Operations Management, Third Edition
Gavriel Salvendy, ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158-0012, 2001, 2,796 pp., $225 (book).
This book is a fully updated reference of industrial engineering, operations research and related disciplines. Manufacturing, service and the rapidly emerging information technology industries are covered.
This comprehensive book covers every phase of industrial engineering from the classic to the new areas. It is divided into five major sections. Each section covers the primary areas of industrial engineering including management, technology, functions, and skills process improvement.
Like many handbooks, this one is written by academics, each a specialist in a particular field of industrial engineering. As a result, you have a conglomerate of different writing styles and techniques, which are well-edited and focus on the topic.
Since quality and industrial engineering share many common areas, such as process improvement methodologies and statistical analysis, this book would also serve as a good reference for quality managers.
In-depth information will have to be sought elsewhere, but for a quick reference or refresher, this book will do the job.
How To Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills, Second Edition
Fran Rees, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 350 Sansome St., Fifth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104-1342, 2001, 227 pp., $29.95 (book).
Leadership is valuable in all work environments, and facilitative leadership leads to more effective management and decision making. In this book, the author has set forth an approach to facilitation that is team oriented.
The core of the author's approach is the LEAD model (Lead with a clear purpose; Empower to participate; Aim for consensus; and Direct the process). This proves an effective formula for managing through facilitation of work teams.
This book seeks to prepare the leader-facilitator for his or her role and to point out difficulties that can be expected. It also gives advice on how to surmount these obstacles.
It is perhaps ironic that in the past nine months, the workplace environment has changed radically, introducing a glut of workers rather than the sellers' market the employee enjoyed a little over a year ago. Although this may affect the environment set forth for the facilitation methodology, the approach advocated by Rees remains relevant and useful.
I consider this volume an excellent update and extension of achieving quality through facilitation.
William F. Foster
ISO 9001:2000 For Small Businesses, Second Edition
Ray Tricker, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Unit B, PO Box 4500, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 474 pp., $37.95 (book).
Much of the discussion in this book is insightful, as long as the reader can tell fact from opinion. Some of the helpful sections of the book include assessment checklists, a glossary of terms, an alphabetized index of ISO 9001:2000 topics and likely documentation to consider for each section of the standard.
This book may mislead readers for the following reasons:
- While the ISO 9001:2000 standard was designed to be applicable to any type of organization, the 63 pages describing the standard are oriented to manufacturing.
- Explanations indiscriminately mix paraphrased sections of the standard, ambiguously worded requirements, suggestions based on ISO 9004 and the author's viewpoints. I advise caution in studying this section. Have the actual ISO 9001 standard in hand to separate requirements from interpretations.
- References to foreign organizations would be of little use to U.S. small business readers.
- The text does not address what exclusions are allowable or how to handle them.
The book may be interesting to the experienced quality practitioner who wants to see another viewpoint. The intended audience, small businesses, would find the book difficult to use as a guide.
R.T. Westcott & Associates
Old Saybrook, CT
Mastering Inner Leadership
Gilbert W. Fairholm, Quorum Books, 88 Post Rd. W.,
PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007, 2001, 240 pp., $65 (book).
Don't be misled by the title. This is not like the plethora of "inner" books popular in the 1970s. The inner here refers to middle managers. Corporations may have their strategic directions and objectives determined by those at the top of the organizational structure, but the everyday leadership could not function without the middle or inner managers. This book is designed to give these leaders the information and skills to get their jobs done.
Mastering Inner Leadership also explores leadership beyond the usual five aspects of management: planning, staffing, organizing, directing and controlling. It addresses nontraditional aspects of leadership in subsections entitled Values, Not Systems; Inspiration, Not Motivation; Trust, Not Authority; Personal, Not Positional Power; and Capitalizing on the Whole Person, Not Just Needed Skills.
I recommend this book to broaden the perspectives of managers and leaders with a wealth of traditional learning and experience and increase their repertoire of skills and knowledge. For new leaders, junior managers and students, this book would be an excellent complement to the more frequently used texts.
John D. Richards
Six Sigma Project Management: A Pocket Guide
Jeffery N. Lowenthal, ASQ Quality Press, 600 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203, 2002, 130 pp., $12 member, $15 list (book).
A pocket guide to Six Sigma. It sounds almost too good to be true, and, in some respects, I think it is. The book has taken the Six Sigma methodology--define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC)--from an examination of best Six Sigma practices at 40 companies. It then renames the steps, outlines them and packages them in a pocket book format.
The author uses one-third of the pocket guide to define organizations and the need for change within them, explaining quality, reliability the voice of the customer and describing the roles and responsibilities of Six Sigma Black Belts and Champions.
The author boasts the book "covers more ground than other sigma methodologies currently on the market." What distinguishes this book from other Six Sigma books is how the author breaks down each step into manageable problem statements for those not familiar with project management or Six Sigma. Each process step is flowcharted, with the assigned responsibility for each block in the flow diagram.
The book is easy to read. I could see it being used by an individual or team as a guide along with other Six Sigma resources.
Dove Quality Consulting
A Glossary of Plastics Terminology in Five Languages, Fifth Edition, Wolfgang Glenz, ed., Hanser Gardner Publications, 6915 Valley Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45244-3029, 2001, 385 pp., $39.95 (book).
Activity Based Cost Management, Gary Cokins, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2001, 374 pp., $29.95 (book).
Best Practices in Organization Development and Change, Louis Carter, David Giber and Marshall Goldsmith, eds., Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103-1741, 2001, 551 pp., $79.95 (book).
Better Software Project Management, Marsha D. Lewin, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 2002, 233 pp., $69.95 (book).
Creating Continuous Flow: An Action Guide for Managers, Engineers and Production Associates, Mike Rother and Rick Harris, The Lean Enterprise Institute, PO Box 9, Brookline, MA 02446, 2001, 282 pp., $50 (book).
Creative Management, Second Edition, Jane Henry, Sage Publications Inc., 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, 2001, 315 pp., $31 (book).
Design for Manufacturing: A Structured Approach, Corrado Poli, Butterworth-Heinemann, 225 Wildwood Ave., Unit B, PO Box 4500, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 2001, 375 pp., $66.99 (book).