a Difference: Strategies and Real Time Models to
familiar with business books, it is interesting to find
an author from the U.K. discussing organizational
problems similar to the ones conveyed by U.S. authors.
Evidently, organizational problems are universal. The two
major cultural issues addressed in this book deal with
people-related topics that impact achieving
Bruce C. Nixon, author of
“Making a Difference: Strategies and Real Time
Models to Transform Your Organization,“ is unique
in the solutions he proposes for common problems.
Surprisingly, they tend to the "soft" side—the
people side—empowering by facilitating. He uses the
phrase "making a difference" because he believes that is
all we can do. To claim more is "immodest, grandiose and
Nixon has developed a methodology built
around the Empowerment Model, relying heavily on
leadership as an encouraging facilitator bringing out
others' intelligence and creativity. With Real Time
Management Development (RTMD), he provides the roadmap
for a process that directs organizations and individuals
to make changes and transformations. For these people,
the process includes: looking inside and outside of their
world; determining how they are responding; identifying
their desired state; establishing what is needed, the
obstacles present, and their level of commitment; and
finally, evaluating what support will they get.
Since it is rare to read a business book
cover to cover, a good technique is to first read the
introduction and Chapter 1 to get the author's point of
view and direction of thinking. Then, choose at least two
or three chapters to focus on.
The values in the chapter "Getting the Whole System Into
the Room" demonstrate that with all one can do
internally, nothing will happen organization-wide without
a commitment to
empowerment from everyone.
Most insightful idea:
The chapter describing the process of Real Time
Management Development identifies differences between
conventional management development and RTMD. For those
experienced in traditional training, the strategic
differences are eye opening.
Tools you can use:
With its easy-to-follow format, the charts and graphs
provide an easy reference while reading the book.
"References and suggested reading" at each chapters' end
is invaluable to those pursuing a particular
This book is developed in a way that engages
the reader and offers valuable exercises and information
for change and tangible outcomes that result for those
following Nixon's strategies.
"Making a Difference: Strategies and Real Time Models to
Transform Your Organization." Bruce C. Nixon, 1998,
AMACOM, New York, ISBN 0-8144-0402-2, 300
Reviewed by Ellen M. Heffes, owner, EMH
Communications and executive editor, Bisk Audio Financial
Accounting & Management Report, Boca Raton,
July 2000 News for
a Change Homepage