ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - July 2000

Issue Highlight - WWW
- Friends of mine showed me a letter recently that I thought you might find interesting. It might be a sign of things to come in this New Economy:

In This Issue...
Is Anyone Out There?
Increasing A Good Idea's Profitability
Internal Audits
Every Summit Beckons A Conqueror
Finding Your Way Home In The Workplace

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Sites Unseen

Book Reviews with a Twist

           "Making a Difference: Strategies and Real Time Models to             Transform Your Organization"
by Bruce C.Nixon
 4 Stars
As someone 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 organizational goals.

    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 pretentious."

   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.

Favorite chapter:
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 subject.

   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 pages.

Reviewed by Ellen M. Heffes, owner, EMH Communications and executive editor, Bisk Audio Financial Accounting & Management Report, Boca Raton, Fla.

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