Books by Daryl R. Conner

Released: Jan. 1, 1993

``Change doctor'' and corporate-crisis intervener Conner explains why some managers instinctively thrive on change while others founder and fail, and how the latter can learn to be more like the former. The ``baseline pattern'' for successful management of an increasing pace of corporate change (amounting to continual ``future shock,'' says Conner) is resilience—which the author defines as consisting of an optimistic rather than fearful outlook; clear goals; the ability to draw on all of one's inner and outer resources; efficiency in allocating and/or conserving those resources; and foresight in place of hindsight. But one or more combinations of seven additional ``support patterns'' may (and probably will) kick in. Tangled webs of positive and negative emotional, cultural, and organizational tendencies, these affect everyone from technical assistants to the corporate chieftain and include the nature of change itself, which causes employees to accelerate their desire for control; the process of change, which a successful manager must insure does not exact a greater price than the price of not changing; the fixed organizational roles of change, which include ``sponsors,'' ``agents,'' and ``targets,'' and which must be consciously and carefully assigned; a natural resistance to change, which must be transformed from denial to acceptance and from informed pessimism to implementation; the commitment to change, which requires fostering; the variable of corporate culture, which dictates how management presents and orchestrates change; and synergy, or the capacity for teamwork. Conner's purpose is to take the mystery out of change, which he does with such additional tips as how to increase one's store of change ``assimilation points,'' and how to teach resilience to employees. A schematic diagram that will prove both useful and reassuring but that fails to address the layperson's most basic question about change: Why must it happen at all? Read full book review >