A management guide designed to help leaders introduce change into their organizations and tap into their full potential.
In their revised and updated nonfiction collaboration, business consultants Shea and Solomon, who both teach management classes at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, present a strategy based on the Work Systems Model. That model, developed in part by Shea, is itself based on the concept of sociotechnical systems, created in the 1950s. The aim is to help teach “change leaders” to become “system thinkers,” and, to that end, the book introduces eight Levers of Change of the Work Systems Model, from “Organization” and “Workplace design” to “Information distribution” and “Decision allocation.” Within these, the authors offer an array of sound approaches to revitalizing and reenvisioning the corporate environment, such as “Become the Screenwriter of Your Future” (“Why does the account manager care? Why does the person on the other end care? Who decides on a course of action, if any?”) and “Pulling the Task Lever” to streamline the manner in which something gets done (“Laying out the flow of work and converting it into a formal practice can help make it a habit—the way we do what we do”). Shea and Solomon analyze variables of various Task Levers by using real-world examples, and they reliably ground these in broader principles: “Inevitably,” they write, “the behavior of employees reflects the confluence of powerful forces. Aligning those forces through thoughtful application of the 8 Levers of Change in the Work System Model will precipitate behavioral change.” The book explains all aspects of the model in a succinct, compressed style, which may leave some readers wanting more; given the density of the material, the book is surprisingly short at well under 100 pages.
A highly specific yet highly readable schematic for organizational change.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)