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 under 110 pages.
A highly specific yet highly readable schematic for organizational change.