MASTERING CHANGE: The Key to Business Success by Leon Martel

MASTERING CHANGE: The Key to Business Success

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Among other virtues, this low-key exercise in futurism provides thoughtful briefings on socioeconomic changes that are either in store or in progress. An alumnus of the Hudson Institute who now works as an independent consultant, Martel accords relatively short shift to the mechanics of coping with change. In fact, he devotes more than two-thirds of his text to developing a coherent frame of reference for decision makers in general and corporate executives in particular. The author first makes useful distinctions between structural and cyclical change, in brief, the former produces fundamentally new states that are irreversible and hence require permanent adjustments; the latter involves recurrent events which periodically repeat familiar patterns and can be ridden out, albeit with some difficulty. As examples of ongoing structural change, Martel cites the emergence of information as a ""transforming resource,"" an increase in educational levels, a slowing rate of population growth, and a coincident gain in life expectancy; he also addresses attitudinal shifts in post-industrial societies, which promise to produce new priorities--notably, greater concern for personal health, comfort, and security. In the main, he argues, structural change is beneficial. Appreciably leas constructive in his book are economic recession/recovery, bull/bear markets, war/peace, and related cycles, including ups and downs in crime and divorce rates. Beyond these perspectives, Milch come complete with capsule case studies, Martel offers uncommonly sensible guidelines for anticipating as well as responding to change. Cautioning that ""present trends rarely continue, and then only very briefly,"" he counsels accepting the fact of change as a constant and preparing for it, i.e., by identifying likely developments, ranking their importance, and taking appropriate action on those with consequential implications. Down-to-earth overviews and planning advisories that--for a refreshing change--emphasize process, not prophecy.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1985
Publisher: Simon & Schuster