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Chapter 13. Organizations: Don't Leap into Major Change

Chapter 13. Organizations: Don't Leap into Major Change

  • Change efforts must do no harm

  • Organizations must avoid failure; it invites more

  • Success must be designed into every change effort

In the early 1990s, my colleagues Norm Schoenfeld and Pat Curran and I spent a lot of time at one of the seven Baby Bells, the regional phone companies that had been spun off from AT&T. All of the Bells, including Ma Bell, had become aware that they were the epitome of a stable organization and, as a result, they were hugely unprepared for competition. Our task, which we accomplished, was to do an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various parts of the company and make specific recommendations for improvement. We interviewed about 100 people, read all the in-house material including financial statements and business plans, sat in on many meetings, and generally observed what was going on over the course of several months.


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