Monday, November 5, 2007

Leandro Herrero / Viral Change: The alternative to slow, painful and unsuccessful management of change in organizations

ISBN: 9781905776016- Meetingminds (2006)
Reviewed by Cherie Fisher for Reader Views (10/07)

So many large corporations spend millions of dollars on programs that they think will create positive change in their organization.  As the change vehicle gets bogged down in committees and long-term commitments and strategies, the originals goals are often lost.  Leandro Herrero's approach in "Viral Change" is completely different.  This well-written, easy-to-follow book will teach you how to create lasting change in the corporate world.  The author, a psychiatrist, debunks many myths about creating change in the corporate structure and outlines the process in very simple and straightforward steps. 
The author begins the book by getting you to think about your position on fifteen assumptions.  These are:  Big changes requires big actions, only change at the top can ensure change within the organization, people are resistant to change, cultural change is a slow and painful long-term affair, everybody needs to be involved in the change, communication and training are the vital components of change, new processes and systems create the new necessary behaviors, people are rational and will react to logical and rational requests for change, there is no point in creating change in one division without the rest of the company participating, skeptical people and enemies of change need to be sidelined, vision for change needs to come from the top and cascade down, after change, you need a period of stability and consolidation, short-term wins are tactical, but they do not usually represent real change, there will always be casualties – people not accepting change – and you need to identify and deal with them and people used to not complying with norms will be even worse at accepting change.  These same assumptions are revisited at the end of the book with very different outcomes when using viral change principles. 
The bottom line in "Viral Change" is that change does not have to be a long, drawn-out and painful process.  It can happen very quickly by using small, incremental steps.  And it does not have to have the buy-in of all the "top brass" and committees.  One person, not necessarily at the top, can effect positive change by using this process.  Large corporations, for-profit and not-for- profit, often get in trouble because they become inflexible and unable to change quickly to meet the increasing demands in their industries.  It does not have to be this way and Leandro Herrero proves that in this insightful book "Viral Change."

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