Better Change

Price Waterhouse Change Integration Team


Best Practices for Transforming Your Organization


Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professional Publishing, 1995, 199 pp.



Bringing about strategic change in large organizations.  Recommended by J.D.Schmidt.

black print, colored chapter titles, 4 color charts

good checklist at the end of each chapter

bookmarks and response card bound in the back of the book



1 The Basics of Change

6 Connecting the Dots

2 Building the Case for Change

7 Operating Across Borders

3 Motivating Stakeholders

8 Thinking Big, Acting New

4 Communicating Honestly

9 Measuring Performance

5 Empowering People (really!)



15 Guiding principles  p. 4-6

Confront realty.

Let the customer drive change.

Think big.

Focus on strategic contexts.

Know your stakeholders.

Leverage diversity.

Summon a strong mandate.

Communicate continuously.

Build skills.

Set scope intelligently.

Reshape your measures.


Build a powerful case for change

Use all of the levers of change.

Integrate your initiatives.


Consultants can help, but they should not dominate the team.  15

Breakthroughs are achieved by simplifying rather than complicating the way an organization operates.  17

How change can go wrong:  16-21

Failure to deliver early, tangible results.

The voice of the employees is not heard, either.

Talking about breakthroughs, drowning in detail.

Senior management doesn’t know how to help.

Everything is high priority.

“What’s in it for me” is unclear.

Old performance measures block change.

Too much conventional wisdom.

The voice of the customer is absent.

Same old horses, same old glue.


Diagnostic Worksheet to judge readiness for change, p. 23.

  1.  Assess levels of resistance (see questions, p. 23)

  2.  Assess ability to manage transitions (see worksheet p. 24-5).

10 Fundamentals for Managing Change:

Leading.  Identifying and getting the support/commitment of key leaders.

Visioning.  Articulating a clear, concise picture...

Assessing.  Determining the type and extent of impact...

Selling/marketing.  Following common techniques in promoting the change...

Participating.  Encouraging active involvement...

Communicating.  Exchanging regular and accurate information in a proactive/open manner

Educating.  Providing training on the concepts and skills required to implement...

Integrating.  Coordinating the multiple activities...

Supporting.  Confirming the infrastructure...

Transitioning.  Preparing to move smoothly from the current environment to the target

The best case for change is built on two values:  direction and discovery.

Direction establishes a destination and a plan for getting there.

Discovery is your explicit invitation to stakeholders to participate as creative agents in the change process rather than to apply the brakes or position themselves as victims.  36

Stakeholders require a great deal of maintenance.  You will spend what seems a disproportionate amount of time eliciting their views and drawing them into consensus, or attempting to do so.  But the effort pays.  54

The Resistance Change Curve  p. 601










It is best for there to be no secrets.  Draw a line around such truth as is known and clear at any point, and put that out over the airwaves.  75

The Five Cs of Successful Communications Plans  82   The best plan will be:

Candid.  Always tell the truth; your employees will probably know when you don’t.

Contextual.  Provide your stakeholders with the ‘big picture’...

Constructive.  Guard against counterproductive comments...

Consistent.  Ensure that verbal, written, and nonverbal forms of communication are consistent from message to message, and that your actions support your messages.

Continuous.  Provide ongoing reinforcement...

 “The survival of companies today depends on the day-to-day mobilization of every ounce of intelligence.”  Richard Pascale, Managing on the Edge.  p. 94

Moses toured the Sinai peninsula for 40 years with a generation that was not ready for the challenges of the Promised Land.  This is not a good corporate model,...  106

 “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.”  p. 154 from Roger von Oech, A Whack on the Side of the Head.

Nothing can match an organization filled with highly motivated, highly innovative people.  This is an unassailable advantage....  155

Performance measures monitor the company’s progress, tell employees what really matters, and underpin a realistic reward structure.  169

Performance measures are a primary strategy deployment tool.  As such they must be linked to strategy to ensure that the right signals are being sent.  When those signals are received loud and clear, employees know what matters most.  171 

Qualities of Performance Measures:

Relevance.  Does it have a significant, demonstrable relation to strategy/objectives?

Reliability.  Will it help identify the strengths and weaknesses of business processes?

Clarity.  Is its purpose understandable by its name?

Availability of data.  Are the data necessary available at a reasonable cost?


Principles for Selecting Performance Measures

1. Reevaluate existing measures

2.  Measure important business processes, not just results

3.  Measures should foster goal-driven teamwork

4.  Measures should be an integrated set

5.  Measures should have an external focus whenever possible (not just internal comparison)