Welcome to The Change Handbook.

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This book is about effective change. It describes methods for changing “whole systems,”that is, change based on two powerful foundation assumptions: high involvement and a systemic approach to improvement. High involvement means engaging the people in changing their own system.It is systemic because there is a conscious choice to include the people,functions,and ideas that can affect or be affected by the work.Whole system change methods help you initiate high-leverage, sustainable improvements in organizations or communities. “High-leverage” is emphasized because in any improvement effort,we want the highest possible value for the effort invested. We believe that involving people in a systematic way is a key to high leverage and that the methods in this book can provide this leverage for you.You’ll need to determine the one(s) best suited to moving your organization or community to the culture you want.We wrote this book to support your efforts. 

The book is intended to answer questions such as: 

  • What methods are available that have proven successful in addressing today’s needs for organizational or community change? 
  • What are the key distinctions among these methods? 
  • How do I know if a method would be a good fit for my organization or community? 
  • How do I get started after I select one or more methods? 

In 1999, the first edition of The Change Handbook provided a snapshot of a nascent field that broke barriers by engaging "whole systems" of people from organizations and communities in creating their own future. In the last seven years, the field has exploded. In this completely revised and updated second edition, lead authors Peggy Holman, Tom Devane, and Steven Cady profile sixty-one change methods--up from eighteen in the first edition. Nineteen of these methods are explored in depth, with case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and details on the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, conditions for success, and more. This tremendously expanded second edition--400 pages longer, nearly twice the length of the first edition--will undoubtedly become the definitive resource in this rapidly expanding area.
  • Features descriptions of sixty-one change methods.
  • Over 90 International Contributors.
  • Methods Include:
    • Appreciative Inquiry
    • Open Space Technology
    • Whole Scale Change
    • The World Cafe
    • Future Search