What Is the Book About? 

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? 

Intended Audience 

This book is for anyone who needs a change that involves people. In particular, we intend it for lifelong students of effective, sustainable change. It is a guide that is useful to readers irrespective of their current functional discipline, community or organizational position, age, country of origin, or educational background. The principles and approaches covered have wide applicability around the world in organizational and community settings for a variety of human conditions. If you are interested in change that involves people, you’ll likely find some of the methods and principles in this book extremely useful. For example, these practices are for anyone who wants 
people in organizations or communities to: 

  • Commit to a shared vision of the future 
  • Operate from the “big picture” 
  • Make change happen 
  • Seek responsibility and take initiative 
  • Use their creative powers to their fullest potential. 

This book is written for people in organizations and communities who are seeking dramatic, sustainable change. It supports people focused on achieving better results, higher quality of life, improved relationships, and increased capacity for succeeding in turbulent times.