Since its release in 1990, Peter M. Senge's bestselling
The Fifth Discipline has converted readers to its innovative
business principles of the "learning organization," personal mastery, and
systems thinking. Published nearly a decade later, Dance of Change
provides a formidable response to businesspeople wondering how to make his
programs stick. He outlines potential obstacles (such as initiating
transformation, personal fear and anxiety, and measuring the unmeasurable)
and proposes ways to turn these obstacles into sources of improvement. Senge--with
considerable help from the team who worked on the follow-up development
The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook--presents an insider's account of
long-term maintenance efforts at General Electric, Harley-Davidson, the U.S.
Army, and others who are learning organization, along with experience-based
suggestions and exercises for individuals and teams. "We are seeking to
understand how people nurture the reinforcing growth processes that
naturally enable an organization to evolve and change," Senge explains, "and
how they tend to the limiting processes that can impede or stop that
growth." --Howard Rothman
Peter Senge and company are the hottest thing in the
theory of business change these days. THE DANCE OF CHANGE describes ways to
initiate and maintain long-term systemic changes in the corporate
environment. This abridged audiotape would serve as a good summary or review
of the material presented in the book. Speaking in an informal,
conversational style, Senge introduces each principle. The introduction is
followed by another reader who develops the idea. However, there are many
big ideas here, and the examples leave the listener breathlessly trying to
take a few notes. This listener wishes the publisher had followed Senge's
advice–to take time, allow for thought and a throrough exploration of
ideas–and had produced this audiobook in an unabridged edition read at a
more leisurely pace. L.R.S. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright
© AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the
Audio Cassette edition.
Warren Bennis, University
Professor, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California;
co-author of Co-Leaders
"DO NOT READ THIS BOOK FROM COVER TO COVER. Just dip in
anywhere and you'll be surprised and challenged. This is an original and
refreshing take on organization change, at times quirky, at other times
perplexing, but always on every page an idea that stops you in your tracks
and makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about the subject. "
Gary Hamel, coauthor,
Competing for the Future
"More practical ideas on how to drive positive change in
your organization than you will find between any other two covers anywhere.
The Dance of Change is a cornucopia of advice for making your organization a
truly worthy place to work."
Chairman, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management
"The Dance of Change is an extraordinary book. Dancing
with Peter Senge and company inspires us to learn new steps and gain new
insights. The format and presentation of this provocative and accessible
guide to change are as dazzling as its content."
Ken Blanchard, coauthor,
The One Minute Manager
"The Dance of Change is certainly going to take more
than a minute to read. Peter has done it again. This is an excellent book
for anyone who is seriously interested in sustaining change in large
organizations. Read it and use it!"
Bill Godfrey, Editor,
"The further I go with The Dance of Change, the more
impressed I am. It is clear, highly readable and thoroughly useful. It meets
its own objective of providing a solid framework for anyone to work through
the change process. It also manages to challenge everyone with out
unnecessarily alienating anyone. I am sure it will be formidably
Since Peter Senge published his groundbreaking book
The Fifth Discipline, he and his associates have frequently been asked
by the business community: "How do we go beyond the first steps of corporate
change? How do we sustain momentum?" They know that companies and
organizations cannot thrive today without learning to adapt their attitudes
and practices. But companies that establish change initiatives discover,
after initial success, that even the most promising efforts to transform or
revitalize organizations--despite interest, resources, and compelling
business results--can fail to sustain themselves over time. That's because
organizations have complex, well-developed immune systems, aimed at
preserving the status quo.
Now, drawing upon new theories about leadership and the long-term success
of change initiatives, and based upon twenty-five years
of experience building learning organizations, the authors of The Fifth
Discipline Fieldbook show how to accelerate success and avoid the
obstacles that can stall momentum. The Dance of Change, written for
managers and executives at every level of an organization, reveals how
business leaders can work together to anticipate the challenges that
profound change will ultimately force the organization to face. Then, in a
down-to-earth and compellingly clear format, readers will learn how to build
the personal and organizational capabilities needed to meet those
These challenges are not imposed from the outside; they are the product
of assumptions and practices that people take for granted--an inherent,
natural part of the processes of change. And they can stop innovation cold,
unless managers at all levels learn to anticipate them and recognize the
hidden rewards in each challenge, and the potential to spur further growth.
Within the frequently encountered challenge of "Not Enough Time," for
example--the lack of control over time available for innovation and learning
initiatives--lies a valuable opportunity to reframe the way people organize
This book identifies universal challenges that organizations ultimately
find themselves confronting, including the challenge of "Fear and Anxiety";
the need to diffuse learning across organizational boundaries; the ways in
which assumptions built in to corporate measurement systems can handcuff
learning initiatives; and the almost unavoidable misunderstandings between
"true believers" and nonbelievers in a company.
Filled with individual and team exercises, in-depth accounts of
sustaining learning initiatives by managers and leaders in the field, and
well-tested practical advice, The Dance of Change provides an
insider's perspective on implementing learning and change initiatives at
such corporations as British Petroleum, Chrysler, Dupont, Ford, General
Electric, Harley-Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Electric, Royal
Dutch/Shell, Shell Oil Company, Toyota, the United States Army, and Xerox.
It offers crucial advice for line-level managers, executive leaders,
internal networkers, educators, and others who are struggling to put change
initiatives into practice.
The bestselling team that wrote "The Fifth Discipline
Fieldbook"--which showed business how to build learning organizations--now
explains how to successfully sustain organizational change to produce
Reveals how business leaders can work together to
anticipate the challenges that profound change will ultimately force the
organization to face. Instructs how to build the personal and organizational
capabilities needed to meet those challenges. Softcover. DLC: Organizational
From the Back Cover
Advance Acclaim for The Dance of Change:
"Do not read this book from cover to cover. Just dip in anywhere; you'll
be surprised and challenged. This is an original and refreshing take on
organizational change--on every page an idea stops you in your tracks and
makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about the subject."
--Warren Bennis, professor, Marshall School of Business, University of
Southern California, and coauthor of Co-Leaders
"The Dance of Change is an extraordinary book. Dancing with Peter
Senge and company inspires us to learn new steps and gain new insights. The
format and presentation of this provocative and accessible guide to change
are as dazzling as its content."
--Frances Hesselbein, Chairman, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit
Critical Acclaim for The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook:
"If you believe, as I do, that people are the only long-term competitive
advantage and lifelong learning is the way to fully develop that advantage,
you must read this book. It's about the real work, the work of
--Richard F. Teerlink, President and CEO, Harley Davidson, Inc.
"Senge's message of growth and prosperity holds strong appeal for today's
"Peter Senge's advocacy of the learning organization helped begin a
revolution in the workplace. And, the relevance of Senge's work is growing
rather than diminishing over time. As more businesses go global, the need to
overcome psychological barriers to necessary organizational change
About the Author
Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, the chairman of the Society for Organizational
Learning, and the author of the bestseller The Fifth Discipline,
named by the Harvard Business Review as one of the five "key business books"
of the past two decades. He is a recognized pioneer, theorist, and writer in
the field of management innovation.
Charlotte Roberts is a speaker, writer, and consultant to executives,
with expertise in creating learning cultures in business and community
Richard Ross is a speaker, trainer, and organizational consultant who
works with numerous Fortune 500 and international corporations.
Bryan Smith is a vice president of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and a director
of Innovations Associates; his work focuses on strategy implementation,
corporate governance, and sustainable development.
George Roth is an MIT researcher, lecturer, and Executive Director of the
Editorial Director Art Kleiner is a faculty member at New York University
and the author of The Age of Heretics, a finalist for the Edgar Booz
Award for most innovative business book of 1996.