success stories

An Excellent Book for those in church administration

Book: The Change Masters: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation
Author: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Schuster and Schuster, New York, pp. 431

Excerpt from Jacket:

In executive suites throughout America, The Change Masters hasbecome one of the most talked-about books in years. Dr. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at Yale University's School of Management and a leading advisor to many Fortunes 500 companies, has written a practical book which is likely to have a major impact on the conduct of American business and management in the coming decades. [We might add, it can also have an immense impact on how to the day-to-day operations of a parish]

The key to an American corporate renaissance, says Kanter, lies in innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of "participative management" skills that encourage the use of new ideas arising from within the corporation itself. Kanter demonstrates how corporations that are "integrationist" (successful at stimulating the innovative capacity of their people) rather than "segmentalist" (so rigidly structured as to stifle innovation) are able to stay ahead of changing technologies and markets.

Excerpt from book:

I have found that the entrepreneurial spirit producing innovation is associated with a particular way of approaching problems that I call "integrative": the willingness to move beyond received wisdom, to combine ideas from unconnected sources, to embrace change as an opportunity to test limits. To see problems integratively is to see them as wholes, related to larger wholes, and thus challenging established practices rather than walling off a piece of experience and preventing it from being touched or affected by any new experiences.

Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial organizations always operate at the edge of their competence, focusing more of their resources and attention on what they do not yet know than controlling what they already know. They measure themselves not by standards of the past (how far they have come) but by visions of the future (how far they have yet to go). And they do not allow the past to serve as a restraint on the future; the mere fact that something has not worked in the past does not mean that it cannot be made to work in the future. And the mere fact that something has worked in the past does not mean that it should remain.

Table of Contents:
The Need for an American Corporate Renaissance
1. Introduction
2. Transformations in the American Corporate Environment

Why We're in Trouble: The Quiet Suffocation of the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Segmentalist Companies
3. Innovating Against the Grain: Ten Rules for Stifling Innovation
4. The Withering of the Grass Roots: The Fate of Employee Innovations in an Indifferent Environment

Places Where Innovation Flourish and Why
5. Cultures of Pride, Climates of Success: Incentives for Enterprise in High-Innovation Companies
6. Empowerment
7. Energizing the Grass Roots: Employee Involvement in Innovation and Change

Managing in the Innovating Organization: Skills for Change Masters
8. Power Skills in Use: Corporate Entrepreneurs in Action
9. Dilemmas of Participation
10. The Architecture of Culture and Strategy Change

Can America Do It?
Realizing a Corporate Renaissance
11. Trying to Turn Around an American Archetype: The General Motors Story
12. Reawakening the Spirit of Enterprise: Toward an American Corporate Renaissance

Appendix: The Core Companies and Research Methods