About the book

7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change

Even if you don’t have change management in your job description, your job involves change.

Change is a given, as modern organizations respond to market and technology advances, make improvements, and evolve new practices to meet new challenges.

These are not simple changes on the organizational, group, or even team level. Often, there is no indisputable right answer and responding requires trial and error, learning and unlearning. Whatever you choose to do, it will interact with existing policies and structures with unpredictable results.

Rather than more rigorous planning, the answer is to shift to an approach that is adaptive, responsive, and engages people in learning, evolving and owning the new way. 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Changepresents a set of heuristics—guides to problem-solving—that help answer the question: “What should I do next?”—clearing the fog to provide a new way forward, in a way that honors people and creates safety for change.

About the book

7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change

Even if you don’t have change management in your job description, your job involves change.

Change is a given, as modern organizations respond to market and technology advances, make improvements, and evolve new practices to meet new challenges.

These are not simple changes on the organizational, group, or even team level. Often, there is no indisputable right answer and responding requires trial and error, learning and unlearning. Whatever you choose to do, it will interact with existing policies and structures with unpredictable results.

Rather than more rigorous planning, the answer is to shift to an approach that is adaptive, responsive, and engages people in learning, evolving and owning the new way. 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Changepresents a set of heuristics—guides to problem-solving—that help answer the question: “What should I do next?”—clearing the fog to provide a new way forward, in a way that honors people and creates safety for change.

7 Rules for Positive, productive change

Praise

 

7 Rules for Positive, productive change

Praise

 

In this book, Esther has beautifully captured the essence of a successful lasting change. The seven rules provide a framework for engaging with people and systems in a way that honors everyone and creates the kind of safety necessary for change to take root, all without glossing over the hard parts. A must-read for anyone seeking to have a lasting impact or bring about change.

Elisabeth Hendrickson

Vice President of Research and Development, Pivotal

I hired Esther as a consultant to be part of my transformation team in our global organization. We put many of the topics and tools in this book into practice. Applying these concepts with Esther has been invaluable as I work with teams to navigate change.

Ken Power

Principal Engineer/Engineering Director, Cisco Systems

This book is a blueprint for both novices and experienced change professionals to enhance their approach to complex change. The blend of both examples and detailed material helped me see where I need to polish my approach and where I need to improve my empathy. Selfishly, I plan to share 7 Rules with my team and leaders so they can gain a better perspective on complex change management.

Ben van Glabbeek

Vice President, Agile Transformation, Fiserv

As a software executive, I have been responsible for leading or supporting change for a long time. I wish I had this book years ago; it would have vastly accelerated my learning.

Kevin Goldsmith

Vice President of Engineering, AstrumU

This book is a product of Esther’s hard-won insights and her ability to explain them in simple, memorable ways. It is an invaluable resource to all those in the field of knowledge work who want to understand what is going on at a deeper level and how to create effective change around them. It’s an opportunity to stand on her shoulders.

Kevin Trethewey

Director of Engineering, Jemstep by Invesco

An accessible yet challenging addition to the growing literature on change, I’m especially touched by the deep humanness of the approach, including the repeated reframing of situations often framed as ‘obstacles to change,’ as valuable resources and opportunities to learn. Instead of merely giving lip service to complexity, Derby’s 7 Rules embraces it.

Simon Bennett

Managing Principal, LASTing Benefits (UK and Australia)

Change is a social process. It’s messy, confusing, upsetting, and very complex. With 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change, Esther Derby has laid out a sense-making path for change agents that not only helps us assess situations, find congruence, and honor the human nature of knowledge work but also teaches us—the change agents—that true and lasting change starts within. Read this book, internalize the rules, and help your organizations inspect, adapt, and thrive.

Ryan Ripley

Creator of the "Agile for Humans" podcast, Ryan Ripley & Company

Wow. If you want to help people, and the organizations they’re in, improve, these are indeed seven rules you need to know and will want to follow. It’s dangerous to go it alone. Take this book with you.

Ron Jeffries

Author of "The Nature of Software Development"

Esther Derby has written a must-read guide for anyone whose organization is experiencing a complex shift. . . Read this book—and learn from one of the best.

Howard Sublett

Chief Product Owner, Scrum Alliance

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