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Rapid Transformation: A 90-Day Plan for Fast and Effective Change [Hardcover]

Behnam N. Tabrizi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 22 2007
Profound organizational transformation takes years and, in most cases is unsuccessful, right? Not according to change expert Behnam Tabrizi. In Rapid Transformation: A 90-Day Plan for Fast and Effective Change , Tabrizi shows you how to accomplish successful transformational change in your firm in just 90 days. Based on ten years of research into more than 500 leading companies including 3M, IBM, GE, Nissan, Apple, Bay Networks, Verisign, HP and Best Buy--this book demystifies fast, effective change and lays out a clear roadmap for achieving it.

Tabrizi's 90-day transformational model comprises three main phases, each lasting 30 days. The model enables you to analyze your company's specific challenge, develop a new course of action, and carry out the plan. Moreover, you apply the model in parallel with the normal workings of your organization--so you don't have to put your company on hold for the sake of the change effort.

With its detailed recipe and insightful stories from actual corporate reinventions, this book defies long-held assumptions about change and provides a practical and immediately actionable guide.


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Product Description

About the Author

Behnam Tabrizi is a Consulting Professor at Stanford University's Department of Management Science & Engineering. He is an internationally recognized thought leader and a senior consultant to many prominent companies.

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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
With regard to this book's title and to the model that Behnam N. Tabrizi, it is important to note at the outset that he does not believe that organizational transformation can be completed in only three months. What he offers is a framework with which to formulate a program that, once implemented, may require 6-12 additional months (or more) to achieve the desired objectives. The proposed model has these characteristics: all-encompassing (i.e. "all aspects of the company, looking under all the rocks and leaving no stones unturned"), integrative (i.e. "various functions and processes within the organization" are synchronized), fast (i.e. "fully engaged in all [its] efforts in parallel, looking at everything at once" expeditiously), and have full, passionate commitment and buy-in, "especially at the top layers of the organization."

Tabrizi rigorously examines six companies that have used the 90 days model: 3M, VeriSign, Nissan, Bay Networks, Apple, and ACI. All of them proceeded through a multi-phase process. Here's the timetable:

Pretransformation (30-90 days)

Phase 1: Diagnosis (30 days)
Phase 2: Envisioning the future (30 days)
Phase 3: Paving the road (30 days)

Transformation implementation (6-12 months)

Of course, these are general guidelines and the timetable will vary among organizations that commit themselves to transformation initiatives and progress of such initiatives will also vary, once formulated and then implemented. Barriers are inevitable and some will probably be the result of what James O'Toole has so aptly characterized as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant analysis of "the ultimate power of transformation" Feb. 6 2008
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With regard to this book's title and to the model that Behnam N. Tabrizi proposes in this volume, it is important to note at the outset that he does not believe that organizational transformation can be completed in only three months. What he offers is a framework with which to formulate a program that, once implemented, may require 6-12 additional months (or more) to achieve the desired objectives. The proposed model has these characteristics: all-encompassing (i.e. "all aspects of the company, looking under all the rocks and leaving no stones unturned"), integrative (i.e. "various functions and processes within the organization" are synchronized), fast (i.e. "fully engaged in all [its] efforts in parallel, looking at everything at once" expeditiously), and have full, passionate commitment and buy-in, "especially at the top layers of the organization."

Tabrizi rigorously examines six companies that have used the 90 days model: 3M, VeriSign, Nissan, Bay Networks, Apple, and ACI. All of them proceeded through a multi-phase process. Here's the timetable:

Pretransformation (30-90 days)

Phase 1: Diagnosis (30 days)
Phase 2: Envisioning the future (30 days)
Phase 3: Paving the road (30 days)

Transformation implementation (6-12 months)

Of course, these are general guidelines and the timetable will vary among organizations that commit themselves to transformation initiatives and progress of such initiatives will also vary, once formulated and then implemented. Barriers are inevitable and some will probably be the result of what James O'Toole has so aptly characterized as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." He correctly points out that "today's executives believe they are struggling with an unprecedented leadership challenge to create internal strategic unity within a chaotic external environment." This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that so many companies are now competing in what Thomas Friedman has described as a "flat world."

Of special interest to me is what Tabrizi has to say about envisioning the future during the second phase, in Chapter 5. "Now, it is time for the teams to shift their focus and start looking at solutions for [the problems previously identified]. Over the next thirty days, with [various] pain points in mind, the teams will work on identifying various alternatives for treatment and remedy" by following this sequence: cascading goals > creating a set of metrics > rationalization of key areas > developing a set of "big ideas" > gap analysis > ongoing organizational excellence > get an early start on implementation [i.e. "picking low-hanging fruit" > Day 60 integration meeting > tiger teams. Tabrizi carefully explains what each of the steps in this sequence involves, and, correlates the importance of each to the other steps that precede and follow it. Along the way, he cites real-world examples from companies that include Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Nissan, VeriSign, Telefónica de España, Bay Networks, and The Home Depot. By the completion of Phase 2, teams will have "rationalized and streamlined their portfolio of products and services and used gap analysis of revenue projections...[and will have] developed their big ideas, which were recommendations shared with the EMT [i.e. executive management team] at the day 60 integration meeting. In some cases, new rapid response teams, called tiger teams, need to be created to address areas that have been previously ignored or overlooked."

Throughout the balance of his narrative, Tabrizi explains how to build on accomplishments achieved through the second phase so that those involved are well-prepared to meet the challenges that await them when they begin the 6-12 month process of full implementation. The model he proposes is not for every organization, as he duly acknowledges. Moreover, those organizations that that select it when planning and then implementing transformation initiatives must be sufficiently agile and flexible to make whatever modifications of the model may be necessary.

"However, it is only a matter of time before change is required again. The question then is, How do I continue to change before I have to? The beauty of the 90 days model is that it spins out an army of change agents with informal networks and experience working across numerous boundaries, and who have internalized change and the change process." Tabrizi then goes on to point out that, by creating an organization of change leaders that think outside the box, "the company will be better prepared to change in the future, fir employees will be less resistant and more experienced...Instead of being something to be feared, change becomes something that is empowering. Change promotes growth. And that is the ultimate power of transformation."

Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out James O'Toole's Leading Change: The Argument for Values-Based Leadership, Corporate Agility: A Revolutionary Model for Competing in a Flat World co-authored by Charles E. Grantham, James P. Ware, and Cory Williamson, Kevan Hall's Speed Lead: Faster, Simpler Ways to Manage People, Projects and Teams in Complex Companies, Dean R. Spitzer's Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success, and Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best business book ever written Dec 6 2007
By Soheila M. Spaeth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
How timely and brilliantly written is this book in such an economic climate...for all leaders,managers,Ceo's of companies who are or will be undergoing transformation . It guides you in a detailed step by step path towards understanding the process of change and how to manage it with ease and speed to a successful result. It is a masterpiece. It will create a revolution in managing change in organizations. Every chapter offers several templates that you can use right away and in particular, the chapter on employing an all encompassing cross functional rapid response team is a must read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make time for this one Dec 6 2007
By James Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book should be mandatory reading for all business leaders and those in company executive level management who are trying to grow their businesses. The examples are very interesting and logical. Author's research was intensive and thorough. His argument is compelling. Rapid Transformation will soon be a "Bible" for change agents in companies.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best transformation book I have read, to this date Dec 7 2007
By Brian Saleh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Outstanding book. A must read for all the executives of corporations. The author clearly defines three phases of transformation planning process and how to develop the plan, in detail. In addition, he goes through two phases of preplanning and the implementation process. I found his numerous examples of the successful and unsuccessful transformations, in different corporations, extremely useful. It is like years of lessons learned presented in one book. As an experienced professional, who has lead planning and implementation efforts for very complex Aerospace programs which required sense of urgency, found the authors provided models and tools very useful, logical and practical.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book By America's Brightest Change Expert Dec 2 2007
By Mannan Amin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Most books just don't feel like they are worth all the reading. But then there are a select few books that have a huge impact on me. And very few from these select actually give me frameworks to go back to when I face a certain situation/problem at work. Rapid Transformation is one of these very few books.

This book gives a tried and tested framework for change. And change is something that every company will face again and again. The framework has evolved from and been tested by some of the most successful transformations in companies like Bay Networks, 3M, Apple, GE, Nissan, Abbot, and many more (see page 282 of the book).

In fact I have become such a fan of this book that I can bet you can predict how well the change your company is going through will be by just going through the checklist in this book.
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