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Book Reviews

All Change!
New Rules for the New World
Putting Strategy to Work
Making Re-engineering Happen
Financial Times Handbook of Management
Gower Handbook of Training and development

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All Change! The Project Leader's Secret Handbook Eddie Obeng

The first half is written in the first person in the style of a rather good mystery novel. Through discussions with Franck, an old friend, now mentor, the narrator is brought to a higher level of understanding about managing change through projects. Throughout the novel section serious comments about the art of managing change are helpfully emboldened.

The second part starts by helping you diagnose your project type (is it foggy or a quest?) and then guiding you through easy to follow quizzes and then suggesting the right behaviours, tools and techniques to apply. All Change! will become your favourite handbook.

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Published by Financial Times Pearson Publishing
ISBN 0 273 60762 6

Fiona Powell reviewed All Change! for Project Manager Today and discovered more than she bargained

"If you want to make a Blue Lagoon, look no further than page five of All Change! The Project Leader's Secret Handbook."

Until reading this book, I hadn't realised that the theory of managing projects could be so sensually appealing. Manuals on this subject are not normally noted for their cocktail recipes. All Change! is teasingly unlike any other project management book: Delia Smith instead of Mrs Beeton. If you open the cover - lurid if eye-catching - you'll find that the first 86 pages are written in the first person in the style of a rather good mystery novel.

'I' am a confused, frustrated , yet experienced project leader 'resting' in the South of France after a serious difference of understanding on a very important project. I bump into an old friend, Franck, who, we are told, spent six years studying 'psychological diagnostic technique of the narrator, supporting his unravelling and learning process. Interspersed with delicious descriptions of wine, food, sunshine and the sand-castle-building efforts of Franck's little daughter, you realise that serious comments about the art of managing change are on almost every page, helpfully emboldened.

Franck, through a series of unasked-for but much-needed lessons in self-discovery based on simple, real-life examples, brings me, the narrator, to a higher level of understanding about people, organisations and managing change. This is when, and only when, I can appreciate the second part of the book, The Project Leader's Secret Handbook.

This is the meat, but the softening up of the defences which takes place in the 'story' makes us more open to its daring ideas and demanding approach. The handbook is in three parts; Diagnosing your own project, Try these and All those new words. Work through what kind of project yours is: Fog, Movie, Quest and Painting-by-numbers. Then work out how you can develop the thinking, skills and behaviour frame works to use to manage changes in chunks. Using the easy-to-follow quizzes and checklists is fun as well as analytically effective. Look up definitions of terms in the last section.

Actually admitting that attempting to influence people's thinking and learning is 'dangerous', demonstrates to me that Eddie Obeng has a deep understanding of managing people and change. He advises: 'I recommend Patience and Humility, two qualities which I have never possessed but have sometimes been able to fake.'

If you enjoy listening to stories, you'll love the audio tape version of the book. Read in a wonderfully listenable-to-gravelly voice, the first section is brought to life like a good Radio Four 'Book at Bedtime'. You'll have to get the book, though, for the Handbook section.

  All Change! The Project Leader's Handbook is just about the most      enjoyable and informative management book available.


Sticky Steps Planning - "Takes the Terror out of Planning!"


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Making Re-engineering Happen Eddie Obeng & Stuart Crainer

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Published by Financial Times Pearson Publishing
ISBN 0 273 60424 4

Best Practice magazine says:-

Making Re-Engineering Happen may not be the book the publishers thought that they were going to get when they commissioned it. Another in the Financial Times series, this one is quite different.

The first half of the book is a novel about a poor mug who has been put in charge of re-engineering his company. Fortunately he meets a bald guru, Franck, on an aeroplane who sorts him out. This section is fun to read and could be a very useful
way of getting people to think clearly about what they want and expect from re-engineering.

Part two sets out an Action Plan for re-engineering under the following sub-headings:
Understanding your business
Moving from functions to processes
Making the most of information
Getting people on board
Beyond re-engineering.

Once again this could provide the basis for your own programme and schedule since it covers all the bases clearly and uses simple process charts to help you do things in order.







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Putting Strategy to Work - The Blue Print for Transforming Ideas into Action Eddie Obeng

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In a world of rapid, chaotic change the only way to transform strategy into reality is through programs of linked, but flexible, projects. Directing programs of strategic change carries great responsibilities as you influence the future of your organisation forever. Putting Strategy to Work covers all the techniques for successful program management.

Published by Financial Times Pearson Publishing
ISBN 0273 60265 9

Business Life Magazine wrote:-
Equally thought provoking is Eddie Obeng's Putting Strategy to Work. It is unlike virtually any other book you will read on the subject and is a companion to Obeng's previous best-seller, All Change! The Project Leader's Secret Handbook. The first half is written as a novel complete with the semi-mystical presence of Franck, an all knowing business guru and father confessor. The second half is more traditional, not that Eddie Obeng is capable of a traditional thought. This is the new world of strategy and as Obeng points out, "Strategic change is weird. Strategic change is different". Obeng creates a surreal world of changes in chunks and invisible leadership, which remains cunningly connected to reality. Henry Mintzberg it isn't.
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Putting Strategy to Work contains Eddie Obeng's most innovative story-line to date.
You will laugh out loud at the characters and will find yourself being dragged along to the exciting finish.





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New Rules for the New World, Cautionary Tales for the New World Manager Eddie Obeng

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This is a book of stories. Each tale paints a picture of good intentions gone wrong. Through the stories you will meet a cast of characters familiar to anyone in business - the Empowering Manager, the Uncertain Strategist, the Global Communicator and the Merged Chief Executive. Each story has a moral, a new rule for the New World. A practical rule which would have prevented failure.

Published by Capstone
ISBN 1 900961 15 6


"Making it happen is Obeng's constant refrain and his books are an antidote to the dryness of much managerial theorising. They come complete with their lessons in fictional form and implementation techniques such as rat-holing, blowing bubbles and the sticky steps approach to planning. Old world they are not."
                                                                                                           Financial Times
Even if you read many books, and take the best available advice from inside your
organisation and from consultants, and put in place a painstakingly crafted plan for implementing strategic change, and motivated your colleagues and staff behind the plan...
the chances are that it will all go horribly wrong. It nearly always does.

This book is about what goes wrong, the path from good (and often correct) intention to
final failure. It is about the bumpy road from a great idea like 'Why don't we bench mark against our competitors?' to complete industry failure, to Queen of the Pigs (you benchmarked against organisations that are themselves failing). And it's about how to
avoid that road.The Financial Times calls Obeng an agent provocateur. This book will provoke you into your future




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SoundBytes Obeng

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From the Financial Times Thursday August 5






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Financial Times Handbook of Management

The leading management thinking at your fingertips

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Gower Handbook of Training and Development

Trends in executive education

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Copyright Pentacle1997 Eddie Obeng 1994 All rights reserved

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