To the Desert and Back. The Story of One of the Most Dramatic Business Transformations on Record

  • ID: 2217132
  • Book
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"To the Desert and Back tells a fascinating story that those leading change at all levels should read. While the methods will surprise, perhaps even shock, the results in terms of personal growth and business growth are hard to ignore. In the midst of a huge, tradition–bound, multinational corporation, a small band of radical local business innovators have not only awakened a sleeping giant, they seem, at least so far, to have gotten away with it. My hat is off to Mirvis, Ayas, and Roth for digging into the ′concrete particulars′ of large–scale change. For those who are tired of simplistic generalizations and formulas, this book will prove nourishment and inspiration."

Peter Senge, author ofThe Fifth Discipline

"To the Desert and Back is a marvelous leadership story, an inspirational way to teach and learn about change. Great leaders are great teachers. Tex Gunning and his team leaders demonstrate that convincingly and provide great lessons for those of us who wrestle with transformation and growth."
Noel Tichy, professor at the University of Michigan Business School and coaut hor of The Cycle Of Leadership

"This is a business story that talks to the heart. To the Desert and Back illuminates how tapping into ′heart intelligence′ can speed and guide personal and organizational transformation. Make this book a part of your learning journey and you′ll experience new possibilities for your organization and for yourself."
Joe Jaworski, author of Synchronicity

"The men and women of Van den Bergh have been among the trailblazers on Unilever′s path to growth. Their successes and setbacks in energizing brands, launching products, exciting consumers, and growing their top line is what enterprise culture is all about. The emotional and spiritual aspects of their journey is what makes it all worthwhile."
Antony Burgmans and Niall FitzGerald, chairmen of Unilever

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Preview: The View from the Desert ix

Part I: Turnaround

1. Wake–Up Call 3

2. Rebuilding the Business 15

Part II: Takeover

3. Merger or Takeover? 31

4. Going into Therapy 41

5. Revolution and Chaos 55

Part III: Transforming the Organization

180 Leaders in Charge 67

7. Community or Cult? 79

8. The McVan den Bergh Clan 89

Part IV: Transforming the Business

9. Growing a Market: Foods 103

10. Growing a Brand: Fats 117

11. Cascading Change: Uniquisine, Calvé, Royco, and Nassaukade 129

Part V: Transfer

12. To the Desert 145

13. The Legacy of Growth 155

Part VI: Takeaways for Leading Change

14. Change Models and Methods 169

15. Change as Theater 183

16. Holistic Integration 195

Appendix 1: Cast of Characters Then and Now 207

Appendix 2: Learning History 211

Notes and Sources 221

Acknowledgments 243

About the Authors 247

Index 251

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Philip Mirvis is an organizational psychologist whose research and practice concerns large–scale organizational change and its implications for a global workforce. He is the author of numerous books, includingThe Cynical Americans andJoining Forces, both from Jossey–Bass.

Karen Ayas is an author, educator, and research fellow at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and partner in the Ripples Groups, a consulting practice specializing in growth strategies and change management.

George Roth is a consultant, author, and research associate at MIT′s Sloan School of Management.

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