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Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  817 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Don't let your company kill you!

Open this book at your own risk. It contains ideas that may lead to a profound self-awakening. An introspective journey for those in the trenches of today's modern organizations, Deep Change is a survival manual for finding our own internal leadership power. By helping us learn new ways of thinking and behaving, it shows how we can transfo
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 14th 1996 by Jossey-Bass
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Ralf Kruse
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The authors work on organizational culture made me curious to read this book on change and leadership.
Confronting slow death and deep change is in our time of digital transformation an important topic.
It’s great on how he relates the personal change and organizational change.
For me the book combines to provide deeper general insights with a pragmatic concrete and actionable view.
Drick
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have assigned this book to students in my leadership classes for years because it provides a means for people to examine their own feelings, experiences and cognitive maps around leadership. Quinn's basic thesis is that all people must be undergoing an ongoing process of "deep change" or they will slip into "slow death." This dynamic is particularly relevant in the workplace and speaks to people in jobs that are spirit killing rather than life giving. Quinn suggests a number of strategies that ...more
David Kemp
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book makes my top 10 list for leadership/management books. Coupled with its companion book: “Building the Bridge While Walking on It” (same author), these two books have had a profound impact on me personally and on me as a leader.

I highly recommend both books.
John Cordes
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Foundational in Spiritual Formation for me. I read this book right out of College, and it resonated deep within.
Raven (devour-er of books)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I felt the need to give this text a re-read, and honestly I got a lot from it. I first read this when I was 19 and was both skeptical of and frustrated by the text. It provided a framework for creating change but it was largely in the context of management particularly in the business world. And so, I did what teenagers do best when they think no one could possibly understand them: I wrote the lessons off.

But now, I’m at the point in my life where grappling with change is a necessity, so I thou
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Paul
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think the author does a very good job presenting concepts that could be very useful for a novice business reader. I get that the author wants to brand his way of looking at the world with the concept "deep change", but I cringed every time the words were mentioned. It seemed like propaganda. I did not feel it was necessary. You put the title on the book, there is no reason to repeat it hundreds of times throughout the book. It just turned me off from an otherwise intelligent view of organizati ...more
Dana B. Beland
Like this book. I especially liked to compare the transformational leader depicted in the book in reference to a transformational pastor, my vocation. Leaders need to be learners and risk takers. If you are not risking your job every couple of years you are not much of a leader. Also the empowering of people and having change start from the bottom to reach the top is a great concept. In reality, it is really a melody of top down setting the vision and having people from the bottom up to reach fo ...more
Ann Louise Tisdale-Ramos
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely a book to keep, reference and re-read. A big take away for me was four questions to ask yourself:

1. How can I increase my own sense of meaning and task-alignment?
2. How can I increase my own sense of impact, influence, and power?
3. How can I increase my own sense of competence and confidence to execute?
4. How can I increase my own sense of self-determination and choice?

These might be questions to ask on the daily.
Quinn
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a solid 2.5. I think the book is full of good advice and would probably be a fantastic read if you didn't read a lot of business books. I felt like there were a few gems in this one but for the most part it was longer than it needed to be and didn't do a very good job of telling the stories that would have earned it more stars.
Ehsan Gazar
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
How you be part of an organizational transformation, or you can even imagine further evolving culture.
Someone needs to jeopardize his/her job, You need to dispute the narratives and concentrate on doing the right.
Transcendent book for whoever sometimes sense that has the intuition of directing people's behavior and influence them to do better.
Teri Temme
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding!

Best quote: "Ultimately, each of us has exactly as much power as we really want."
Shauna
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Read for the master’s - good concept of if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Erin King
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a little outdated and took me a while to connect with, but I do feel I have grown in my thinking about leadership from this read.
Ellis
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Inspired by spending too much time with this book.
Jeff
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-growth
I've also posted this review in my blog...

We have a choice; we can change or we can experience slow death, according to Robert Quinn, a professor of business at the University of Michigan. In this book, Quinn discusses how individuals and organizations can bring about transformational changes that helps create excellence and alters the culture of organizations. It’s risky business to make “deep changes†as they are sweeping and irreversible. But such changes are also essential for survival.
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Bob
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Robert Quinn offers a unique challenge for the reader to look at ourselves and our vocational roles in each chapter. His introduction charges us to take risks (5) if we are to change.

Quinn's book is one of two books we are reading as a part of UUMC's Pastor's academy. Deep Change is not something you immediately think about regarding faith experiences from an organizational standpoint. The Methodist church encourages us to think about Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience. These elements
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Janet
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: leaders finding their voice
Recommended to Janet by: Paul Meekin
Great book on finding your voice as a leader, and also some key distinctions as one traverses the path of leadership. This book found its way to me from a client who I mentored and likewise mentored me via his brother's work in organizational development. The two way relationship stands despite the distance of several states and many children later.

Stories, parables, myths: a language that transcends all 'cultures'. Ahhhhhhhhh, this is a refreshing, concise, simple and brilliant work! Simple ye
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Garland Vance
In order for organizations to go through deep, systematic change, individuals must first go through and model that change. Quinn's book gives excellent insights and how both individuals and organizations go through this type of deep change.

He also spends extensive time talking about the role of "middle management" in change efforts and how many change efforts come from those who are not at the top of the organizational chart.

I believe this book would be an excellent read for both individuals and
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Lara
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-2013
This is an excellent book about what it means to need to change, in one's life or job, and what it takes to make serious and lasting change. It doesn't sugar coat the process, but does talk abut the fact that meaningful change comes from within, not just an organization but also within the people that make up an organization.

As a business professor the book is focused on change in the world of business, but the lessons are transferable to nonprofit, government, and personal settings as well. I p
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Pete
Tremendously relevant to my work with churches as institutions/organizations and the individuals within them. My main gain from it is how clearly he shows that only leaders who allow for Deep Change in their personal views and practices can lead an organization into new ways of thinking and doing that can get them out of trouble and help them keep up with (or stay relevant within) the rapid changes external to them.
What is in some ways ironic is that this book seems to be intended for a business
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Rob Burns
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I enjoyed this book because it talks about how most people opt for slow death versus engaging in deep change. Slow death is doing what one or an organization always does, knowing there is problem and refusing to act on it. Deep change is viewed as scary because it is the unknown.

This book, which I enjoyed, also takes the deep change perspective to two forms: the organization and the individual, making relevant to any person or business professional/owner/change agent (employee).

I enjoyed the re
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Greg
Quinn argues eloquently that people can best bring about positive change in organizations (and the world around them) by focusing on changing themselves. This book is both inspirational and guide-like, presenting the case for personal change and along the way leading the reader through examples, discussions, and focused questioning toward a personal model of change. Each chapter includes workbook-like questions that are intended to help guide the reader toward personal and organizational change. ...more
Drew
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
The premise is nothing new: "Think outside the box, etc." What's more, Quinn operates with an overly positivistic, humanistic, and universal viewpoint (see the final line in the book as the primary example). Ironically then, this book itself does not reflect the "deep change" it espouses.

If there is merit to this book, it's found in Quinn's gift of analysis (he thinks well in terms of cycles of dysfunction and health, which he breaks down and diagrams clearly) and in anecdotes.
Michael Vincent
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
Any person who considers himself a leader, or is in a leadership position, would benefit from this book. There are many helpful insights and thought provoking questions that are good for people to think through. I think he could have spent more time on the deep change needed in an individual and building a foundation for life, but overall, this is a very helpful book.
Robert
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have the privilege to lead a team and at times I see the need to change in others first. This book helps you understand why such steering fails and when it does we usually increase our managing efforts. The struggle for power following hardly ever generates real change. and does not create excellence. Most important to change is to understand it starts in you.
Martyn Perry
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plenty of good stuff in here, how to lead through organisational and personal change. The importance of trust, vision, and communication/engagement to achieve both strategic and personal goals.

There's lots of useful references for anybody doing academic work on leadership, change or management. Whilst there's also plenty of learning that can be applied to any work place.
Nick
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Quinn has a lot of useful insights regarding "deep change" and the theory of personal and organizational change. Zero specifics. Too light on the mechanics. The author seemed to repeat himself too many times...
Frodo
Feb 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who contemplate making a change to an organization
This was part of our reading for an L3 Incubator course on leadership through our local church. A very good book for understanding the difficulties involved when trying to make changes. Some counsel on the process of change is worth a read.
Madigan Mirza
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting book. Embracing change can be difficult. The author seemed a little intense - would you DIE for your company? Sadly, I think a lot of people would. Fig. 20.1 Organizational profiles: Clan, Adhocracy, Heirarchy and Market Cultures was the most helpful to me.
Rev.dulce
May 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good book for pastor's that are trying to affect deep change in their church's.
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“Alignment within and between the systems is lost. We find ourselves working harder than ever, yet we benefit less and less from our efforts. As tension mounts, we look for someone to blame. The real problem, however, is embedded in the underlying organizational systems that have shifted out of alignment-with each other and sometimes with the external environment. When an organization discovers that its systems need realignment, I am often asked to make a diagnosis. Senior executives seldom argue with my diagnosis, but they almost always argue with my recommendations. I am told, "What you don't understand is that we don't have the time to make the deep change you are recommending." This statement is accurate.” 0 likes
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