Customer Review

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on November 23, 2000
Hopefully, you have already read some (if not all) of Quinn's earlier books, especially Deep Change which serves as an excellent introduction to this one. In the Preface, he explains that this book "is about changing the world. It is about coming to a deep understanding of human beings and human relationships." He then adds, "The book focuses on vision, unconditional confidence, and profound impact. It is about the mastery of human influence, transformational power, and the capacity to accomplish extraordinary things. It argues that everyone of us is a change agent." It is important to add, that Quinn advocates "deep change" as opposed to "incremental change." Moreover, no organization can achieve deep change unless and until those within that organization achieve deep change. So as I understand it, each of us must assume full authority as well as responsibility for (and have control of) our personal development. "There is a language of transformation. Yet most of us are cut off from that language. All our lives we have been explicitly taught to see human influence as an exercise in domination." Even the most sensitive among us is shaped by this paradigm or worldview. But this outlook prevents us from seeing more deeply into the actual workings of human systems. This book demonstrates an alternative system."
Quinn recalls the remark by Oliver Wendell Holmes that he placed little value in simplicity that lay on this side of complexity but a great deal of value on simplicity that lay on the other side. The framework within which Quinn presents his material comes from the "seed thoughts" of people who have mastered "the language of transformation." By "seed thoughts" Quinn means some of the "core notions that masters of transformation hold in common, the simplicity they send us from the other side of complexity." Specifically, Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Quinn focuses on eight (8) "seed thoughts" (eg Envision the Productive Community, First Look Within, Embrace the Hypocritical Self), providing brief quotations from each of the three "masters of transformation" which he correlates with each of the eight "seed thoughts." His objective is to explain how Advanced Change Theory (ACT) can enable individuals to achieve deep change in their own lives and then within their organizations. The title of this book (Change the World) may be somewhat misleading. I wholeheartedly agree with Quinn that "ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary results", both individually and as members of a group. I also agree that Jesus, Gandhi, and King were "masters of transformation" within their respective spheres of influence as were Carnegie, Edison, Ford, Morgan, and Rockefeller within their own. Quinn's basic idea is sound. He and I may differ only when defining terms such as "change" and "world."
I urge you to read this book, to consider very carefully what ACT offers to you (personally) and to your organization, and then to select whatever is most appropriate. Quinn provides an eloquent and convincing argument in support of his concept of deep change; better yet, he suggests all manner of strategies and tactics to achieve and sustain it; even better yet, almost anyone who reads this book already has the resources required. If you need help to organize and allocate those resources, and truly powerful encouragement to support your efforts in process, look no further.
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