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Business
How to spark workplace change when you're not in management

Sunday, October 21, 2001

By Carnegie Library's Business Librarians

"Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge" by Geoffrey M. Bellman. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2001.

 
 
Books on
Business

Contact the business librarians, who also answer questions about business, money and work, at 412-281-7141 or at www.carnegielibrary.org
/clp/libctr/business/
.

   
 

Any examination of the shelves in our library or a bookstore's management section will reveal a dizzying number of titles offering advice to managers and leaders on effective job performance, but Geoffrey Bellman noticed that something was missing: What advice does one give the nonmanager? He fills that gap with "Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge," and his goal is to convince you that you don't need an executive title or a formal business background in order to make positive changes within your organization.

An experienced management consultant, Bellman develops a Getting Things Done model that illustrates the interrelationship between Wants (the way you would like things to be), and the usually different Reality (how things really are right now). He focuses on how to identify the people who can help you make a difference. You become the catalyst for making things happen.

Every organization has its own unique political structure, and you'll need to learn how your system works before you try to change it. What are your organization's budget priorities? What is your organization spending time on? Who are the major decision-makers? Relationships with these individuals should be developed and nurtured long before you need to enlist their help. You need to be "in the loop" in order to find out what is really going on behind the scenes, and you'll need the help of others along the way. Facing political reality is an important part of getting things done, even if we don't like to admit it.

Anytime changes in "the way we've always done things" are proposed, you can expect to meet resistance. But if the need for change is compelling, and you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, this book will provide you with a thoughtfully considered blueprint for getting your project off the ground.

For many of us, our work defines our life, and ideally, we should approach it with enthusiasm and feel the satisfaction that comes from making a positive contribution to the organization. Bellman reminds us that this book was written "for people who relish -- or who would like to relish -- going to work each day because their work holds promise." Rather than wasting their breath complaining about their lack of formal power, they "build their personal power and get things done." Reading this book will empower you to do just that!

Also recommended is:

"Barron's Financial Tables for Better Money Management: Mortgage Payments" by Stephen S. Solomon. Barron's Educational Series, 2001.

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