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The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems

The first edition of The Change Handbook, published in 1999, was the most comprehensive guide available on methods of organization and community change. The first edition provided a snapshot of a nascent field that broke barriers by engaging ‘whole systems’ of people from organizations and communities in creating their own future. The completely revised and updated second edition overviews 61 change methods – up from 18 in the first edition. A great introduction to large-group methods for participatory planning and redesign. Edited by Peggy Holman, Tom Devane and Steve Cady (Berrett-Koehler, 2007).

Nineteen methods are explored in depth, with case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and details on the roles and responsibilities of the people involved, conditions for success, and more. This tremendously expanded second edition – 400 pages longer, nearly twice the length of the first edition – will undoubtedly become the definitive resource in this rapidly expanding area.

The book features a chapter by NCDD’s Director, Sandy Heierbacher, on dialogue and deliberation – and many of the methods described in the book can certainly be considered dialogue or deliberation methods.

Here is what Peter Block, author of Flawless Consulting and Stewardship, says about the Change Handbook (the first edition):

“This book is about great ideas written from the experience of great people. The methods lovingly detailed in the book are for those who want to change the world 60 to 600 people at a time. The practical techniques are based on an optimistic, affectionate view of human nature and a faith in the capacity that resides in each citizen. The authors are radical in that they believe in democracy, they know that the answer that we seek outside really resides within, and they each have given their lives to perfect the strategies that they describe. Reading this book will place you in great company, regardless of where you sit in the grand scheme of things. If organization and community change is what you care about, and hope is what you long for, this book offers a doable path to both. It is a good book, nicely edited, delivered in bites that you can swallow.”

Resource Link: www.thechangehandbook.com

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