Work organizations can lose their fitness and become sick, just as people can. Just like people, they may become both physically and behaviourally sick; physically sick when plant and equipment breaks down or the money runs out; behaviourally sick when the resources are badly managed or the staff become alienated. Gerry Randell and John Toplis' Towards Organizational Fitness addresses two main issues: firstly, how to investigate and manage problems involving people at work - a task analogous to that of a medical doctor working with a sick patient; secondly, how to assess and develop the capability and fitness of an organization - like a medical doctor who wishes to improve a patient's health. The message of this book is clear, that organizations should not proceed to change any of their policies, procedures, processes or practices until a systematic thorough diagnosis of the root cause underpinning the need to change has taken place. The process of diagnosis that leads to a technically sound, administratively convenient, politically defensible and socially acceptable decision to change an organization in some way is fraught with difficulty. Towards Organizational Fitness provides managers with a conceptual and practical path through this complex and difficult arena.
The late Gerry Randell was Emeritus Professor, University of Bradford. Previously Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Bradford School of Management; Lecturer in Occupational Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London; Research Psychologist for J. Lyons and Industrial Psychologist for LEO Computers. He was the recipient of the British Psychological Society’s Professional Practice Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Division of Occupational Psychology LTAA. John Toplis first worked at the National Institute of Industrial Psychology where, as Head of Diagnostic Studies, he led numerous surveys and other studies. Subsequent appointments included Head of Psychological Services in the Post Office. He has received the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Lifetime Achievement Award, and currently chairs a Branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
’Randell and Toplis are two occupational psychologists at the top of their game with a wealth of insight and stories between them. This book shares their distinct take on change in a practical and very readable way. It is not only a master class challenging the how and why of organisational change, but also offers a unique historical journey into some of the key evolutions in management theories. Through its problem based approach it masterfully outlines and questions our approaches to change in compelling ways. It considers how to find the evidence to better diagnose the real issues that organisations often miss. The final chapters in particular distil two of the hottest issues within fit organisations - leadership and communication. It is a book that will provide an invaluable resource with stories galore to make you reflect and think of change.’ Prof. Rosalind Searle, Director Centre for Trust and Ethical Behaviour, Coventry University, UK ’Five seagoing and shore Commands in the Royal Navy, plus being Chairman of Trustees of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, equipped me with a wealth of experience in leadership and management, but I wish that this superbly practical book on organizational fitness had been available when subsequently I was the Chief Executive of the national charity, Sue Ryder Care, during what was a particularly challenging five year period in its history.’ Rear Admiral Iain Henderson, former Chief Executive of Sue Ryder Care ’A healthy organisation is a lot like a well-tuned human body, say two of the UK’s most celebrated thinkers on the topic. Though the analogy is a little over-deployed, Towards Organizational Fitness does feel like a world-leading medical manual for ailing businesses. Randell and Toplis deliberately avoided writing a textbook, and this accessible text covers diagnosing, understanding and fixing organisational flaws in an intelligent, informed manner. You sense it will become a classic in its field, even if it is notab