To the Desert and Back: The Story of the Most Dramatic Business Transformation on Record

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Philip H. Mirvis, Karen Ayas and George Roth,
«To the Desert and Back: The Story of the Most Dramatic Business Transformation on Record»
Jossey-Bass | ISBN 0787966770 | 1st Edition (May 7, 2003) | PDF | 1.5 Mb | 288 Pages






Review
"…the book gives a hilarious insight what happens in practice when insane management theorists infect…" (Business Plus, September 2003)

Book Description
Dove, Lipton, Knorr, Ben & Jerry's, and Slim*Fast are a few of the brands that are part of the $66 billion global empire known as Unilever. When the story opens, one of its divisions is in deep trouble— declining volume, eroding margins, critical quality problems— and is close to being sold off. Then Tex Gunning, its visionary new division chairman, takes the stage, an expanding circle of young leaders takes charge, and once-skeptical workers embrace a challenging message of growth. The result? The division grows by double digits, year in and year out, and energizes Unilever's path to thrive around the globe.

To the Desert and Back tells the inside story of the transformation in the words of the people in all quarters of the company who made it happen. It documents five years of personal soul-searching, teamwork, companywide learning conferences, memorable journeys to the mountains and desert, and inspired promotions that show how these efforts produced a remarkable top-to-bottom turnaround. This story delivers authentic and convincing proof that a revitalized business is about personal growth.

The lessons learned from this dramatic business turnaround provide unexpected insights and encouraging inspiration for other companies and leaders ready to embark on their own remarkable journey of transformation, growth, and success.

Book Info
The inside story of the dramatic business transformation of Unilever, a billion-dollar global empire. Documents five years of personal soul-searching, teamwork, companywide learning conferences, memorable journeys to the mountains and desert, and inspired promotions that show how these efforts produced a remarkable top-to-bottom turn-around.

From the Inside Flap
Dove, Lipton, Knorr, Ben & Jerry's, and Slim*Fast are a few of the brands that are part of the $66 billion global empire known as Unilever. When the story opens, one of its divisions is in deep trouble— declining volume, eroding margins, critical quality problems— and is close to being sold off. Then Tex Gunning, its visionary new division chairman, takes the stage, an expanding circle of young leaders takes charge, and once-skeptical workers embrace a challenging message of growth. The result? The division grows by double digits, year in and year out, and energizes Unilever's path to thrive around the globe.
To the Desert and Back tells the inside story of the transformation in the words of the people in all quarters of the company who made it happen. It documents five years of personal soul-searching, teamwork, companywide learning conferences, memorable journeys to the mountains and desert, and inspired promotions that show how these efforts produced a remarkable top-to-bottom turnaround. This story delivers authentic and convincing proof that a revitalized business is about personal growth.

The lessons learned from this dramatic business turna round provide unexpected insights and encouraging inspiration for other companies and leaders ready to embark on their own remarkable journey of transformation, growth, and success.

From the Back Cover
"To the Desert and Back tells a fascinating story that those leading change at all levels should read. While the methods will surprise, perhaps even shock, the results in terms of personal growth and business growth are hard to ignore. In the midst of a huge, tradition-bound, multinational corporation, a small band of radical local business innovators have not only awakened a sleeping giant, they seem, at least so far, to have gotten away with it. My hat is off to Mirvis, Ayas, and Roth for digging into the 'concrete particulars' of large-scale change. For those who are tired of simplistic generalizations and formulas, this book will prove nourishment and inspiration."
— Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline

"To the Desert and Back is a marvelous leadership story, an inspirational way to teach and learn about change. Great leaders are great teachers. Tex Gunning and his team leaders demonstrate that convincingly and provide great lessons for those of us who wrestle with transformation and growth."
— Noel Tichy, professor at the University of Michigan Business School and coaut hor of The Cycle Of Leadership

"This is a business story that talks to the heart. To the Desert and Back illuminates how tapping into 'heart intelligence' can speed and guide personal and organizational transformation. Make this book a part of your learning journey and you'll experience new possibilities for your organization and for yourself."
— Joe Jaworski, author of Synchronicity

"The men and women of Van den Bergh have been among the trailblazers on Unilever's path to growth. Their successes— and setbacks— in energizing brands, launching products, exciting consumers, and growing their top line is what enterprise culture is all about. The emotional and spiritual aspects of their journey is what makes it all worthwhile."
— Antony Burgmans and Niall FitzGerald, chairmen of Unilever

About the Author
Philip Mirvis is an organizational psychologist whose research and practice concerns large-scale organizational change and its implications for a global workforce. He is the author of numerous books, including The Cynical Americans and Joining Forces, both from Jossey-Bass.

Karen Ayas is an author, educator, and research fellow at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and partner in the Ripples Groups, a consulting practice specializing in growth strategies and change management.

George Roth is a consultant, author, and research associate at MIT's Sloan School of Management.