HBR REFLECTION PAPER Radical Change, The Quiet Way

Radical Change, The Quiet Way

The qualification of an author, as well as their experiences, highly influences the credibility, validity, and reliability of the sources and their contribution to the existing body of knowledge. In this regard, the author of the text on Radical Change, The Quiet Way Debra Meyerson has qualified to be a resourceful and credible author based on her qualifications and experience. Apart from working as a professor of Management, Center for gender in organizations, Graduate school of Management at Simmons College, she holds a SHIPS (Ph.D.): Organization Studies. Additionally, she holds a SHIPS (Ph.D.): Race, Inequality, and Language in Education (RILE), SHIPS (Ph.D.): Social Sciences in Education, (MA) POLS and (MA) MA/MBA. Moreover, Debra also has experience working as a visiting assistant professor of organizational behavior, graduate school of business at the Stanford University. From her educational and professional background, it is correct to state that she is qualified enough to write the text.

What did you learn about change management?

Change is inevitable, and from time to time an organization has to implement or cope with changes in their daily operations. According to the author, people in an organization particular the managers are always afraid of making the necessary changes as they are afraid of speaking too loudly about the changes to attract resentment towards them or remain silent and do nothing because resentment will build in them. To such leaders, direct, aggressive confrontation leads nowhere, but they do not want to sit by and allow frustrations to eat them inside. As a result, they embark on a journey to work silently to challenge the existing culture and beliefs and gently influence their organizational culture to adopt new changes (Kotter, 2011). The author goes on to state that these agents of change may use either of the following four ways to make sure that they implement change in their organizations with minimal resistance, challenges and without raising any alarm.

  1. Disruptive self-expression – in this strategy, the leader simply acts in a manner that he feels personally right in such a way that other employees will notice and slowly they initiate change in an organization.

  2. Verbal Jujitsu – in this strategy, the agent of change uses insensitive statements, actions or behavior back on itself.

  3. Variable-term opportunism – in this method, the agent of change identifies, makes and benefits from short and long haul openings for change. Strategic alliance – in this strategy, the agent of change pushes through change with more force than any other strategy.

Related: Conflict Resolution

The author goes on to state that organizations change basically come in two ways. Most of the changes in an organization take place either through drastic action or evolution adoption. In drastic action that bring rampant changes in an organization, change takes place in phases and usually forced on the organization by the top management of the company after major technological innovation or as a result of a major company shake-up. Therefore, in this technique, the change occurs quickly and painfully as it does not favor every member of the organization and some of the employees may end up losing their jobs (Ross, 2010). On the other hand, evolutionary adaptation gradually takes place to push against prevailing norms and making small but steady changes in the organizational culture as well as what people believe and value in an organization.

How did ethics/values/faith play a role?

The concept of right and wrong in an organization set up plays an important in influence the activities and culture adopted by a company. Additionally, values and faith in an organization are key to the success and growth of the company apart from influence the behavior and activities of individual employees. Ethics in this scenario influenced the courage of the tempered radical agents to determine their behavior and actions considering that they have to make sure that what they feel; if personally right before initiating the change (Ross, 2010). Additionally, the belief that they are going to succeed and what they are doing is correct, and the right thing to do motivates them to steadily and gradually implement changes in their organizations. Doing the wrong thing can adversely affect the operation of an organization while initiating appropriate change guarantees success for the organization. As a result, these leaders must do what is morally right.

How can you apply what you learned to change initiatives?

From the knowledge and information obtained from this reading, I can identify and determine the best strategy to use and implement change in an organization. Silent change has a high probability of change since it is gradual and it is hard for people to notice the change but may take longer than anticipated. On the other hand, implementing aggressive changes may be quicker, but it is painful and may have adverse effects on the employees and the operations of the company (Sartorius, 2014). However, before settling on any of the methods, I would evaluate the need for change as well as the situation and events surrounding the change to determine the best strategy that will increase the probability of success.


Kotter, J. P. (2011). HBR’s 10 must reads on change management. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

Ross, S. L. (2010). Transformative Travel: An Enjoyable Way to Foster Radical Change. ReVision, 32(1), 54-61. doi:10.4298/revn.32.1.54-62

Sartorius, K. C. (2014). From Quiet Activism to Radical Tactics. Deans of Women and the Feminist Movement, 145-168. doi:10.1057/9781137481344_7

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