Preview Engage! Travel guide for change adventures.

‘Engage!’ is the Lonely Planet for organizational change. This practical and accessible travel guide for change agents offers a unique mix of scientific and practical insights.

After all, action without knowledge is reckless and knowledge without action is impactless. ‘Engage!’ offers help and encouragement at every stage of the change adventure, centering on shared inspiration, co-creation, experimentation, and especially on how to quickly get down to ‘learning to learn’ together. The authors will take you on a gripping journey, reinforced by vibrant visuals, surprising insights, and engaging examples from international practices. Along the way, they will provide insight into the attitude and constructive behavior needed to keep the ship and its crew on course, avoid black holes, and discover new worlds.

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About the authors

Woody van Olffen is professor of Organizational Change and Development at TIAS School for Business and Society at Tilburg University.

Wouter Visser is, after 12 years of working as an advisor at Ami, as a Lead Competence co-responsible for the development of project management within ASML. He is also an associate partner at the Service Science Factory and regularly acts as a speaker.

Raymond Maas is managing partner of Ami consultancy.


“Engage! is a practical guide on how to create and preserve psychological safety when it is urgently needed: in times of change.”

AMY C. EDMONDSON, Professor at Harvard Business School, Author of The Fearless Organization.

“The only thing that never changes is change itself. It is a famous quote that every manager knows. It inspires and makes us attentive that everything around us is continuously changing. At the same time, it has also made the concept of change a buzzword that we use without even thinking its exact meaning. The result is that too many businesses change simply because change is fashionable. “Engage” is a book about change, but it has a different message. Change needs to be reckoned with, but you need to be prepared, you need to understand why it is needed, and what it can bring. The authors of Engage make it a mission to approach change in a way that makes sense and makes it work for you! Those who look for change with a purpose, look no further, “Engage” is the answer.”

DAVID DE CREMER, Provost Chair and Professor in Management and Organisation at National University of Singapore Business School and former KPMG chaired professor in management at the University of Cambridge

“This book is a beauty. The notion of change as an adventure is immensely appealing to me. With this book in hand, I feel like plunging myself into the adventure of change. Come what may! This book strikes a rare balance between academic soundness and rigor on the one hand, and practical utility on the other hand; it reads like a field book, more than an academic text. It also strikes a balance between offering comfortable step-by-step approach on how to lead a change initiative on the one hand, and a keen eye on the uncertainties and

sheer unpredictability on the other hand. I think everyone who is either responsible for organizational change, participating in or learning about it, should read this book!”

OMAR SOLINGER. Associate Professor of HRM and Organizational Behavior, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

“Engage! combines tools and tales, metaphors and methods, philosophical and practical insights. Reading the book is a journey in itself, made doable by coordinates that are both inspiring, fact- and evidence based and practical. “Embarking’ is made feasible, if not attractive and easy. With the collective nature of change in organizations as a focal point, the book as such is a tribute to the essential role of language in, and the linguistic nature of change processes. It is a real travel guide providing the reader with principles, suggestions and guidelines rather than dictate where to go. It is never hermetic or too prescriptive, but context-sensitive, stressing contingency and dynamic learning. The tone and the content of the book are stimulating, constructive and appreciative. The character is creative and ‘change-minded’, but also pragmatic and functional: no ‘l’art pour l’art’ as the purpose of change is to contribute to better organizations for society and in service of all stakeholders involved. ‘Engage’ is a rich, multifaceted and intriguing story based on a variety of ideas and perspectives ranging from Schumpeter and Jim Collins to Game of Thrones and Alice in Wonderland. It is adventurous like no other book on the topic without being superficial or ‘non-evidence based’. A warning could be that the (strong) form and style are consistent and attractive, but sometimes do not facilitate thorough reflection on the pro’s and con’s of explicit and implicit claims. Also – as ever- the transfer from paper to practice is a point of attention, for the reader, even with this book.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery learned us an important lesson: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ‘Engage’ does indeed engage the change professionals and others involved in change processes. It helps us to long, but also provides us with the necessary wood and nails.”

STEVEN TEN HAVE, professor of Strategy & Change, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, partner at Ten Have Change management.

“Engage is a delight to read. Combining all kinds of insights best summarized by Kurt Lewin: there is nothing as practical as a good theory. The book is loaded with cases that make the point. And cultural change is not treated as a side-dish. Chapeau for the authors. A must read.”

FONS TROMPENAARS – Author of Riding the Waves of Culture, consultant, trainer, thought leader.
‘Engage!’ is now available Order the bookEbook