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Making the Impossible Possible

Leading Extraordinary Performance: The Rocky Flats Story

Making the Impossible Possible by Kim Cameron
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By a coauthor of Developing Management Skills (over 150,000 copies sold) Tells the inside story of one of the most astonishing organizational successes of modern times: the shutdown and cleanup of the controversial Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant Identifies specific practices, approaches, and techniques any organization can adopt to achieve extraordinary performance The most contaminated nuclear plant in the country, Rocky Flats was an environmental disaster and the site of rampant worker unrest. Although estimates projected that cleaning up and closing the facility would take seventy years and $36 billion, something stunning happened. The project was completed sixty years ahead of schedule and $30 billion under budget and is now on its way to becoming a wildlife refuge. In Making the Impossible Possible, Kim Cameron and Marc Lavine explain how this remarkable feat was achieved--and how breakthrough levels of performance can be achieved by any organization. After analyzing numerous firsthand accounts and public records, Cameron and Lavine realized that the leaders of the Rocky Flats cleanup took a distinctive "abundance approach" to the task. These leaders focused on identifying and building on sources of strength, resilience, and vitality rather than simply solving problems and overcoming difficulties. The result was extraordinary positive deviance: outcomes far exceeding normal expectations. For the first time, Cameron and Lavine identify the specific leadership roles and key enablers--levers, techniques, and practices--involved in implementing this innovative approach. This fascinating and thoroughly researched case study concludes by revealing ten leadership principles ultimately responsible for the Rocky Flats turnaround, providing a complete guide for any organization wanting to better understand and apply the lessons of this incredible success.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers; August 2006
297 pages; ISBN 9781605097077
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Title: Making the Impossible Possible
Author: Kim Cameron; Marc Lavine
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