From Breakdown to Breakthrough: How to Weather an Organizational Crisis


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"From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Forging Resilient Business Relationships in the Heat of Change" is your guide to creating a team that survives an unpredictable future that is growing more unpredictable by the day. This book looks at the underlying dynamics that turn tension into conflict or resilience. It shows readers how to gauge that tension and leverage it properly to achieve a higher level of performance.

From Breakdown to Breakthrough: How to Weather an Organizational Crisis

Dealing with the conflict that naturally occurs in a business requires balancing the right amount of stress. If the relationships in your business slide too far to the extreme (either too much or too little stress), your business is at risk of becoming unproductive. From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Forging Business Relationships in the Heat of Change was designed to help leaders gauge and “course correct” the relationships in their workplace. By stepping in at the right time, leaders can help their teams reach a whole new level of performance beyond what they ever thought possible.

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What is From Breakdown to Breakthrough About?

Why do some businesses rise triumphantly above an organizational crisis while others crash and burn? If you ask Michael Papanek and Dr. Liz Alexander, authors of From Breakdown to Breakthrough, part of the answer would involve relationships. No matter what business strategy or technology your business uses, it will not succeed unless you have the right relationships. Things will not move forward unless people know you, trust you, and act on what you say or do.

Most business owners aren’t trained in this way. Business owners are taught how to create a business plan, how to hold a meeting, or which strategy to use when a competitor changes a price. Business owners aren’t trained to handle a situation where the accounting department refuses to talk to their sales department because the managers of each department hate each other. Business professionals aren’t trained to deal with supervisors who refuse to entertain any alternatives to their decision.

As a result, business leaders either run from conflict or let it spread because they don’t know what to do.



Both of these reactions (running away from conflict or ignoring the consequences of conflict) rob managers of the resilience available in the midst of crisis. As every business knows, sooner or later, you will face a crisis. It is at these times, when things break down, that you must rely on relationships to help you make a breakthrough. From Breakdown to Breakthrough, helps leaders and business professionals understand the dynamics behind all of this. It then helps them apply the principles of resilient business relationships to their current business relationships so they can reach a new level of performance and connection beyond what they ever expected.

The book’s authors know a thing or two about dealing with business relationships.

Papanek is a speaker, writer, organizational change consultant, and executive coach. He is also the founder of Michael Papanek Consulting.

Alexander is a consultant, author of twenty non-fiction books (and a novel) in addition to serving as a contributor for Fast Company and Psychology Today.

What Was Best About From Breakdown to Breakthrough?

The best part of From Breakdown to Breakthrough is the simple approach Papanek and Alexander bring to the highly contentious issue of workplace conflict. This is something that many leaders are afraid to confront because it can be uncharted territory. Many leaders want to avoid conflict. They don’t want to use it to reach a new level with their teams. This book shows why it’s so important for leaders to leverage the powerful potential that lies in the tension of the workplace.

What Could Have Been Done Differently?

From Breakdown to Breakthrough does an incredible job of analyzing a complex topic, workplace conflict, and transforming it into something that actually seems manageable. The book treats conflict as something that can be leveraged for greater gain, not something you need to eliminate. That mindset is the strongest part of the book. Still the majority of the book’s focus remains on workplace conflict at an individual level. More discussion about the ways leaders can leverage workplace conflict on a larger scale might be helpful. There is some information, but this can definitely be expanded further.

Why Read From Breakdown to Breakthrough?

From Breakdown to Breakthrough offers a unique perspective on tension and workplace conflict. Normally, conflict is something businesses want to avoid at all costs. Conflict and tension will never leave a business, so running is a strategy doomed to fail.

Instead, this book argues businesses can stand up to conflict. They can prepare. They cannot predict the type of conflict they will face. However, they can invest in the relationships that can become a key asset during a conflict. Using this book, readers will learn the dynamics that transform average workplace relationships into something able to thrive in a crisis.

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Charles Franklin


Charles Franklin Charles Franklin is a Book Reviewer for Small Business Trends. He has a background as a professional reviewer, and is also a content provider and customer relations professional.

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