The Chocolate Conversation: Lead Bittersweet Change, Transform Your Business

The single factor that determines success or failure in big business today is conversation. Great leaders use public and private conversation to send a clear message, cultivate a common worldview, set high standards and reachable goals, and uncover concerns that can undermine an organization. So what conversation are you, as a leader, having with your team? Experienced change consultant Rose Fass explains how too often we think we're having the same conversation - about "dark chocolate," for instance - only to be referring to three different things: milk, white, or bittersweet varieties. She shows us how to first establish common ground that leads to an effective discourse for addressing relevance, growth, and scaling: the three most important issues she sees in business today. In a light-hearted and humorous way, Fass shows how leaders can avoid a meltdown and instead drive transformation through the way they communicate in a language that all stakeholders can understand.


Sections include...

  • Death by Chocolate: The three ingredients to a Chocolate Conversation, and how to avoid having them
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: How to establish a third identity
  • Addicted to Relevance: Stay relevant using the Four Considerations of Business
  • It Starts with You: The Chocolate Conversation exercise
  • Why Do Good People Have Bad Conversations?: Help your people get the picture immediately with simple, clear language
  • Go There!: Prepare for the hard conversations by providing context to reduce the chances of having a Chocolate Conversation
  • Message Discipline - Use message discipline by crafting your message, listening to your people, and driving them to action
  • Extending Your Professional Reach - How to use the Spheres, Technical, Social, Political to drive emotional intelligence
  • Change is Bittersweet - Identify the change that's needed in your organization

    “Rose Fass is the undisputed master of organizational dynamics, and this book proves she has the bead on what it takes to transform companies and brands in these challenging times. The simplicity of her idea—that everything that matters happens ‘in the conversation’—is both essential and critical for success in a complex world. Read the book, join the conversation, and bask in Rose’s wisdom, as I’ve done many times in my career.”  (Bob Greenberg, founder, chairman and CEO, R/GA)


    “My senior leadership team was formed through acquisitions, restructuring, and a compelling need to reinvent our business. We had a clear mission, or so we thought. Instead our team was fragmented and we needed help. In walks a dynamic, insightful woman asking us to define chocolate?! It triggered a conversation that led us to recognize that past victories would not take us into the future—and to instead frame a unified strategy and focused actions. We got the job done. When I assumed my next executive leadership role, the first call I made was to that same dynamic woman, Rose Fass, for my next ‘chocolate conversation.’”  (Karen T. Cone, general manager, Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft)


    “Rose Fass is a skilled practitioner of the thoughts, ideas, and concepts she writes about in this outstanding book. The Chocolate Conversation is not a pie in the sky reading. Her conversations with you throughout these pages are full of rich insight that will strip away the fluff and demonstrate that meaningful organizational change is rooted in multi-level, cross-functional conversations. Rose’s book underscores the old maxim: if you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevancy even less.”  (Thomas A. Kayser, author of Mining Group Gold and Building Team Power)


    “The Chocolate Conversation is a must-read and field manual for anyone setting out to change their company from the heart and hand of the master change maker herself, Rose Fass. Rose’s warmth and wit, down-to-earth style, and galvanizing authority is on every page. Run, don’t walk, to get your copy of this delightful and wildly informative book.  (Kevin Allenfounder and CEO, re:kap, and author of the WSJ best-seller The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following

    “Rose Fass has written a remarkably rich book that carries the reader along swiftly, easily, and enjoyably from cover to cover. In just two hundred pages, the author shows her experienced judgment on to reframe thinking and conversations, and incites her readers to take action.”

     (Peter Koestenbaum, PhD, founder and chairman of PiB and the Koestenbaum Institute)


    “True brilliance is not about developing complex theories or pontificating about piles of research reporting out on what has already happened. True brilliance is about simplifying complex issues and harnessing people’s energy to change the world. In that light, The Chocolate Conversion is simply brilliant. Rose brings her experience, inherent intellect, and frankly raw talent forward in to this book. She is a strategist, motivator, and business leader. She brings clarity to chaos, finds solutions to big business problems, and most importantly drives and delivers results. Putting the tools delivered in this book into action will be the single most important business investment you can make in the coming years.”  (Martha Delehanty, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Verizon Enterprise Solutions)


    “I know Rose and, boy, do I know chocolate. Together they hold a conversation that will change you and your company. In today's world, laden with so many know-it-all books full of the same old promises, Rose Fass' insights beg us to have a dialogue that reframes our thinking and ‘talk time’ to get people to act.”  (Albert Gaulden, founding director, The Sedona IntensiveTM and author of You're Not Who You Think You Are)


    Rose Fass is the founder and CEO of fassforward consulting group and does specialized coaching for leaders in the executive suite. She has over 35 years of corporate experience in technology and consumer-based industries. During her career she has opened new businesses, acted as a general manager with full P&L responsibility, and led major corporate transformations. As the Chief Transformation Officer at Xerox Corporation she enabled acquisitions, diverse cultures, and operating units to develop and execute the enterprise strategy. Prior to starting fassforward consulting group, Rose was a corporate SVP at Gartner where she was responsible for the operational business strategy and strategic management system. A dynamic speaker, Rose is frequently invited to speak at private and public sector events and has been a guest on CNBC. Rose has a bachelor's degree from Boston University's School of Management and completed the Advanced Executive Studies Program at Harvard Business School.




    Hardcover: 240 pages

    Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 9, 2013)

    Language: English

    ISBN-10: 1937134490

    ISBN-13: 978-1937134495

    Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 9 inches

    Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces


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