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The Full Endorsements

"I have followed David Shaner's interesting work for a number of years.  His approach to change is very unique and appealing.  In his cartoon, Dilbert says "Change is good, you go first." Change is easy to talk about but the deep change of culture in an organization is difficult. It takes time and real commitment.  Dr. Shaner's The Seven Arts of Change point out successful examples of change that are clear and convincing. Anyone in business or any organization can benefit by reading this thoughtful and interesting discussion of David Shaner's techniques for real change."

—Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education and Governor of South Carolina


"I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Shaner for more than 20 years and experiencing the organizational transformation and significant value creation that results from truly believing and anchoring the Seven Arts. I was personally involved in and touched by the “spirit” of change with Duracell and one other private company where Dr. Shaner supported the cultural transformation process in which every employee really did believe and act like owners. The results were phenomenal in terms of value creation, employee development, “board room awareness,” and the daily drive to be the best. The real success was in the sustainability of the changes! I would highly recommend the book and certainly Dr. Shaner’s services to any organization that is in need of a dramatic shift in performance."

—Nevin Caldwell, Division President, PlayPower, Inc., former Senior Vice President, Manufacturing and Technical Operations, Duracell Batteries



   

"An outstanding and straight-forward treatise for those at all levels of any type of organization! It has been stated (in one form or another) by many as far back as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus—and quite correctly so—that “the only thing constant in life is change”. The status quo should never be maintained beyond its usefulness if any entity is to progress. Whatever you are involved in, including everyday life itself, change will and must occur or be generated. Depending on the level of your involvement, the questions are: can you accept it, can you adapt to it, can you nurture it, can you manage/lead it so that optimum results are obtained for yourself as well as for your entire organization, your family, and all others affected. I have seen, experienced, and been involved for a lifetime with organizational change at all levels of management, in both the military and civilian sectors, with a wide variety of outcomes. If the probability of successful change is to be maximized, I firmly believe that Dr. Shaner’s premise of the necessity to change deeply and permanently the culture/spirit of an organization (or family) and every member within it unquestionably nails down the problem; the process described in this book clearly and simply provides the means to achieve that success."

—Robert E. Gardner, Colonel, USAF (Retired)



   

"I have worked with David Shaner over many years with two separate companies—Synthetic Industries and JW Aluminum.  Both of these Company's had two paths that could have been chosen; either transform them into a thriving enterprise securing the future of numerous employees or bankruptcy and probable dissolution. Each time we followed the principles of the Seven Arts process making EMPLOYEES the centerpiece of our strategy.  We focused upon each employee's growth and development "thinking and acting like an owner".  We gave everyone the tools to succeed—lean training, financial literacy, target behaviors for change, etc.  Each time this led to our overall businesses growth and development.  In short we instilled a sense of belief as to what we (the team) could become if we applied these principles, not only a Company that SURVIVES but one that THRIVES.  Employees focused and embracing The Seven Arts of Change are the basic principles we followed to ensure long term success.  We not only significantly increased shareholder value, but also, and most importantly, we enhanced the quality of life for every member of our team. Finally, having the opportunity to work with David, understanding and applying his principles, has enriched my own personal and professional life beyond what words can describe.  I have said this to numerous professional and personal acquaintances, ‘I will never again work at any Company that will not EMBRACE the approach and PHILOSOPHY that David has developed and successfully implemented numerous times. Truly, this has and will continue to be the single largest driver of stakeholder value!'"

—Lee McCarter, Chief Executive Officer, JW Aluminum, former Chief Financial Officer, Synthetic Industries



   

“The book The Seven Arts of Change by Dr. David Shaner provides great guidance for all management. Dr. Shaner demonstrates the importance of the spiritual aspects related to making change management sustainable under ever changing business conditions. This book clearly demonstrates that successful Change Management heavily depends upon every individual's true ownership of the Change Management process where each person is motivated through genuine compassion and active involvement. Our international company can be an excellent company by implementing The Seven Arts of Change”.

—H. Harry Watanabe Former President,  Fujifilm Manufacturing USA, Inc.



   

"Dr. David Shaner is my long time friend since I worked in South Carolina in the early 90s. His knowledge and understanding of Japanese history and culture are profound. Particularly his very unique training of Aikido among many other experiences has made him believe the importance of the spiritual aspects in conducting successful business. This book emphasizes the spiritual aspects in long term organizational development/change. Certainly this is an interesting book to read for managers willing to make their organizations more successful, regardless of developed or developing countries, and the East or the West."

—Akio Urakami, Ph.D. Chairman and CEO, ETG Limited, former Chairman and CEO, Ryobi North America Inc.



   

"Dr. Shaner’s book, The Seven Arts of Change, affirms the importance of spiritually connecting with stakeholders.  These lessons are applicable to all leaders of people that depend upon others work and passionate support to grow or transform their businesses.  The Seven Arts provides a sustainable means to continually improve personal and organizational effectiveness beginning with one’s own heart and mind.  This is not a “quick fix” book but rather a thought-provoking, enlightened recounting of a highly rewarding pathway to transformation."

—Barry Chadwick, Ph.D, Vice President, Benjamin Moore & Co., former Vice President, Research and Development, Bic



   

"The Seven Arts of Change helps us to realize that in order to transform an organization, the change agents must first put themselves in the place of the people they will be affecting. By understanding attitudes and beliefs, the act of change will come from a deeper level, allowing for true leadership versus the autocratic style so often seen in today’s business world. By following Dr. Shaner’s methodology, employees formerly thought of as the weakest link for sustained change now become proponents and champions for that very change. Dr. Shaner shows us that lasting, meaningful change does not come from switching processes, or reporting structures alone. For change to be sustained, the collective mind of the people involved must be respected—and its formidable energy harnessed."

—Derek Buttiker, Simplicity Project Manager, GE Capital



   

"The technology industry is all about change.  And as a small company within a sea of giants, we have to navigate that change effectively. The principles found in the The Seven Arts of Change have been instrumental in helping me lead my company to new business growth with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Abbott, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Disney, Ogilvy & Mather... As an Aikido student of Dr. Shaner’s for over 20 years,  I’ve consistently witnessed the power of the Seven Arts and their ability to be applied to all levels of personal and professional development. If you’re looking for meaningful and lasting change in any part of your life, start here.  These principles are universal and Dr. Shaner brings them to life like no other."

—Rich Fryling, Vice President, Business Development, Screendragon, former Vice President, Grey Advertising Worldwide



   

"I have known David Shaner for the last 25 years and watched the growth and development of his ideas working with the very best run companies in the world. When I co-founded MARC Advertising over fifty years ago, I followed one basic principle that I see at the heart of the Seven Arts of Change approach to organizational development. That basic principle is to “Put People First.” Ultimately, Business is about creating positive WIN/WIN relationships. In this book, David Shaner shows you “HOW to Put People First” thus unleashing the hidden power of your organization. I have spent a lifetime mentoring executives and senior management that have gone on to run major corporations in a variety of industries including Pepsico, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, The Limited, and Rent-A-Center. David Shaner is one of my pupils and I believe his proven approach to change management and peak performance will enable any organization to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing business environment."

—Jack Goldsmith, Co-Founder MARC Advertising

   

"I have known Dr. Shaner for over 20 years.  During that time I participated in his dramatic performance improvement methods at four separate companies in a variety of industries—Duracell, Gillette, Owens Corning Composites, and Synthetic Industries.  At each different company, I learned how to motivate and mentor employees for lasting change by “designing in” meaningful participation in the performance improvement process.  As a result, the cross functional teams for which I was responsible were able to sustain dramatic measurable performance improvement in the areas of service, cost, safety and productivity.  At the core of Dr. Shaner’s teaching is understanding the role of self accountability and the role of one’s ability to influence others.  Leading Change means delivering value; it means developing a clear line of site between yourself and your internal and external customers.  Today, I continue to live by the Seven Arts in my current position as Senior Vice President, Global Operations, SVP Worldwide (Singer, Viking, Pfaff Sewing Machines)."

—Rick Kerrigan, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, SVP Worldwide, former Manager of Supply Chain & Logistics at Duracell, Gillette, Owens Corning Composites, Synthetic Industries, and Formica.

   

"David Shaner has been a professional associate and a friend for decades. Since my first opportunity to work with him professionally at Frito Lay and with further endeavors with David, both professionally and personal, through three other corporations, I have became a convinced follower of the techniques detailed in Seven Arts of Change. Be aware that the approach is different from the traditional comfort zones most leaders like to stay in...difficult organizational change and transformation involves more than strategy, tactics, and measurements. Whether building on past success or engaging in a new organizational turnaround, this approach focuses the real human energy needed to completely transform organizations of any size. Energizing the people to engage, sustain and enhance organizational initiatives truly is an art. This book details the critical phases of the individual and team changes that truly make organizational transformation value-added, and even more important, lasting. Any leader can ramble about creating change, but only those leaders that truly embrace balancing both the physical and spiritual attributes of leading people through transformation succeed in having the change endure."

—John V. “Jack” Rice PhD, Senior Vice President,W.I.N.G.S. Inc. Former Director of Training and Development, Frito-Lay and Vice President General Manager, Pet Foods.

   

"David Shaner is a brilliant teacher and charismatic motivator.  Over twenty years ago I was a struggling music major at Furman University.  As a voice and opera performance major, I noticed three highly accomplished Furman faculty members studying with Dr. Shaner in order to improve their own abilities as performers.  My voice teacher, the Principal Cellist at the Greenville Symphony, and the Chair of the Philosophy Department (another musician) were all learning the principles of mind and body coordination in order to improve their performance.  Following their example, I started training with Dr. Shaner and in a very short time my voice and performance abilities dramatically improved.  I subsequently won a regional opera competition and shortly thereafter won a national competition for young artists at the Metropolitan Opera which led to a solo performing contract. For the last eighteen years I have remained at the Met as a Principal Soloist.  The Seven Arts of Change as described by Dr. Shaner in this book influenced my life deeply, in fact my career “took off” and I discovered for myself the benefits of true mind and body coordination.  I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in improving their performance and thus actualizing their true potential."

—Tony Stevenson, Principal Soloist, Metropolitan Opera, international opera performer

   

"I first met Dr. Shaner over 20 years ago when I was a student at Furman University.  There I studied philosophy and aikido from him while composing, performing and producing CD’s of my own music.  I found his performance improvement methods so compelling and so applicable to music and the performing arts that I joined Shaner & Associates after graduation.  During that time I successfully shared his methods of peak performance to a diverse audience including Fortune 500 companies.  I can also personally attest to the effectiveness of the interview process for “Leading Change and Performance Improvement” in a large corporate environment.  I helped implement the successful PRIDE Initiative at Duracell Batteries under the direction of President and CEO Robert Kidder.  As I have ventured out into the business world, I have successfully used Dr. Shaner’s methods of performance improvement in order to serve the valued customers of Datastream Systems, Wonderware Corporation, Invensys PLC, DoveBid, Inc., Cognos Corporation, IBM Corporation and SuccessFactors, Inc."

—Greg Gardner, SuccessFactors, Inc.

   

"Corporate America and academia are fortunate to have someone like David Shaner dedicated to human excellence. David has a unique way of using his background and numerous life experiences to provide insights and approaches to leadership that can make us better in and out of the workplace. As someone with decades of experience in human resources in a large corporation, I appreciate the practical yet profound wisdom his Seven Arts offer. I highly recommend this read."

—James E. Eubanks, Human Resources Executive, Global Card Services, Bank of America

   

"I have developed and studied growth strategies in business for over twenty-five years and have often noted the lack of the spiritual side in business. Shaner-sensei gives us a framework for addressing this critical component for all aspects of life in his book. It is one that works! I worked with Shaner-sensei on the development of Asian Studies and the Place of Peace at Furman University over the last five years. His skill at executing seemingly impossible projects and changes were displayed fully. I believed many of his projects would fail—Shaner-sensei proved me wrong each time by applying the framework of the Seven Arts."

—J. Michael Harley Founder, GrowthPhases, Alliance Recipient, Monbusho Fellowship at Tohoku University (1987-1989), former Chief Development Officer & Strategist, Schneider Electric North America

   

"If you want to understand how The Seven Arts can help you and your organization live a healthier, more prosperous life, then read this book.  And then, practice the teachings daily, and encourage your employees to do the same.   David lives what he is talking about.  He eats, sleeps and breaths it.  I know this because I have skied with him, worked with him, taught Aikido with him, laughed with him, and watched him never stop growing and learning."

—Thomas Crum, Author Three Deep Breaths, Journey to Center, and The Magic of Conflict;   and Founder and President, Aiki Works Inc.

   

"While leading the deal team that acquired Polaroid Corporation for One Equity Partners, the private equity fund of JP Morgan Chase, I applied the principles of the Seven Arts of Change to difficult negotiations. As a result, we won the day.  After we acquired the Company and with the digital age crashing down upon it, great cultural and business change was needed for this American icon to move forward.  With deep trust, I called upon my years of study with David, decades of traditional management experience and   previously proven results. As we moved forward with the NEW Polaroid, we confirmed that profit maximization and spiritual (cultural) change can not only coexist but can result in greater success.  FINALLY (and fortunately for us all), Dr. Shaner has memorialized these intuitive actions into a concise method of study and a readable functioning guide…..indeed a management breakthrough!"

—Charles F Auster, Managing Partner, Auster Capital Partners

   

"There are those in the world who have had the uncanny fortune of working with Dr. David Shaner for decades. At this point, I am not one of them. In fact, the opportunity to work with David was one I almost declined due to my skepticism surrounding "change agents". However, that was not the case, and I can say that in the short time we have worked together, David has become a significant person in my life, who has forever changed my outlook on business and the immense untapped potential of organizations.

In the depths of the recent recession, I found myself managing a significant investment in a high fixed-cost manufacturing company. The outlook for such companies at that time was bleak, and furthermore, the culture of the company was not prepared to deal with the realities of a prolonged, difficult recession. It was during this period that I had the fortune of being introduced to Dr. Shaner. David had worked previously with the CEO of this company on a different assignment, and was touted as a "consultant" who could help the organization, refocus its culture and elevate its performance significantly.  Initially I was beyond skeptical, due to my empirically-based belief that most "cultural change consultants" represented nothing but short-term emotion and long-term cost. And given this company's cost position, it could not afford to squander a single dollar. Although what David had to offer on paper was exactly what the company needed, I am fairly certain that I would not have entrusted this organization to him had it not been for the strong recommendation of the CEO, who had experienced first-hand the impact of David's work.

In the year since making that decision, I have been nothing short of amazed by the transformative impact that David’s guidance, influence and operating philosophy described in his book have had on people at all levels of the organization.  Almost immediately, his efforts began to produce real results on both the shop floor and among the executive team: a willingness to embrace change, an intense desire for better performance, newfound confidence in the organization, and a mental and emotional alignment with the operational and financial goals of the company.  Put into slightly more quantitative terms, these changes on a personal level among the employee base translated to actions, which ultimately translated to significant growth in the company's earnings. The new spirit of the company was palpable, the cash flow was real, I was impressed—David was clearly the real deal.

On a personal level I continue to be even further impressed by David. His behavior consistently exudes and exemplifies the core tenets of his philosophy; his compassion for people is significant and real—rare in business, but evident in his every action; his accomplishments are monumental, yet he himself is humble; and his grasp of the human mind and the nuances of motivation are self-evident in his unblemished track record and personal accomplishments. Most of all though, he is a wonderful person and a true, trusted friend. This book, as a glimpse into Dr. Shaner’s person and philosophy, is an invaluable guide to producing the kind of lasting, positive transformation across entire organizations that David has achieved in his consulting assignments, and doing it in the right way.  I know of no other person who has the ability and passion to make the kind of permanent, broad-based, positive impact on entire organizations as Dr. Shaner does.  I highly recommend this book and the principles found within."

—Daniel Y. Han, Principal Wellspring Capital Management LLC