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The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations Hardcover – 1 Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578512549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578512546
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Heart of Change is John Kotter's follow-up to his enormously popular first book, Leading Change, in which he outlined a framework for implementing change that sidesteps many of the pitfalls common to organisations looking to turn themselves around. The essence of Kotter's message is this: the reason so many change initiatives fail is because they rely too much on "data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations" instead of a more creative approach aimed at grabbing the "feelings that motivate useful action". In The Heart of Change, Kotter, with the help of Dan Cohen, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, shows how his eight-step approach has worked at over 100 organisations. And in just about each case, change happened because the players were lead to "see" and "feel" the change. In one example, a sales representative underscores a sense of urgency to change a manufacturing process by showing a videotape interview of an unhappy customer; in another example, a purchasing manager makes his point to senior management about corporate waste by displaying on the company's boardroom table the 424 different kinds of gloves that the company had procured through different vendors at vastly different prices. Well written and loaded with real-life examples and practical advice The Heart of Change towers over other change management titles. Managers and employees at organisations both big and small will find much to draw from. --Harry C Edwards

About the Author

John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School. Dan Cohen is a consultant with Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group.

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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Paul C Burr PhD on 8 Oct. 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The excellent Leading Change was the "how to" book. Kotter's sequel, The Heart of Change, is the "how did" version; filled with case studies of each step of the way.
Kotter exudes that rational business cases usually only provoke incremental change and that's what most organisations do. He describes the need for attention grabbing stimuli,to the 3 senses: Seeing,Hearing and Feeling, to provoke quantum change.
Step 1, Increase Urgency, alone is worth the price of the book.
Harrison Owen in his recent book, The Power of Spirit - How Organisations Transform, describes the importance of stories (and myths) to shaping corporate culture. Kotter's book is filled with such stories of defining moments.
I've given Heart of Change 4 stars because I think the net value of the book is incremental to its predecessor, Leading Change.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2005
Format: Hardcover
By interviewing 400 individuals from 130 businesses to get their change sagas, authors John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen further anchor the fresh approach to organizational change that Kotter presented in 'Leading Change' (1996). Their main insight: organizations change when their people change. And, people change for emotional reasons. Some readers may think that the emphasis on feelings is "soft" or even "distracting," but the authors warn against relying on spreadsheets or reports to promote transformation. They insist that the best way to engage the emotions is not to "tell" but to "show" - in videos, displays or even office design. The visual sense, they point out, processes enormous amounts of complex information instantly. At the end of each chapter, the authors include useful, modestly titled, "Exercises That Might Help." With appreciation for that level of detail, we recommend this illuminating book. Kotter has presented his eight-step change model before, but this practical, compact work demonstrates - with plainspoken stories of real-life managers and companies - how it functions. Thus the form of the book - "showing" - exactly replicates its main point.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book first published in 2002 and I recently re-read it, curious to know how well John Kotter's core concepts have held up since then. My conclusion? Very well indeed. The Heart of Change is in several respects a sequel to Kotter's previously published classic, Leading Change, in which he observes that "Over the past decade, I have watched more than a hundred companies try to remake themselves into significantly better competitors...Their efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, right-sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnaround. But in almost every case the basic goal has been the same: to make fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with a new, more challenging market environment. A few of these corporate change efforts have been very successful. A few have been utter failures. Most fall somewhere in between, with a distinct tilt toward the lower end of the scale. The lessons that can be drawn are interesting and will probably be relevant to even more organizations in the increasingly competitive business environment of the coming decade."

Whereas in Leading Change Kotter examines the eight steps people tend to follow to produce new ways of operating, in this volume he and Dan Cohen examine "the core problem people face in all of those steps, and how to successfully deal with the problem." And the central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. "All these elements, and others, are important. But the core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people, and behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people's feelings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Moules on 19 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
The sequel to Leading Change. I highly recommend this book. It gives real-life examples of companies and managers who acted on the eight steps of anchoring change in their culture. This summary will give you a good overview and stretch you to try some creative ways to help drive home your vision with your teams.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not to be read alone but rather following John Kotter's Leading Change.

Set out in the eight stages the stories are used to underpin the importance of each stage giving tales that are often inspiring and ones that you would want to use in your own workplace. The writing is clear and can easily be completed within a few hours.

The downside to this book is, as with Leading Change, that the eight stages are more leveled at the senior management level of a business. For an individual trying to either lead change at a lower level, or indeed manage their own response to change, the steps would not be well suited.
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By Leaview on 26 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought as a present for a friend. Good content.
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