The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations Hardcover – 1 Jul 2002
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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." (Those who do that effectively have what Daniel Goleman characterizes as "emotional intelligence.Read more ›
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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