Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Good starting point
on 18 February 2015
I purchased this book primarily for reference purposes whilst undertaking research for a leadership and management module. Kotter takes a common sense approach and his model is logical and written in a practical sequence. He also presents his own experiences well through use of case study examples. This makes for an easy read and offers a basis for understanding organisational behaviour and development. However, whilst I appreciate that this book was a best seller, I was hard pushed to find validation of the full eight step process. The book does not even contain references to any external sources, and the majority of `evidence' is presented by Kotter himself in follow up articles or books.
Despite the lack of validity, I do value Kotter's ideas. However, whilst I am certainly no match for a Harvard professor, I do not think leading change is as linear a process as Kotter's model suggests. Evidence from my own practice in social services suggests that the development and communication of a vision is of primary importance. This establishes a rationale for urgency by affording individuals opportunity to see what change can actually offer them which, in turn, can nurture their own leadership and team working skills. Urgency, without a purpose, can only be false and unsustainable. Contextual variables, therefore, must be accounted for, and I have found it more constructive to adapt Kotter's framework and consider it alongside other models and theories.