Leading Change / Edition 1

Leading Change / Edition 1

4.0 20
by John P. Kotter

ISBN-10: 0875847471

ISBN-13: 2900875847473

Pub. Date: 09/28/1996

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

What will it take to bring your organization successfully into the twenty-first century? The world's foremost expert on business leadership distills twenty-five years of experience and wisdom based on lessons he has learned from scores of organizations and businesses to write this visionary guide. The result is a very personal book that is at once inspiring,…  See more details below


What will it take to bring your organization successfully into the twenty-first century? The world's foremost expert on business leadership distills twenty-five years of experience and wisdom based on lessons he has learned from scores of organizations and businesses to write this visionary guide. The result is a very personal book that is at once inspiring, clear-headed, and filled with important implications for the future. The pressures on organizations to change will only increase over the next decades. Yet the methods managers have used in the attempt to transform their companies into stronger competitors - total quality management, reengineering, right sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds - routinely fall short, says Kotter, because they fail to alter behavior. Emphasizing again and again the critical need for leadership to make change happen, Leading Change provides the vicarious experience and positive role models for leaders to emulate. The book identifies an eight-step process that every company must go through to achieve its goal, and shows where and how people - good people - often derail.

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Product Details

Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition

Table of Contents

1Transforming Organizations: Why Firms Fail3
2Successful Change and the Force That Drives It17
3Establishing a Sense of Urgency35
4Creating the Guiding Coalition51
5Developing a Vision and Strategy67
6Communicating the Change Vision85
7Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action101
8Generating Short-Term Wins117
9Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change131
10Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture145
11The Organization of the Future161
12Leadership and Lifelong Learning175
About the Author187

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Leading Change 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Dane_Harison More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book for its easy-to-read-and-grasp approach to managing change. The book outlines an eight-stage change process that is intuitive and methodical. Kotter shows a change agent what to look for, what to emphasize, and how to orchestrate and maneuver through any organizational change. I appreciate the book’s instructional tone without all the business jargon. As a leadership book, I consider it one of my two must reads (the other is Leadership 2.0). Here’s what’s inside “Leading Change”: Part I: The Change Problem and Its Solution 1. Transforming Organizations: Why Firms Fail 2. Successful Change and the Force That Drives It Part II: The Eight-Stage Process 3. Establishing a Sense of Urgency 4. Creating the Guiding Coalition 5. Developing a Vision and Strategy 6. Communication the Change Vision 7. Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action 8. Generating Short-Term Wins 9. Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change 10. Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture Part III: Implications For the Twenty-First Century 11. The Organization of the Future 12. Leadership and Lifelong Learning
Guest More than 1 year ago
Organisations need change. We all know that. But how can an organisation adopt great ideas, tools, and methods, absorbing them in a way to stimulate change and get superior results? Harvard-professor John P. Kotter has been observing this process for almost 30 years. What intrigues him is why some leaders are able to take these tools and methods and get their organizations to change dramatically - while most do not. How many times have we not seen somebody get very excited about some new tool (CRM, e-business, etc.)? Yet two years later there is no performance improvement at all. Often because most of the organisation has rejected the change needed to make it happen. When people need to make big changes significantly and effectively, Kotter finds that there are generally eight basic things that must happen: 1. INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY. Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. Confronting reality, in the words of Execution-authors, Charan and Bossidy. 2. PICK A GOOD TEAM. Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee! 3. CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES. We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility. 4. COMMUNICATE. As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, workshops in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition 5. REMOVE OBSTACLES. Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads. 6. CHANGE FAST. Little quick wins are essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements. 7. KEEP ON CHANGING. After change organizations get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory. 8. MAKE CHANGE STICK. The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on. We can divide these eight steps in three main processes. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization. The next three steps make change happen. The last step re-freezes the organization on the next rung on the ladder. I've personally used Kotter's change process in several e-business projects. It has helped me a lot. I highly recommend that you buy this easy-to-read and affordable book. Alternatively, read his Harvard Business Review article from Mar/Apr 1995 on the same subject. Peter Leerskov, MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
Guest More than 1 year ago
The picture on the cover of John P. Kotter¿s book tells it all: a group of penguins are shuffling their feet nervously on an icy precipice, while one brave bird leaps for the water below. The question is, which penguin are you? In too many organizations, executives shy away from the precipice, while someone lower down in the pecking order jumps in to test the landing conditions. Kotter says managers and leaders are quite different. A manager, he explains, is trained to think in a linear, one-two-three, risk-limiting way. Transformational change, however, can only be attained when true leaders push forward on several fronts at once - eight of them to be exact. Every successful change initiative begins with a coalition of leaders who create a sense of urgency. Kotter¿s book stems from a 1995 Harvard Business Review article titled, 'Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail.' It will probably sound hauntingly familiar to managers who have watched change initiatives begin in the front courtyard with a marching band and end a few months later, ushered out the back door like a diner who can¿t pay the tab. If you want to know why your last change initiative fizzled, we say read this book. Better yet, study it to ensure that your next leap of faith is a flying success.
1000_Character_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"Leading Change" provides a great overview of what it takes to effectively implement change in an organization. Kotter's eight step plan (create urgency, form coalitions, create a vision, communicate the vision, remove obstacles, short-term wins, build on change, and anchoring change) provides a perfect framework for leading and executing change in any organization. And most importantly, it's not as boring as most HBR books. With that said, I was left a little unsatisfied with the "how" provided by the book. Kotter does a wonderful job of explaining the "what" and "why" around his theories, but trying to figure out how to pull off his plan in a dysfunctional organization run by self-interested leaders focused on maximizing their own bonuses...is difficult at best. Kotter acknowledges the challenges, but doesn't really help you overcome them. As a leader, I know it's my job to figure it out, but a little more help would have been nice. Worth reading, but may be difficult to implement.
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MBA2010 More than 1 year ago
We were assigned this for our MBA course. Very good read. Take notes or keep the book in your library because you WILL refer to it again.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I agree with the previous review about 'Strategic Organizational Change' by Michael Beitler. It's a great book. Soon it will be a classic, but don't discount Kotter's 'Leading Change'; it's already a classic. Please note that Beitler devotes most of his chapter 4 to Kotter's work. Beitler and Kotter make a good combination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend Leading Change and believe it will be helpful to leaders and managers at all levels. The concepts Kotter puts forth are equally helpful to the executive trying to introduce sweeping change or the project manager trying to gain support and momentum for a project. The book focuses on explaining the change process and the role of leadership in that process. I chose not to give it five stars because it could have included more instruction and examples. However, its concise nature is also a benefit because (at less than 200 pages) it is easy to read. It is also extremely well written. In particular, I am impressed by how well Kotter summarizes his theories towards the end of each chapter. He is adept at succinctly reinforcing concepts without undue repetition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This material is now 'old news.' I would recommend 'Strategic Organizational Change' by Michael Beitler. Beitler covers Kotter's entire book in one chapter.