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The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations

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Overview


Moving beyond the process of change

Why is change so hard? Because in order to make any transformation successful, you must change more than just the structure and operations of an organization—you need to change people’s behavior. And that is never easy.

The Heart of Change is your guide to helping people think and feel differently in order to meet your shared goals. According to bestselling author and renowned leadership expert John Kotter and coauthor Dan Cohen, this focus on connecting with people’s emotions is what will spark the behavior change and actions that lead to success. Now freshly designed, The Heart of Change is the engaging and essential complement to Kotter’s worldwide bestseller Leading Change.

Building off of Kotter’s revolutionary eight-step process, this book vividly illustrates how large-scale change can work. With real-life stories of people in organizations, the authors show how teams and individuals get motivated and activated to overcome obstacles to change—and produce spectacular results. Kotter and Cohen argue that change initiatives often fail because leaders rely too exclusively on data and analysis to get buy-in from their teams instead of creatively showing or doing something that appeals to their emotions and inspires them to spring into action. They call this the see-feel-change dynamic, and it is crucial for the success of any true organizational transformation.

Refreshingly clear and eminently practical, The Heart of Change is required reading for anyone facing the challenges inherent in leading change.

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  • The Heart of Change
    The Heart of Change  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Prolific author and change management expert Kotter and consultant Cohen join forces in this 2002 update to Kotter's groundbreaking Leading Change(1996). The earlier work revealed why efforts at change so often end in failure and outlined eight critical steps needed to turn things around. Having interviewed more than 400 people from 130 organizations in the midst of major changes, Kotter and Cohen reveal the core problems people face at each of these eight stages and provide straightforward solutions. Their main finding is that the central issue concerns not structure or systems but behavior and how to alter it. An overview of how people see and meet change is followed by chapters on the steps to successful, large-scale change, including increasing urgency, building a guiding team, getting the vision right, and empowering action. The inclusion of many firsthand stories from people involved in change efforts makes this a useful book for any organization. The crisp, bright narration by Oliver Wyman helps to maintain interest in this material. Highly recommended for all academic libraries supporting business curricula and larger public libraries.
—Dale Farris

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578512546
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author


John P. Kotter is internationally regarded as the foremost authority on the topics of leadership and change. His is the premier voice on how the best organizations achieve successful transformations. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School and is cofounder of Kotter International, a leadership organization that helps Global 5000 company leaders accelerate the implementation of their most critical strategies and lead change in a complex, fast-moving business environment. John Kotter has authored eighteen books, twelve of them bestsellers. His works have been printed in over 150 foreign-language editions.

Dan S. Cohen is the CEO of Stuart Advisory Services Group and a retired partner of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He focuses on large-scale organizational transformation and strategic change, and has over thirty-five years of experience consulting to and working in industry. During his fifteen years at Deloitte, Cohen developed the firm’s first Global Change Leadership methodology and was the lead architect in the design of Deloitte’s Strategic Change methodology. In addition to his consulting work, Cohen has lectured on organizational behavior at Ohio State University, Miami University, the University of Detroit, and Southern Methodist University.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Much more than the Kotter Change Model

    This book introduces us to the Kotter 8-Step Change Model: Establish a sense of urgency to beat back complacency Creating the Guiding Coalition Developing a Vision and Strategy Communicating the Change Vision Empowering Employees for Broad-based Action Generating Short-Term Wins Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change Anchor New Approaches in the Culture. We are famailer with these, but here Kotter lays out the power of feelings and stresses the importance that lasting change must be emotionally embraced. The change must be anchored in the hearts of those tasked with carried out the deliverables. It's a great read with lots of supporting material.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2005

    A Must-Read!

    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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    Posted December 15, 2010

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    Posted March 7, 2012

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