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Leading Change [Hardcover]

John P. Kotter
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1996
John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this immensely relevant bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard Business School professor Kotter (A Force for Change) breaks from the mold of M.B.A. jargon-filled texts to produce a truly accessible, clear and visionary guide to the business world's buzzword for the late '90s?change. In this excellent business manual, Kotter emphasizes a comprehensive eight-step framework that can be followed by executives at all levels. Kotter advises those who would implement change to foster a sense of urgency within the organization. "A higher rate of urgency does not imply everpresent panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent." Twenty-first century business change must overcome overmanaged and underled cultures. "Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders." Kotter also identifies pitfalls to be avoided, like "big egos and snakes" or personalities that can undermine a successful change effort. Kotter convincingly argues for the promotion and recognition of teams rather than individuals. He aptly concludes with an emphasis on lifelong learning. "In an ever changing world, you never learn it all, even if you keep growing into your '90s." Leading Change is a useful tool for everyone from business students preparing to enter the work force to middle and senior executives faced with the widespread transformation in the corporate world. 60,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; dual main selection of the Newbridge Book Club Executive Program; 20-city radio satellite tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

After trying an endless array of quick fixes and other panaceas, executives struggling to stay in business in a rapidly changing world are finding it necessary to consider more fundamental reasons for their lack of success. Kotter (The New Rules: A Force for Change, Free Pr., 1995) now offers a practical approach to an organized means of leading, not managing, change. He presents an eight-stage process of change with highly useful examples that show how to go about implementing it. Based on experience with numerous companies, his sound advice gets directly at reasons that organizations fail to change, reasons that concern primarily the leader. This is a solid, substantive work that goes beyond the cliches and the consultant-of-the-month's express down yet another dead-end street. With its clear demonstration of the hard work necessary to lead change, this important work stands with Michael Hammer's latest, Beyond Reengineering (see review above). Highly recommended.?Dale F. Farris, Groves, Tex.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
BY ANY OBJECTIVE MEASURE, THE amount of significant, often traumatic, change in organizations has grown tremendously over the past two decades. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criticism is misdirected Nov. 20 2011
By J. Lebo
The comments that rate this book poorly are missing the point. Fear, threats, etc. are not part of Kotter's method. He provides guidelines; it's up to you to adapt them to your specific purpose. The harsh critics lack the creativity to apply Kotter's general tactics to their specific situations.

This book is taught at the best business schools because it works. I use it all the time because it works. Ignore the out-of-context babble about burning platforms and just read the book. It is effective, common-sense stuff, applicable to EVERY change initiative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Small businesses, entrepreneurs and authors can learn a lot about why some changes just don't work for them. Author John P. Kotter is a change management expert, and his book Leading Change offers some great insights that can help any business move through change with more ease. First we need to understand what gets in the way of an effective change process:

Kotter says that businesses fail with their change processes because:

- They allow too much complacency

- They fail to create a powerful and effective change guiding coalition

- They underestimate the power of vision

- They under communicate the vision- communication is actions and words

- Permitting obstacles to block the new vision

- Failing to create short term wins

For businesses, authors and entrepreneurs, it is important we don't become complacent in our work, always endeavor to be innovative, and passionate. It is the passion and innovation that helps you solve business challenges, and that people remember you for. Ensure that you have a vision, know how powerful a vision is and communicate it, and communicate it some more. Don't let obstacles or shiny objects get in the way or your plans and vision. Always find the short term "win wins", they fuel the next step in the journey. Also, bring people along with you! These indivduals become champions for you, your business and your vision.

Kotter also talks about the 8 step process to effectively lead change:
1. Establish sense of urgency
2. Create the guiding coalition
3. Develop vision and a strategy
4. Communicate the change vision
5. Empower employees for broad based action
6. Generate short win wins
7. Consolidate gains and produce more change
Read more ›
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who Set Light to the Platform? May 18 2002
By A Customer
Another "expert" on change management offers the following scenario:
If you were on a North Sea oil platform it is very unlikely that you'd jump 40 feet into the icy water just because someone said you should. If the platform were on fire, on the other hand, you'd probably jump without having to be told.
So, if you want to make a change management programme successful, just frighten people by demonstrating that they have more to lose by staying put than they do if they "jump".
Sound familiar?
Isn't Kotter's recommendation to establish a sense of urgency by analyzing competition and identifying potential crises another version of the same strategy?
The problem is that we know that people under threat/stress become LESS flexible, LESS creative, LESS willing to take risks. In short, they are in the worst possible state to successfully implement a change management programme.
So what price the "burning platform" strategy - by any name you care to give it?
This is the sort of book that appeals to a certain type of executive because it allows them to blame everyone else when their change programme fails. Whast it doesn't tell them is that "command and control" management is the root cause of fiascos like BPR, "burning platforms" and the like.
With all due respect this is a blueprint for failure.
Definitely one to avoid like the plague.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended April 24 2004
By A Customer
One of the great books on self help practical leadership that has come out in recent years. You can complete your philosophical knowledge on leadership of character by going on to read the Remick book, "West Point: Jefferson: Character Leadership..." when you finish Kotter's "Leading Change".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A TOP GUN BOOK March 5 2004
If you match Peter M. Senge Fifth Dicipline together with this book, you have a very good idea how to upgraded management.
Keep reading !
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to lead change Oct. 26 2003
By A Customer
Kotter's eight-step formula for leading change provides some practical and valuable strategies, but it does not get to the core of the problem. When an organization hires and retains only those who have made the commitment to do their best regardless of the circumstances, then complacency is never a serious problem and the leader does not need to falsely impose a sense of urgency. I recommend this book, and suggest Optimal Thinking: How to be your best self is read along with it. We are integrating Optimal Thinking into our company (mission statement and culture) and moving away from the old paradigm of managers and employees to the new optimized paradigm of corporate optimizers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Change and Change Again! July 1 2003
John Kotter has been around for ever it seems and his work is still valuable to the field of leadership and change. The style is highly readable and held my interest as I slogged my way through three texts for a doctoral class in leadership. The topics are valuable and provide current insight into both successful efforts and organizational failures. I liked the work and plan to buy other works of his as a result.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading change
Kotter is very famous in managing change. He's also got a consultancy firm that specializes in managing organizational change. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2010 by HR
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done
"Leading Change provides great insight that will help any organization/leader in the quest for sustained change in the workplace. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2008 by Domenic Paolucci
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definative Book of Leadership and Change.
I have to question the seriousness of any manager who hasn't read this pivotal book. It has established itself as the definative book on leadership and change. Read more
Published on June 8 2003 by Robert G. Barnwell
5.0 out of 5 stars How To Make Change Happen
This is the best book I've read dealing with how to lead a major change project. Abundant in useful information, concise, complete and logical, it really is a gem of a book . Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Ryan V. Armasu
4.0 out of 5 stars Book is Better Than His Seminars
A must and easy read for anyone looking for a step by step way to lead change in any organization. Great book but I was dissapointed on his seminars which are very boring and... Read more
Published on Dec 18 2002 by Eduardo Dominguez
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource or organizational change
I goofed. I submitted a large proposal for a new product to my superiors before reading this book. It was shot down, and now that I've read Leading Change, I know why. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2002 by PJY
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight-stage process for transformation programs
John P. Kotter is Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School. He has written several books and articles on general management and leadership issues. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2002 by Gerard Kroese
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