Leading Change Hardcover – Sep 1 1996
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
8.Read more ›
In this book, the author points out the most common mistakes in effecting change and offers eight steps to overcoming the barriers to change. While the book is well-worth reading, the reader should be made aware that the author does not tell you what specific changes need to be made. Much of the information here is not new and can be found in a variety of other similar books, reports and reviews and for that reason the star rating of the book dropped significantly.
Even though this book was published four years ago, it is still on the cutting edge of modern, linear change in organizations. In my own consulting work I see this book--more than any other--used as a reference point when dicussing change strategies.
Kotter's ideas of establishing a sense of urgency and creating a guiding coalition brought great insight to the part of the change process known as readiness. Another great contribution is the idea that culture--being the most difficult thing to change--is generally the last change tackled, and the capping change that must take place for true lasting change to occur.
John Kotter begins this book by sharing why transformation efforts fail. He then takes the reader on a journey through an eight stage process of creating major change. He concludes this three-part book with a look at the implications for the twenty-first cnetury related to organizations and leadership.
Any facilitator or recipient of change efforts who has not read this book, has missed one of the mandatory books about the change process in North American culture.
Buy it today!
On the other hand, if you have not seen this done successfully before, you may need more detailed examples than this book provides or outside facilitators to help you until you have enough experience to go solo. I suspect this book will not be detailed enough by itself to get you where you want to go.
Here's a hint: The Harvard Business Review article by Professor Kotter covers the same material in a much shorter form. You can save time and money by checking this out first before buying the book.
I personally find that measurements are very helpful to create self-stimulation to change, and this book does not pay enough attention in that direction. If you agree that measurements are a useful way to stimulate change, be sure to read The Balanced Scorecard, as well, which will help you understand how to use appropriate measurements to make more successful changes.
If you want to know what changes to make, this book will also not do it for you. I suggest you read Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline.
Most recent customer reviews
Been a fan of John Kotter. Like his concepts and made me think out of the box. Learned about him in my MBA.Published 5 months ago by Wiz
Change is a reality we need to make changes when they are necessary. I think the importance of reviewing changes that are wrong is essential. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Hal Hobenshield
Kotter is very famous in managing change. He's also got a consultancy firm that specializes in managing organizational change. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2010 by HR
"Leading Change provides great insight that will help any organization/leader in the quest for sustained change in the workplace. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2008 by Domenic Paolucci
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 morePublished on April 24 2004
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