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The Heart of Change

Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations

Harvard Business Review Press,

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Category: Leadership & Management

The Heart of Change

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to use the eight steps of successful organizational change
  • How leading companies have implemented these steps
  • What not to do

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Why you should read The Heart of Change

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, getAbstract recommends 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.

About the Authors

John P. Kotter has taught at the Harvard Business School since 1972 and has written numerous articles and books including the award-winning Leading Change (1996). Dan S. Cohen, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, heads the firm’s Global Energy Change Leadership practice and developed its Global Change Leadership Methodology. He lectures widely about organizational behavior.

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  1. June 3, 2013 Patricia Ferreira
    This is a great guide to how change is assimilated in the emotional brain...
  2. April 12, 2013 Julie Muhs
    This is a good abstract - pragmatic and realistic about the challenges and pitfalls. An essential read when navigating the steps to delivering a successful change
  3. March 25, 2013 Amy Cooper
    great title

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