Summary of Illuminate

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Communications consultants Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez deliver a sensible guide to leading change. Using case studies, they describe a process of tailoring and making effective speeches, crafting the right stories with classic storytelling techniques, organizing emotional ceremonies to build commitment and deploying effective symbols. Apply their tactics to help your employees overcome resistance to change and rally them throughout the struggle that significant transformations can entail. Though the text sometimes sounds like an advertorial, Duarte and Sanchez provide examples from business, politics and social movements to illustrate the effectiveness of their techniques based on a five-step model, “dream, leap, fight, climb and arrive.” getAbstract recommends their counsel to anyone interested in persuasion or in leading change.

About the Authors

Nancy Duarte is a leading communications expert and CEO of Duarte Inc., where Patti Sanchez is chief strategy officer.



The Strength of “Torchbearers”

Successful, sustainable organizations need visionary “torchbearers” who have an extraordinary ability to see what’s coming. They must know how to seize opportunities and avoid disasters. To spark needed change and rally others to their vision, torchbearers must communicate effectively and consistently. Most people naturally resist change, especially when they feel they have more to gain if the status quo prevails. As a leader and a torchbearer, think about other people’s concerns and fears. Show them how change could benefit them.

Talk to your people and listen to them empathetically. When Anne M. Mulcahy became CEO of Xerox, she logged hundreds of thousands of miles in airplanes and spent thousands of hours listening to employees at all levels before generating change. Consider how your employees think and feel about your plans and how they are likely to respond. Remember, “Your idea is the spark, but you need others to carry the fire on the long trek ahead.”

Compare the steps that Louis Gerstner Jr. took when he became CEO of IBM to the actions Arthur S. Demoulas pursued at Market Basket. Gerstner went on an extended...

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