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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Change Management (including featured article “Leading Change,” by John P. Kotter) Paperback – March 8, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

HBR's 10 Must Reads paperback series is the definitive collection of books for new and experienced leaders alike. Leaders looking for the inspiration that big ideas provide, both to accelerate their own growth and that of their companies, should look no further.

HBR's 10 Must Reads series focuses on the core topics that every ambitious manager needs to know: leadership, strategy, change, managing people, and managing yourself. Harvard Business Review has sorted through hundreds of articles and selected only the most essential reading on each topic. Each title includes timeless advice that will be relevant regardless of an ever-changing business environment.

Classic ideas, enduring advice, the best thinkers: HBR's 10 Must Reads.
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Product Details

  • Series: HBR's 10 Must Reads
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422158004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422158005
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are certain things most CEOs will agree on - the speed of change in the world continues to increase therefore increasing the need for internal changes just to stay competitive. Change is damn difficult. You have no choice. Conditions are constantly changing, you must adapt to change. The successful companies - the ones that will survive and thrive will be the ones who can quickly and efficiently adapt to changing conditions. If you want to be successful, learn to manage change.

Unfortunately most change initiatives achieve mediocre results. If you want to improve the odds, this is a good place to start. On Change will help you understand why so many change initiatives are less successful than hoped for.

On Change is one of the HBR'S 10 Must Read Series. It is a collection of 10 articles dealing with change. In each article there is a sidebar "Idea in Brief" which gives a thumbnail sketch of the article and a sidebar "Idea in Practice" which recaps how to implement the idea contained in that article. While these are excellent reference material, they should not be used in lieu of reading the entire articles.

To be honest, some articles are better than others - at least some resonated with me more than others. But they all contain excellent insights on what makes for successful change efforts and what can derail your change efforts.

There were three articles that stood out the most. "Leading Change" by John Kotter was the first. Here he points out the major errors which leaders make when instituting change efforts. There were a couple of points which really were worth noting: "There seems to an almost universal tendency to shoot the bearer of bad news ...
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Format: Paperback
This volume is one of several in a new series of anthologies of articles that initially appeared in the Harvard Business Review, in this instance from 1960 until 2006. Remarkably, none seems dated; on the contrary, if anything, all seem more relevant now than ever before as their authors discuss what are (literally) essential dimensions of organizational and/or individual change.

More specifically, why transformation efforts fail (John P. Kotter), how to achieve change through persuasion (David A. Garvin and Michael A. Roberto), what can be learned from an interview of Samuel J. Palmisano about leading change when business is good, why radical change can be "the quiet way" (Barbara E. Meyerson), what "tipping point leadership is and does" (W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne), what a survival guide for leaders should provide (Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky), the real reason people won't change (Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey), how to crack "the code of change" (Michael Berr and Nitin Nohria), the hard side of change management (Harold L. Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson), and why change programs don't produce change (Michael Beer, Russell A. Eisenstat, and Bert Spector).

Each article includes two invaluable reader-friendly devices, "Idea in Brief" and "Idea in Practice" sections, that facilitate, indeed expedite review of key points. Some articles also include brief commentaries on even more specific subjects such as "Dysfunctional Routines" (Pages 238-29), "Tempered Radicals as Everyday Leaders" (Page 64), "Adaptive Versus Technical Change: Whose Problem Is It?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mellostello63 on May 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend who has had a successful career as a change management consultant, after working for IBM for years. There is an almost identical book which has a Chinese painting on the cover and contains 8 of the 10 articles in this book. Make sure you don't order both! This is a great read for anybody interested in formulating a structured approach to implementing change.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dutchman on January 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found HBR's 'On Change Management' to have some great nuggets of information. I particularly liked Kotter's chapter describing why transformations typically fail, as well as Sirkin, Keenan, and Jackson's article about the hard side of change management. In addition, almost all of the other articles contained valuable points that I made sure to jot down. Despite that, the book felt surprisingly flat. After the third or fourth article, I started getting a depressing sense of deja vu. It may be that HBR requires a standard format for their magazine; but after a while, there is this sense of bland sameness. Despite that criticism, I felt the book well worth the money and provides excellent insights.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Wiersma on April 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here we have HBR re-purposing Harvard Business Review articles on change. Virtually all were written by experienced and respected academics. While I found some of the articles a little dry and most had an academic orientation, I found the book quite useful.

I trust senior executives will also find it helpful (along with Leverage authored by John Childress). HBR's On Change Management has more theoretical leanings while Leverage has more of a practitioner's point-of-view. Both books compliment each other.

John Kotter's article is a classic. His work in the field of 'change' has proved ground-breaking. Michael Beer's article 'Why Change Programs Don't Produce Change' is excellent. I concur whole heartedly with Beer's conclusion about putting 'focused energy on the work itself' as opposed to relying so much on systems and structure as the lever for change.

Overall, an important book for those charged with oversight responsibilities in successfully implementing organizational change.

Bill Wiersma, Author--The Power of Professionalism
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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Change Management (including featured article “Leading Change,” by John P. Kotter)
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