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Harvard Business Review on Change (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series) Paperback – September 1, 1998

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Organizational change is a double-edged management tool. It can build a tighter, more focused business-or unleash a backlash of unrest and turbulence. Harvard Business Review has been a leader in exploring both the advantages and pitfalls surrounding corporate change initiatives, and with Harvard Business Review on Change comes an opportunity to reconsider, reassess, or discover for the first time many of these landmark ideas. From inspiring confidence and support while leading change, to understanding why employees so often resist transitions, this is the most comprehensive resource available for embracing change-and using it to your company's greatest advantage.
Includes Articles:
Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail (John P. Kotter)
Building Your Company's Vision (James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras)
Managing Change: The Art of Balancing (Jeanie Daniel Duck)
The Reinvention Roller Coaster: Risking the Present for a Powerful Future (Tracy Goss, Richard Pascale, and Anthony Athos)
Changing the Mind of the Corporation (Roger Martin)
Why Do Employees Resist Change? (Paul Strebel)
Reshaping an Industry: Lockheed Martin's Survival Story (Norman R. Augustine)
Successful Change Programs Begin with Results (Robert H. Schaffer and Harvey A. Thomson)

About the Author

Since 1984, Harvard Business School Press has been dedicated to publishing the most contemporary management thinking, written by authors and practitioners who are leading the way. Whether readers are seeking big-picture strategic thinking or tactical problem solving, advice in managing global corporations or for developing personal careers, HBS Press helps fuel the fire of innovative thought. HBS Press has earned a reputation as the springboard of thought for both established and emerging business leaders.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Business Review Paperback Series
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Press; 6 edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875848842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875848846
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Karl on March 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the nicest possible sense, this book isn't exactly what the title claims. All to often discussions of change management tend to concentrate on the people side of things and ignore the less glamerous topics such as re-tooling, revised administrative and reporting procedures and so on.
So, just to keep the record straight, this book is primarily concerned with the personnel aspects of change, with all other aspects of the overall process taking a very secondary part in the proceedings.

And now, on with the review:

One of the ways I judge a book like this is by the number of highlights I've made (makes it so much easier to refer back to the key points).
Sometimes I'll go through an entire book and be lucky to have half a dozen highlighted passage.

NOT here, though.

Without a hint of exaggeration I found numerous points worth highlighting in every one of the eight reprinted articles.

Of course this is not entirely surprising given the list of contributors, which includes such "leaders of the pack" as John Cotter ("Leading Change"), Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos ("The Reinvention Roller Coaster"), and Jerry Porras (Building Your Company's Vision").

I'd also like to commend the article "Managing Change : The Art of Balancing", by Jeanie Daniel Duck, (which ended up with highlighting on nearly every page!).

So, whilst the material is not exactly new (the various items appeared in the Harvard Business Review between 1992 and 1998), I'd suggest this well-chosen set of articles is as important now as when the articles were first published.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one in a series of several dozen volumes that comprise the "Harvard Business Review Paperback Series." Each offers direct, convenient, and inexpensive access to the best thinking on the given subject in articles originally published by the Harvard Business School Review. I strongly recommend all of the volumes in the series. The individual titles are listed at this Web site: [...] The authors of various articles are among the world's most highly regarded experts on the given subject. Each volume has been carefully edited. Supplementary commentaries are also provided in most of the volumes, as is an "About the Contributors" section that usually includes suggestions of other sources that some readers may wish to explore.

In this volume, the reader is provided with eight articles whose authors provide a variety of perspectives on how to strengthen an organization by making necessary changes while minimizing fear, frustration, and resistance. All of the articles first appeared in the HBR from January-February, 1992, to May-June, 1997; some but remarkably little of the material is dated. Here are some of the important business issues to which the contributors direct their (and our) attention:

Which seem to be the most common mistakes made by executives? ("Leading Change" John P. Kotter)

Comment: Kotter identifies eight and suggests how to avoid or repair them.

How to avoid a vague and fuzzy vision concept? ("Building Your Company's Vision," James C. Collins and Jerry I Porras)

Comment: Collins and Porras offer a framework that has two principal parts: core ideology and envisioned future. It was in this article that they introduced their concept of the "Big Hairy Audacious Goal" (BHAG).

How to focus only on what is most important?
Read more ›
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Looking for some informative, original and clear thinking about organizational change? This book is a great choice! In its pages you will find an outstanding collection of articles drawn from past editions of the HBR. This selection includes contributions on change leadership, reasons change efforts fail, and understanding resistance to change. Each article begins with an executive summary which, for the fast-forward crowd, is a big plus.
So many books are merely ONE GOOD ARTICLE embedded in a thicket of verbiage. Chopping away through such a jungle of verbosity for the jist-of-it-all often proves tedious and disappointing. (Blessed are the laconic!) This book, on the other hand, just serves up a bunch of 'jists'.
Happily, the HBSP has published several other collections of this sort on such topics as leadership, knowledge management, and strategies for growth. Each of these is a collection of 'jists'. If you are a person with no time to waste wandering through two or three hundred nonfiction pages for the three or four or maybe, if you are lucky, five good ideas in a book, these collections are for you. Reviewed by Gerry Stern, founder, Stern & Associates, author of Stern's Sourcefinder The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, Stern's CyberSpace SourceFinder, and Stern's Compensation and Benefits SourceFinder.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you prefer tight, concise articles compared to eloquent tomes, simply because you don't have the time to read as much as you might like? If that's the case, then here is a great book on change management just for you. This collection is one in a series from the Harvard Business Review, and is just about the most wide-ranging printed resource that this writer has found available for taking on corporate change.
There are articles from such leading authorities on change management as John Kotter (Leading Change), Paul Strebel, and more. Each article opens with an executive summary, helping you decide if you want to tackle that article then and there, or move on to another that fits your interests of the moment.
Sooner or later, change is about people altering the status quo, and those in charge often turn a blind eye to the fact that leadership is singularly the most important issue when an organization has to implement major changes. This is followed closely by teamwork, of which there won't be any without leadership.
Inside the covers you'll find the collected knowledge, opinions and counsel of those executives and consultants who have dealt with change at all levels. If your schedule doesn't permit you to leisurely meander through hundreds of pages to find a few workable ideas upon which to build some change solutions, then this collection should be highly recommended for you.
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