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Leading in a Culture of Change Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"...offers valuable insights into the dynamics of change...full of illustrative case examples, exercises and resources..." (Long Range Planning, Number 38, 2005)

"...easy to read and understand..." (Personnel Today, 2nd October 2001)

"This is a book for all would-be heads of department and deputy heads. Every serving head should buy a copy. I shall buy at least 50 and enjoy giving them away to those at the start of their careers in the confident knowledge that the next generation will be more successful as leaders than the present one." (Times Education Supplement, 7 September 2001)

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"At the very time the need for effective leadership is reaching critical proportions, Michael Fullan's Leading in a Culture of Change provides powerful insights for moving forward. We look forward to sharing it with our grantees."
—Tom Vander Ark, executive director, Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"Fullan articulates clearly the core values and practices of leadership required at all levels of the organization. Using specific examples, he convinces us that the key change principles are equally critical for leadership in business and education organizations."
—John Evans, chairman, Torstar Corporation

"In Leading in a Culture of Change, Michael Fullan deftly combines his expertise in school reform with the latest insights in organizational change and leadership. The result is a compelling and insightful exposition on how leaders in any setting can bring about lasting, positive, systemic change in their organizations."
—John Alexander, president, Center for Creative Leadership

"Michael Fullan's work is remarkable. He masterfully captures how leaders can significantly improve their learning and performance, even in the uncontrollable, chaotic circumstances in which they practice. A tour de force."
—Anthony Alvarado, chancellor of instruction, San Diego City Schools

"Too often schools and businesses are seen as separate and foreign places. Michael Fullan blends the best of knowledge from each into an exemplary template for improving leadership in both."
—Terrence E. Deal, coauthor of Leading with Soul

"The sign of outstanding and inspired leadership is the ability to lead rather than be led by the forces of change. How do leaders in private, public, and not-for-profit sectors meet the challenges of today's complex world? This book shows the way."
—Veronica Lacey, president and CEO, The Learning Partnership

"Michael Fullan debunks the notion that there is a 'one-size-fits-all' blueprint for managing change. Leading in a Culture of Change is an excellent book for all educators and business leaders. Readers will gain powerful new insights into developing the core capabilities required for effective leadership under conditions of complex change."
—Kenneth Lalonde, executive vice president, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

"A great book for leaders everywhere who are truly interested in learning and cultivating the leadership potential in others."
—Marilyn Knox, president, Nutrition, Nestle Canada Inc.

"Michael Fullan has no truck with simplistic solutions or superheroes. Instead he helps leaders understand the paradoxes of complex cultural change-leaders from all sectors will learn from his insights."
—Heather Duquesnay, director and chief executive, National College for School Leadership, England

"Leading in a Culture of Change describes vividly the kind of leadership necessary to bring about successful change in modern times. At its heart is building capacity-a powerful message."
—Michael Barber, head, Standards and Effectiveness Unit, Department for Education and Employment, London, England

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; Revised edition (February 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787987662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787987664
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Fullan is professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Recognized as an international authority on organizational change, he is engaged in training, consulting, and evaluating change projects around the world. He is the author of The Six Secrets of Change and the bestselling books Leading in a Culture of Change and Turnaround Leadership, all from Jossey-Bass.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In an increasingly complex and fast-changing world, we cannot just rely on charismatic leaders to solve our problems. We need to cultivate leadership at all levels of any organization, business or education, "to face problems for which there are no simple, painless solutions" (p.3). Instead of prescribing recipes of set steps for leaders, Fullan gives a framework or new mind-set of 5 themes or capacities. Figure 1.1 (p.4) gives a clear image of the non-linear interacting components: the inner pie of moral purpose (acting with the intention of making a positive difference), understanding change, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making. It is surrounded by an outer rim of the personal characteristics of leaders: "energy-enthusiasm-hopefulness". Effective leaders thus mobilize commitment, both external (based on management policies) and internal (getting a job done is intrinsically rewarding). The aim or outcome of leadership is to make sure that "more good things happen" and "fewer bad things happen" defined according to different contexts.
Fullan gives many case studies and quotes interesting and relevant sources. For example, it is very helpful to learn and use the different leadership styles identified by Goleman in response to different needs (pp. 35ff). The 6 styles are: 1. Coercive ("Do what I tell you."). 2. Authoritative ("Come with me."). 3. Affiliative ("People come first."). 4. Democratic ("What do you thin?"). 5. Pacesetting ("Do as I do, now."). 6. Coaching ("Try this").
While stressing the importance of relationships, the author also cautions us that close relationships are not ends in themselves.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andrew A. Hoover on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Fullan integrates theory, research, case studies, and anecdotes to flesh out the dynamics of effective leadership in this post-modern era of complexity, interconnectedness, and rapid (often transformational) technological and social change. He identifies and elaborates on the five components of leadership, which can affect sustainable change: Moral purpose, understanding change, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making. Fullan sees leadership as a process that all organizational stakeholders, who strive for survival and improvement in a competitive and complex world, need to embrace. Drawing from Heifetz (Leadership Without Easy Answers, 1994), Fullan stakes out new territory for change agents: "Leadership, then, is not mobilizing others to solve problems we already know how to solve, but to help them confront problems that have never yet been successfully addressed." (p.3)
In weaving a coherent tapestry of description and theory, Fullan devotes a full chapter to each leadership component. In its broadest form, moral purpose is the effort to improve how human beings live. Fullan argues that leaders need to cultivate this perspective within themselves and strive to transfer it and embed it within the culture of the organization in order for change to be sustainable. Transforming the culture of an organization - "reculturing" - is the key to continuous improvement. To develop the culture of an organization, leaders must understand that change, or innovation, is a complex process, fraught with "implementation dips" and, in effect, never complete. Leaders with moral purpose care first and foremost about the people they serve - employees and clients.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Matt J. Fuller on March 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
During a time of rapid change and so-called leadership gurus, Michael Fullan draws from a wealth of research, case study scenarios, and theory to present an interconnected framework of five capacities for leadership which are relevant in today's world. These five components include moral purpose, understanding change, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making. When effective leaders possess characteristics of energy-enthusiasm-hopefulness and practice the five components, one can expect the outcome that "more good things happen" and "fewer bad things happen."
The five capacities of leadership are interrelated. Moral purpose, both a leadership quality and a natural result of the other four leadership components, involves "doing the right thing" for your organization and the world while contending with the diverse interests of competing groups. Fullan analyzes the change models of Kotter (1996); Beer, Eisenstat, and Spector (1990); and Hamel (2000); and concludes that they all contain good ideas, but are generally "nonactionable." In Fullan's view, there are six principles when dealing with change: the goal is not to innovate the most; it is not enough to have the best ideas; appreciate the "implementation dip;" redefine resistance; recruiting is the name of the game; and never a checklist, always complexity. On relationship building, Fullan cites Lewin and Regine (2000) and states that relationships are not just networking, but "genuine relationships based on authenticity and care." Fullan also cites the importance of developing a high Emotional Quotient (EQ). Fullan's idea of knowledge building embraces the development of a learning culture as proposed by Dixon (2000) where organizational knowledge is created, distributed, and used effectively.
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