The Heart of Change
is the follow-up to John Kotter's enormously popular book Leading Change
, in which he outlines a framework for implementing change that sidesteps many of the pitfalls common to organizations looking to turn themselves around. The essence of Kotter's message is this: the reason so many change initiatives fail is that they rely too much on "data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations" instead of a more creative approach aimed at grabbing the "feelings that motivate useful action." In The Heart of Change
, Kotter, with the help of Dan Cohen, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, shows how his eight-step approach has worked at over 100 organizations. In just about every case, change happened because the players were led to "see" and "feel" the change. In one example, a sales representative underscores a sense of urgency to change a manufacturing process by showing a videotaped interview with an unhappy customer; in another, a purchasing manager makes his point to senior management about corporate waste by displaying on the company's boardroom table the 424 different kinds of gloves that the company had procured through different vendors at vastly different prices. Well written and loaded with real-life examples and practical advice, The Heart of Change
towers over other change-management titles. Managers and employees at organizations both big and small will find much to draw from. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards
From Publishers Weekly
"Never underestimate the power of a good story," Kotter and Cohen testify in this highly readable sequel to Kotter's groundbreaking Leading Change. Practicing what they preach, they have culled, from hundreds of interviews conducted by Deloitte Consulting, the 34 most instructive and vivid accounts of companies undergoing large-scale change. With chapters organized by each of the eight stages of change Kotter identified in his 1996 bestseller, the authors deftly contrast success stories with fumbles, then utilize the compare-and-contrast format for lively "how-to/how-not-to" discussion. Throughout, they pepper their discussion with arresting (and quotable) aphorisms, such as "Dying will not help" and "Honesty always trumps propaganda," to ensure that readers remain on task, engaged and awake. Viewed in stages with concrete examples and convenient end-of-chapter summaries, the challenges and opportunities of the change process emerge in sharp relief. Kotter and Cohen demonstrate the critical difference that focus, faith, leadership, commitment and creativity make in winning employees' hearts, offering good stories that truly apply to each topic. "The single biggest challenge in the process is changing people's behavior," they insist, while providing convincing evidence (as well as examples of the effectiveness of videos and creative visual displays) that their method of "see-feel-change" will enable a company to overcome resistance lurking in its midst.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.