THE HEART OF CHANGE: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations

John P. Kotter, Author, Dan S. Cohen, Author, Dan S. Cohen, Joint Author . Harvard Business School $20 (208p) ISBN 978-1-57851-254-6

"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. (Aug. 1)

Forecast:Author appearances and a national marketing and advertising campaign will alert Leading Change's huge audience (it is HBS Press's all-time bestseller) to this practical no-nonsense guide that pumps up, orients and keeps on track companies struggling with change.

Reviewed on: 06/03/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-0234-5
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-4221-8733-3
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