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Change book by John Kotter



by John P. Kotter, Vanessa Akhtar, and Gaurav Gupta

There is a growing gap between the rate, amount, and complexity of change in the world, and the ability of the modern enterprise (and the individuals within them) to keep up. This gap presents both a threat and an opportunity. Change shares the emerging science of change that can teach us much about how to build organizations that are more agile and able to change more rapidly.

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Article on Change from Harvard Business Review

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This is destined to be a wake up call for a lot of businesses and other enterprises and a classic that will be referred to for a very long time. Extremely well written. Crisp and to the point. It clearly lays out the concepts and flows seamlessly into the research/examples/cases with a compelling comparison of the “old way” and the “new way”. Above all, it articulates the new theories and approaches in very powerful and credible ways.

—Bill DeckelmanEVP and General Counsel, DXC Technology Company

Like their approach to consulting, the book makes the complex challenge of leading change accessible. It boils down the ‘theory of change’ into common sense advice that is actionable and relevant—no matter if you are changing strategy, reconsidering structure, or simply trying to adapt at the speed of today’s change. As we prepare for a post Covid world, never has there been a time when harnessing the imagination and energy of employees has been more critical for companies that want to thrive in an environment that may look completely different than a year ago. This marvelous book can help companies prepare for this massive challenge…and opportunity.

—Jessica DeVliegerGlobal CEO, C-Space

Comprehensive. Integrated. The book helps people like myself look up from short term pressures and keep a focus on the larger issues we face. If offers a perspective that most CEOs or Chairs will immediately understand. And it is hugely relevant to the challenges we face today.

—Anthony McCordChief Transformation Officer, New York City Mass Transit Authority

The background, history, and case studies show a new way of thinking and acting. The lessons are short, to the point, yet profound. This is a call to action for all who care to move from the ranks of management to be key leaders in their companies, industries, and communities.

—Douglas WilliamsCOO, HMS Holdings

Different from other books on change, the focus is on three broad sets of critical influencing factors: human behavior hard wiring (to survive and/or thrive), modern organizational structures and how they undercut change, and the notion that leadership can come from everywhere and not just the top. It beautifully captures how almost everyone approaches change today, i.e., top down and metrics driven, as well as a research and experience based (vastly better) alternative. The “dual system” idea is clever and greatly needed because we must have both the reliability, efficiency, and scale afforded by modern organizational structures and the adaptability, agility, and flexibility afforded by fluid networks.

—Peter KimVice President, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Change is everywhere now, yet there is no broadly accepted and effective way to adapt to it. Obstacles slow progress, and the most relevant obstacle to change and innovation is often the very nature of established firms. Kotter and his co-authors show in this book how to build a platform able to promote and welcome change. They describe with story after story how to multiply the resources engaged in providing strategic agility, speed, and the like while continuing to deliver ongoing short term results. They also illuminate how to make your organization ready for the next big set of changes, whatever they are.
Revealing. Intriguing. Masterful.

—Alberto Iraceformer CEO of ACEA, Rome Italy

The Thrive/Survive model is an extremely interesting construct, nicely illustrated throughout the entire book. Between the research and the case studies, the key implications are well covered and the points are clearly made. This makes this book a very practical point of application of brain and behavioral science.
The first two chapters make an excellent short book just by themselves. Then chapters 9 and 10 also are extraordinary. The reflection about what social movements can learn from businesses and vice versa is intriguing and thought-provoking. And the proclamation of more leadership from more people makes the reader crave to go look for more ways to democratize leadership.

—Antonio BoadasChief Communication Officer, Haier/GE Appliances

Powerful and timely thought leadership that fills a much needed gap.

—Charles FleetChief Transformation Officer, Omnitracs

This is a great book with a ton of insight, hugely relevant everywhere today. It’s even more important in technology, where if you do not change fast enough, you get run over. Think Intel. Self-cannibalization is often key to winning. You cannot ‘strategically plan’ your way to success in technology. Despite the massive pace of events, competition, speed, increased risk, after reading this book you will be left inspired—inspired to ‘press your own change button.

—Taner OzcelikSVP and Group General Manager, ON Semiconductor

In this increasingly complex world, every leader needs this guidebook to enact meaningful change and achieve results. It is another Kotter masterpiece on leadership.

—Reihaneh Irani-FamiliVice President of Business Readiness, National Grid