The Heart of Change

Book Review: The Heart of Change by John P. Kotter

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, Book Reviews

In this book Kotter explains how people change less because they are given analysis and facts about why change is needed and more because we show them a truth that influences their feelings. This concept is not adopted by all those writing on change management. Yet it is a concept that does fit with my experience. Unless the facts, figures, and general information presented by those wanting to effect change is compelling enough to generate the feelings that change is a requirement, then change will not happen. Kotter puts it this way: See, Feel, Change. So the information and analysis must be geared toward the “seeing,” and the “feeling” in order to prompt people to change. If we do not actively pursue the task of driving necessary change, change management becomes an oxymoron – change forced upon us becomes chaos and we do not manage the change, it manages us.

One of the things I enjoyed most about reading this book was the clear and logical layout with the interesting web-page navigation graphics. Also the case studies from “real life” gave practical examples of what success might look like in our companies. His eight steps to successful change are: 1. Increase Urgency, 2. Build the Guiding Team, 3. Get the Vision Right, 4. Communicate for Buy-In, 5. Empower Action, 6. Create Short-Term wins, 7. Don’t let up, 8. Make Change Stick.

All of this helps in building a practice of Shaping the Corporate Culture, which is, of course, near and dear to our hearts at dbkAssociates. Many of the insights in this book will be of practical use to us and to our clients.

Click to see it at Amazon.