On Change Management

a book review

product linkOn Change Management
authorHarvard Business Review
date reviewed2013.06.29
genreBusiness (Management)

This is a collection of excellent articles on instituting change in the corporate environment. The articles are assembled to discuss topics that are mutually exclusive in coverage. For instance, the lead article "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail" by Kotter talks about the typical killers: lack of vision, lack or urgency, and so on. He promotes the process of building a coalition, building on success, and changing the organization through normalizing change. By contrast an article called "Tipping Point Leadership" by Kim and Mauborgne - easily the best read in the book - is on the work of William Bratton, the chief of police that turned New York around in the '90s. It talks about techniques such as ensuring that the people making decisions are exposed to the actual problems so they can make much better decisions. It talks about how he identified and removed would-be saboteurs early on.

It's the combination of concepts and explicit examples that makes this one strong.

Each of the articles contains a "TL;DR" summary that encapsulates the message in quick bullet points.

Edit 2021: There's now a sequel to this book, published ten years later.

👍🏼 recommended

rand()m quote

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Hermann Goering