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The Heart of Change

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,257 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
John Kotter's international bestseller Leading Change struck a powerful chord with legions of managers everywhere. It acknowledged the cynicism, pain, and fear they faced in implementing large-scale change--but also armed them with an eight-step plan of action for leaping boldly forward in a turbulent world.
Now, Kotter and coauthor Dan S. Cohen delve deeper into the subjec
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Published February 19th 2008 by Macmillan Audio (first published 1999)
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Fred Penguin
Apr 28, 2008 Fred Penguin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry C. Edwards wrote this review. 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 ...more
I kinda have mixed feelings on this one.

Con: it was a little on the repetitive/boring side.
Pro: repetition is the mother of all learning.

Con: it's written targeted at middle/senior managers (ie, not me)

Con: it doesn't talk about the fundamentals as much as Switch
Pro: it has a more step-by-step framework than Switch

I guess I'd say it's a really good book for a manager type to read (as opposed to Switch, which I would recommend for a peon like myself). But the first book I'd suggest for a manger w
Duny Martínez
Mar 21, 2015 Duny Martínez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julie Connor
Apr 29, 2014 Julie Connor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kotter's and Cohen's "The Heart of Change" provides a solid leadership framework for managing and guiding others through change and welcoming challenges as opportunities to experience positive growth. The author explains how transformation offers opportunities to address the organizational culture, promote self-reflection, encourage meaningful dialogue, and provide a safe environment for behavioral change.

The authors explain how individual and organizational react and process change. Kotter and
Timothy Chklovski
I've only skimmed the second half of the book. As a sort of companion to Kotter's "Leading Change", it presents several brief anecdotes illustrating the eight steps of driving change.
While an interesting enough read, it's a but further afield for someone trying to become a better investor and business analyst. At a very high level, the book illustrates the point that change is driven by influencing how people feel; influencing people's feelings with prepared, highly visual, clear-cut actions and
Cathy Allen
It always seemed to me that "change management" is a funny field to get into. Since nothing ever stays the same, isn't managing change something that most of us are doing most of the time? We need special consultants for this?

Yet, I find that I am more and more drawn to the subject. One of my favorite LinkedIn groups is called the Organizational Change Practitioners. I get a weekly breakdown of their discussions and always profit by taking the time to read it. These are people who are serious ab
Dec 19, 2012 Jennet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This book is a follow-up to Leading Change. It illustrates Kotter's change theory (see next paragraph) with real stories. Main finding of The Heart of Change: the central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems - core of the matter is always about changing behavior or people which happens mostly by speaking to their feelings. Highly successful change efforts folow a seeing-feeling-changing pattern.

Kotter's eight stages: push urgency up, put together a guiding team, create the vis
Feb 19, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of my "self-development" challenge for work and also because I was looking for a way to help my sales team feel inspired in their jobs. By far, my take-away was showing rather than telling - the selection about a company taping customers and having different departments view the dissatisfaction (and the subsequent emotional move to put aside differences in order to change ways) caused me to think about the way I needed to present information to my team. I also appreciate ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as business books go, The Heart of Change was pretty interesting. It contains dozens of stories from mid- to senior-level executives who successfully lead change in their organizations, all highlightin the author's eight steps for successful large-scale change. The information was easy to understand and apply, and it was presented in such a way that it wasn't too abstract to be useful. Recommended for people who read business books for fun(??).
Jan 27, 2014 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of great information and stories which illustrate the teachings in very concrete ways. My only frustration is the that one of the key points of the book is that much of the difficulty of change is the emotional challenges. Yet in the examples it seems to address the emotional issues more indirectly than directly.

I was hoping for more direct discussion of how to handle the emotional aspects of change. Still a very good resource for anyone trying to change anything.

Also I was impressed with
Rhonda Sue
May 05, 2015 Rhonda Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very meaty book, with an 8 step process to effectuate change in small or large organizations. I took notes and hope to share this with the organizations I'm involved with. The stories and examples were extremely helpful. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for strong advice and help in this area. Frankly, the information can help in many areas where change is required, even outside the work arena.
Sep 08, 2010 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
This was a good book teaching about change management. In order to create lasting change it emphasizes the need to really influence people's emotions and not just their thinking. There are eight important things necessary in this type of change:
1. urgency
2. the right guiding team
3. vision
4. communication
5. empowerment
6. short-term wins
7. don't let up
8. make it stick
This book reminded me a lot of The Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, but I liked The Influencer much better--it gave more co
Shubhashree Thekahally
Based on real-life stories, Heart of change provides a different perspective every time I read the book. This book by Kotter is a good follow-on to the book Leading Change. Thoroughly enjoyed and learned.
Minjee Kong
Mar 30, 2014 Minjee Kong rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I had to read "The Heart of Change" for a business class and I found the eight steps to large-scale change to be very insightful. Applying the steps from the book to basic issues we face every day in our lives can really help us to work towards change and success. I found most of the book to be extremely repetitive, causing me to skim over the major points rather than thoroughly reading. I think this book is a good book to browse for everyone studying not only business because the ideas througho ...more
Jeff Bush
A decent read. Good ideas, explained through anecdotes and stories. Unfortunately lacking research, so it's a far cry from better options on leadership.
Jan 16, 2016 Deepshikha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional stories on change management
Alena Stocking
I'm reading this book as a part of a work book-club. Good common sense stuff, but not super inspiring.
Dec 05, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite things about this book:
• short, focused chapters
• excellent, real-world examples/stories
• each chapter ends with a cliff notes-type summary
• clear love of bulleted lists
• actionable, the whole thing is so friggin actionable, I love it

Best work ever, no, but boy did it give me ideas and set my frame of mind for work in progress and to come. Definitely recommend to anyone in management or a position of influence.
Jan 13, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kotter's book emphasizes the need to incorporate emotional appeal and demonstration into the organizational change process. He argues convincingly - supported by many examples - for a "see-feel'change" rather than an "analyze-think-change" approach, while not discounting the need for analysis and information. It's a useful book for anyone responsible for implementing change in an organization of any type.
Jul 23, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
I appreciated Kotter's use of examples throughout. A great follow-up to Our Iceberg is Melting. Where Iceberg engages the reader by illustrating the principles through a fable, HOC puts some meat on the bones, but remains equally helpful through use of short cases illustrating each of the eight steps. I also appreciated the See-Feel-Change vs. Think-Analyze-Change discussion.
Jan 12, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Classic staple of change management and solid companion to the original Leading Change work by Kotter. The simple "see-feel-change" model is a needed contrast to the more common "analyze-think-act" approach. This work is helpful with the many real life stories to illustrate the successes and challenges of the 8-step change model.
Nov 20, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-development
Read this for a reading group at work. I found it straight-forward and easy to read. Most of the book is real-life stories illustrating the eight steps of change, which seem applicable to any other workplace. This book definitely got my creative juices flowing with lots of ideas for change at my workplace!
Mar 25, 2014 Elizabeth marked it as to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Kaberon
Apr 30, 2012 Rachel Kaberon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kotter lays out clear paths that helped others find and deliver on urgency to make meaningful change, the ones that correct core issues and inspire people to act.
The stories are now familiar but Kotter's commentary and instructives really help make the book a valuable addition to my tool set!
John Stepper
Jun 24, 2012 John Stepper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. I didn't expect to like this slim, high-level treatment of change, but it proved very useful. The stories were the key. The "424 gloves" and "Video of the customer" were memorable, effective, and made me rethink some of my approaches at work. Pretty good for 185 pages!
May 29, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book that I need to re-read. It focuses on stories of individuals in the workplace that with a loving heart are able to lead change for the better. It is a great book for workgroups, demonstrating the being positive and solid of heart is the best management system ever.
Bill Warden
Jul 28, 2012 Bill Warden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
This was a good business book. A lot of good information about how to initiate change and make it stick. Not the most exciting book, but it was very informative. If you're thinking about how to make changes to a business, this is really a good book to work from.
Jan 25, 2009 Bimus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not so familiar with work in the corporate world but I understand the ideas and concepts provided by the book to manage a change implementation. Well written, light and easy to handle. I read it because change has become a very important theme in these times.
William Matthies
Researching and writing a book myself addressing change, how could I not read one (actually a few) from Professor John Kotter.

Well worth my time, and yours, assuming you're interested in better managing change in both your personal and professional lives.
Devin Partlow
This book has a noteworthy plan to change an org, but it spends too much time on the anecdotal stories. Instead I would have like the author to elaborate more on his strategy rather than point to other orgs and say, "See, see they did it and it worked!"
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John P. Kotter, world-renowned expert on leadership, is the author of many books, including Leading Change, Our Iceberg is Melting, The Heart of Change, and his latest book, That's Not How We Do It Here!. He is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and a graduate of MIT and Harvard. He is co-founder of Kotter International, a change management an ...more
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“Never underestimate the power of the mind to disempower.” 2 likes
“Never underestimate the power of clever people to help others see the possibilities, to help them generate a feeling of faith, and to change behavior.” 1 likes
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