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Publisher's Summary

John Kotter, the world's foremost expert on business leadership, distills 25 years of experience into Leading Change. A must-have for any organization, this visionary and very personal audiobook is at once inspiring, clear-headed, and filled with important implications for the future.

The pressures on organizations to change will only increase over the next decades. Yet the methods managers have used to strengthen their companies—total quality management, reengineering, right sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds—routinely fall short. In Leading Change, Kotter identifies an eight-step process that every company must go through to achieve its goal, and shows where and how people—good people—often derail. Emphasizing again and again the critical need for leadership to make change happen, Leading Change provides unprecedented access to our generation's business master and a positive role model for leaders to emulate.

©1996 John P. Kotter (P)2007 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Leading Change

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Key Resource for Any Change Leader

The author opens this book with a discussion of the common errors people make in trying to implement organizational change. He then goes on to counteract those errors with his eight-stage process for implementing effective and sustainable change: 1) Establishing a sense of urgency; 2) Creating the guiding coalition; 3) Developing a vision and strategy; 4) Communicating the change vision; 5) Empowering a broad base of people to take action; 6) Generating short-term wins; 7) Consolidating gains and producing even more change; and 8) Institutionalizing new approaches into the culture. The first four stages are intended to defrost a hardened status quo, the next three introduce many new practices, and the final stage grounds the changes into the corporate culture and helps them stick. This book is a comprehensive approach to change management and highly recommended for anyone undertaking a major change effort within an organization.

16 people found this helpful

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An oldie but a goodie - and works well on audio

I'd read the hard copy of this several times and wanted to refamiliarise myself with the content before working with a client interstate. I listened to the audiobook on the 13-hour drive to the event and found it clear, engaging and easy to recall (although can't say if that would have been the case if I hadn't already been familiar with the material).
This remains for me one of the benchmark texts on organisational change and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in that area.

9 people found this helpful

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Missing Sections

Any additional comments?

The audible book seems to be missing sections, there are quite a few instances where the sentence is cut off and a brand new one with a different topic starts. I am not sure what happened in the editing process

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Profound

This needs to be read. I wish I had before taking the effort to implement change in a previous company. Steps 1 & 2 were not satisfied and all efforts by the few involved floundered when they met opposing, complacent forces.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Read

What made the experience of listening to Leading Change the most enjoyable?

The engaging delivery of the narrator. He was easy to follow and made the listen enjoyable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Leading Change?

Understanding the importance of changing cultures in the 21st Century. It is extremely relevant and to hear them speak of this from 1996, shows the vastly changing business environment most firms are challenged with today.

What does Oliver Wyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The story telling comes to life. Story telling is key. Executives remember stories more than some data points. Great story telling in this book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Change is inevitable - learn to adapt!

Any additional comments?

Great book and highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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  • RS
  • 03-06-21

Great for execs, not so much for ICs

There is a heavy focus in the book on cultural changes and behavioral modifications that are typically controlled at the executive level. For readers that don't have executive authority but still need to manage or influence change, the guidance in the book is hard to apply. Perhaps there is no secret sauce other than top down support. I was hoping to glean more useful tidbits out of this for people having less power.

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Great Oldy that is still relevant today

Great book that affirmed a lot of behaviour regarding Change Management.

Relevant for longer running traditional companies steeped in the old ways of running business.

Would be interested in an update to this book that covers change in todays lean agile company types.

Still a classic by the father of Change Management

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Not great

I was hoping for more. The book was mostly a collection of obvious generalities, not much meat.

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Solid Book on Change

This tells details a number of very real human issues surrounding change in a concise way.

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Not impressed.

Supervisor suggested this to me. Most of Kotter's assertions about transformative change and culture seem obvious. He does a decent job backing his assertions with vignettes, but it doesn't make them any more revolutionary. His conclusion is irritating. As workers, manages, and leaders were all just going to have to do more for our organizations to stay competitive in the 21st century. Well, sure, but it seems like it's really easy for Kotter to come to this conclusion with very little, if any, consideration that employees may feel like they're doing enough and already on the end of a raw deal as is. If Kotter thinks the future is employees dedicating their lives to organizations or even career fields that don't retain or take care of them, he's mistaken. We'll find a better way and make today's businesses, with entitled executives, a thing of the past.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen S
  • 04-13-13

Classic Management Text - Must Read

This has got to be one of the "must reads" of management books. If you've ever tried to convince a group of people (in any setting or organization) to change the way they are doing something, if you've ever tried to introduce a new process, new tool or new way of working to your workplace, or if you've ever been in a situation where your team or company was in denial about loosing against the competition, this book is for you. Kotter in this book outlines an 8 stage process for effecting change. At each stage, he explains why, if you miss this particular stage, your change effort is at risk. I've worked in several high tech companies for the past 25+ years, and even today I can see people trying to introduce change and missing the fundamental lessons of this book - and wonder why their change effort flounders. So save yourself some stress, if you are trying to change something at work, in your club or voluntary organization, read this book and apply the lessons!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. R. D. Cox
  • 08-03-13

How to create change in organisations

Would you consider the audio edition of Leading Change to be better than the print version?

For any cynics - all your critisism of leaders who fail - are justified in this book - which is the how to for change that the big egos never read

Essential for anyone - who is committed to create lasting cultural change in an organisation

4 people found this helpful

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  • BB
  • 04-02-14

Disappointing and rather repetitive

What did you like best about Leading Change? What did you like least?

Some good ideas like the structured approach. Some titles a little confusing until they are explained. For example; developing a sense of urgency for something that is going to take 2 years is not what I call urgent. This actually is about linking the consequences of change to pay and rations or other things that will make people take notice and keep focus.
It did get a bit boring and repetitive. This is often the norm for business books. Good idea repeated endless times.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Shorten it.

What three words best describe Oliver Wyman’s voice?

Even toned and OK to listen to

Do you think Leading Change needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. You flogged the subject enough already.

1 person found this helpful

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  • andrew wallace
  • 03-09-21

interesting but old ground

overall interesting but nothing I hadn't already heard before and the narration became samey after a while

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  • Julia
  • 07-12-19

Not well written but with a meaningful content

It was genuinely hard to digest this book and at times I wondered if I should stop listening. It’s not that the content is not meaningful and there are a couple of lovely examples in there but it just drags on and on. If the same content was covered in half the volume - i would have given it a much higher rating. Perhaps the voice of the reader as well that contributes to the overall muted opinion. It takes about passionate leadership but this is not reflected in how the book is read.

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  • S Thompson
  • 01-20-19

Practical learning for change management

A must read for change practioners & aspiring business leaders. the 7 steps is a practical model that can be applied to many scenarios for business change

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  • jc
  • 11-21-17

Strong content

There’s much in this book to learn from and will likely get another listen. The voice is not as bad as some have said, I found it a bit goofy like but not distracting.

End of chapter summary points are useful.
Would I recommend, yes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-26-17

Excellent audio version

The narrator had me engaged from the start. A very good book with lots to reflect on.

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  • Paul Campbell
  • 12-10-15

Wish I'd read this 10 years ago!

Excellent book, for beginners and beyond!
Fascinatingly accurate assessment and lessons from all aspects of change, especially in large scale organisations.

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  • Tim
  • 01-13-21

A must read for anyone serious about responsibilit

Anyone reading a book out of Harvard expects to be challenged. I was not left disappointed. Excellent narration of a difficult topic. And takeaways, - I have a critical situation right now requiring this level of attention. I have purchased the book too and will be referring to it momentarily. Kotter writes in 1996 with amazingly accurate foresight into the 21st century - did he foresee Covid19?

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  • Genoa Foods
  • 01-07-19

A game changer.

I used to think “changing culture” would be step 1 in managing change until I listened to this book but I was very wrong.
Very informative book which is 100% accurate and has great examples. Must read for any business going through or needing to go through change, wanting to grow or experiencing a different market.

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  • Lewis Myihtoi
  • 01-09-17

Highly recommended

This book truly changed my view of how I manage my business also guide me to the right path.