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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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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.

10 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.

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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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A must read for leaders!

The book laid out clearly the lessons learned, pitfalls and strategies to apply to lead sustained change and transformation efforts.

Having read the whole book I realize mistakes I have made along the way, but this book will help me grow and become a better leader and do the things I am good at better and understand my blind spots better where this great tool set offers advice and methods to fill the gaps.

A must read for any leader!

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How old is John Kotter?

I ask because he repeatedly encourages those looking to 'clean house' during/after major changes to dispense with workers over the age of 55 as part of the process that moves a company forward in managing change. The presumption being age necessarily equals resistance. "Out with the old, in with the new". That is 1) illegal in the US, 2) outdated, 3) misguided and 4) short-sighted. In short, let the reader be advised not everything put forward by the author should be taken to heart. One will still need to apply common sense.

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Cut 6 hours off and get the same info

Felt like they circled the same topics over and over...this could be a pamphlet vs a book and the info that was worth listening to was outdated in my opinion.

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  • Gg
  • 12-02-21

friendly and realistic

Shows real case scenarios and compares different reacions and results around the company in short then long terms, and according their market, their organization culture, etcetera.

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JWMI and Harvard Business Review Textbook for MBA

Excellent book for the topic and subject. Change is making seniors that want to stay relevant lifetime learners. Leave the past behind and embrace the future with the goal of being a part of it.

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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

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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?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-21

More relevant than ever

Listening to this book in late 2021, it feels more relevant than ever. A little dry in some parts, but read it to the end. I continue to recommend it to everyone I meet working within innovation, leadership, digital transformation - coaches and practitioners. I'll be reading it again after I get my change leadership qualifications.

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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.