John Kotter

Dr. John Paul Kotter is an author and American professor. He is currently the Head of Research at Kotter International and teaches in the High Potentials Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School.
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The international bestseller—now with a new preface by author John Kotter.

Millions worldwide have read and embraced John Kotter’s ideas on change management and leadership.
From the ill-fated dot-com bubble to unprecedented M&A activity to scandal, greed, and ultimately, recession—we’ve learned that widespread and difficult change is no longer the exception. It’s the rule. Now with a new preface, this refreshed edition of the global bestseller Leading Change is more relevant than ever.

John Kotter’s now-legendary eight-step process for managing change with positive results has become the foundation for leaders and organizations across the globe. By outlining the process every organization must go through to achieve its goals, and by identifying where and how even top performers derail during the change process, Kotter provides a practical resource for leaders and managers charged with making change initiatives work. Leading Change is widely recognized as his seminal work and is an important precursor to his newer ideas on acceleration published in Harvard Business Review.

Needed more today than at any time in the past, this bestselling business book serves as both visionary guide and practical toolkit on how to approach the difficult yet crucial work of leading change in any type of organization. Reading this highly personal book is like spending a day with the world’s foremost expert on business leadership. You’re sure to walk away inspired—and armed with the tools you need to inspire others.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.
Moving beyond the process of change

Why is change so hard? Because in order to make any transformation successful, you must change more than just the structure and operations of an organization—you need to change people’s behavior. And that is never easy.

The Heart of Change is your guide to helping people think and feel differently in order to meet your shared goals. According to bestselling author and renowned leadership expert John Kotter and coauthor Dan Cohen, this focus on connecting with people’s emotions is what will spark the behavior change and actions that lead to success. Now freshly designed, The Heart of Change is the engaging and essential complement to Kotter’s worldwide bestseller Leading Change.

Building off of Kotter’s revolutionary eight-step process, this book vividly illustrates how large-scale change can work. With real-life stories of people in organizations, the authors show how teams and individuals get motivated and activated to overcome obstacles to change—and produce spectacular results. Kotter and Cohen argue that change initiatives often fail because leaders rely too exclusively on data and analysis to get buy-in from their teams instead of creatively showing or doing something that appeals to their emotions and inspires them to spring into action. They call this the see-feel-change dynamic, and it is crucial for the success of any true organizational transformation.

Refreshingly clear and eminently practical, The Heart of Change is required reading for anyone facing the challenges inherent in leading change.

The revised and updated tenth anniversary edition of the classic, beloved business fable that has changed millions of lives in organizations around the world.
 
Our Iceberg Is Melting is a simple story about doing well under the stress and uncertainty of rapid change. Based on the award-winning work of Harvard Business School’s John Kotter, it can help you and your colleagues thrive during tough times.
 
On an iceberg near the coast of Antarctica, group of beautiful emperor pen­guins live as they have for many years. Then one curious bird discovers a potentially devastating problem threatening their home—and almost no one listens to him.
 
The characters in the story—Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and NoNo—are like people you probably recognize in your own organization, including yourself. Their tale is one of resistance to change and heroic action, seemingly intractable obstacles and clever tactics for dealing with those obstacles. The penguins offer an inspiring model as we all struggle to adapt to new circumstances.
 
Our Iceberg Is Melting is based on John Kotter's pioneer­ing research into the eight steps that can produce needed change in any sort of group. After finishing the story, you'll have a powerful framework for influencing your own team, no matter how big or small.

This tenth anniversary edition preserves the text of the timeless story, together with new illustrations, a revised afterword, and a Q&A with the authors about the responses they've gotten over the past decade. Prepare to be both enlightened and delighted, whether you're already a fan of this classic fable or are discovering it for the first time. 


In today's complex work world, things no longer get done simply because someone issues an order and someone else follows it.

Most of us work in socially intricate organizations where we need the help not only of subordinates but of colleagues, superiors, and outsiders to accomplish our goals. This often leaves us in a "power gap" because we must depend on people over whom we have little or no explicit control.

This is a book about how to bridge that gap: how to exercise the power and influence you need to get things done through others when your responsibilities exceed your formal authority.

Full of original ideas and expert insights about how organizations—and the people in them—function, Power and Influence goes further, demonstrating that lower-level personnel also need strong leadership skills and interpersonal know-how to perform well.

Kotter shows how you can develop sufficient resources of "unofficial" power and influence to achieve goals, steer clear of conflicts, foster creative team behavior, and gain the cooperation and support you need from subordinates, coworkers, superiors—even people outside your department or organization.

He also shows how you can avoid the twin traps of naivete and cynicism when dealing with power relationships, and how to use your power without abusing it.

Power and Influence is essential for top managers who need to overcome the infighting, foot-dragging, and politicking that can destroy both morale and profits; for middle managers who don't want their careers sidetracked by unproductive power struggles; for professionals hindered by bureaucratic obstacles and deadline delays; and for staff workers who have to "manage the boss."

This is not a book for those who want to "grab" power for their own ends. But if you'd like to create smooth, responsive working relationships and increase your personal effectiveness on the job, Kotter can show you how—and make the dynamics of power work for you instead of against you.
Based on the award-winning article in Harvard Business Review, from global leadership expert John Kotter.

It’s a familiar scene in organizations today: a new competitive threat or a big opportunity emerges. You quickly create a strategic initiative in response and appoint your best people to make change happen. And it does—but not fast enough. Or effectively enough. Real value gets lost and, ultimately, things drift back to the default status.

Why is this scenario so frequently repeated in industries and organizations across the world? In the groundbreaking new book Accelerate (XLR8), leadership and change management expert, and best-selling author, John Kotter provides a fascinating answer—and a powerful new framework for competing and winning in a world of constant turbulence and disruption.

Kotter explains how traditional organizational hierarchies evolved to meet the daily demands of running an enterprise. For most companies, the hierarchy is the singular operating system at the heart of the firm. But the reality is, this system simply is not built for an environment where change has become the norm. Kotter advocates a new system—a second, more agile, network-like structure that operates in concert with the hierarchy to create what he calls a “dual operating system”—one that allows companies to capitalize on rapid-fire strategic challenges and still make their numbers.

Accelerate (XLR8) vividly illustrates the five core principles underlying the new network system, the eight Accelerators that drive it, and how leaders must create urgency in others through role modeling. And perhaps most crucial, the book reveals how the best companies focus and align their people’s energy and urgency around what Kotter calls the big opportunity.

If you’re a pioneer, a leader who knows that bold change is necessary to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world, this book will help you accelerate into a better, more profitable future.
 What’s the worst thing you can hear when you have a good idea at work?
“That’s not how we do it here!”
 
In their iconic bestseller Our Iceberg Is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber used a simple fable about penguins to explain the process of lead­ing people through major changes. Now, ten years later, they’re back with another must-read story that will help any team or organization cope with their biggest challenges and turn them into exciting opportunities.
 
Once upon a time a clan of meerkats lived in the Kalahari, a region in southern Africa. After years of steady growth, a drought has sharply reduced the clan’s resources, and deadly vulture attacks have increased. As things keep getting worse, the har­mony of the clan is shattered. The executive team quarrels about possible solutions, and sugges­tions from frontline workers face a soul-crushing response: “That’s not how we do it here!”
 
So Nadia, a bright and adventurous meerkat, hits the road in search of new ideas to help her trou­bled clan. She discovers a much smaller group that operates very differently, with much more teamwork and agility. These meerkats have developed innova­tive solutions to find food and evade the vultures. But not everything in this small clan is as perfect as it seems at first.
 
Can Nadia figure out how to combine the best of both worlds—a large, disciplined, well-managed clan and a small, informal, inspiring clan—before it’s too late?
 
This book distills Kotter’s decades of experi­ence and award-winning research to reveal why organizations rise and fall, and how they can rise again in the face of adversity.
Going far beyond previous empirical work, John Kotter and James Heskett provide the first comprehensive critical analysis of how the "culture" of a corporation powerfully influences its economic performance, for better or for worse. Through painstaking research at such firms as Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, ICI, Nissan, and First Chicago, as well as a quantitative study of the relationship between culture and performance in more than 200 companies, the authors describe how shared values and unwritten rules can profoundly enhance economic success or, conversely, lead to failure to adapt to changing markets and environments.

With penetrating insight, Kotter and Heskett trace the roots of both healthy and unhealthy cultures, demonstrating how easily the latter emerge, especially in firms which have experienced much past success. Challenging the widely held belief that "strong" corporate cultures create excellent business performance, Kotter and Heskett show that while many shared values and institutionalized practices can promote good performances in some instances, those cultures can also be characterized by arrogance, inward focus, and bureaucracy -- features that undermine an organization's ability to adapt to change. They also show that even "contextually or strategically appropriate" cultures -- ones that fit a firm's strategy and business context -- will not promote excellent performance over long periods of time unless they facilitate the adoption of strategies and practices that continuously respond to changing markets and new competitive environments.

Fundamental to the process of reversing unhealthy cultures and making them more adaptive, the authors assert, is effective leadership. At the heart of this groundbreaking book, Kotter and Heskett describe how executives in ten corporations established new visions, aligned and motivated their managers to provide leadership to serve their customers, employees, and stockholders, and thus created more externally focused and responsive cultures.
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