Change Management

Title: Change Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions Into Great Performance
Type: Book
Author: Duncan, R.
Publisher: Maxwell Stone Publishing
Date: 2017

    Written in an engaging, easy to read manner, this book serves as a “user-friendly guide” for individuals and organizations that are attempting to manage and implement change. The basic themes expounded by Duncan reflect the need for engagement and commitment, in addition to compliance, so that those who are being asked to make changes are doing so for the right reasons. In addition, he distinguishes between transactional and transformational leadership and discusses when each type of leadership is required. He posits that the effective change leader should be Think-Friendly, Talk-Friendly, Trust-Friendly and Team-Friendly and provides tips, advice, and examples on how to accomplish it. Anyone involved in change management or change leadership would find this book useful.   

Title: Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World
Type: Book
Author: Kotter, J. P.
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Date: 2014

    The pace and rate of change is accelerating in a way that basic systems and structures cannot keep up with. Kotter has developed a process for handling strategic challenges to take advantage of any opportunities that arise. His solution is to combine traditional hierarchical structures (for conducting the basics of the business) with network structures that enable agility, creativity, and a more rapid response to strategic opportunities that the organization is pursuing. The book focuses on aspects of this dual structure and the sense of urgency required to make it work, it’s impact on leadership, and eight process accelerators (e.g., a change vision, guiding coalition). A Q&A chapter presents many common questions people might ask about this process and Kotter’s responses. This book would be useful for anyone involved in change management or change leadership and may provide insights to senior leadership.

Title: Organization Change: Theory and Practice (4th Edition)
Author: Burke, W.W.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2013

    The first two thirds of this classic book provide a rich foundation of organization change. The reader is provided with a review of history, theory, research, and models that are critical to understanding organizational change. The remaining one-third of the book focuses on application. Burke shares his significant experience with organization change as he walks the reader through various applications using his integrated model of change. In this book, he also distinguishes between two types of organization change – transformational and transactional/evolutionary. The case is made that transformational change requires different tools and techniques than those required for evolutionary change. Individuals who find theory and research to be an important foundation for effective practice will find this book of interest.

    This is an excellent resource for seasoned HR practitioners who are responsible for leading change efforts. Due to the depth of this book it would not be a quick read for managers but could be applicable for a manager looking for a thorough foundation on organizational change. However, the chapter on Leading Organization change would be a valuable reference for any leader.

Title: Leading Change
Type: Book
Author: Kotter, J. P.
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Date: 2012

    This classic book shows why organizational change efforts (e.g., total quality management, reengineering, right sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnarounds) fail due to a lack of effective leadership. This new edition contains a preface that highlights the continued importance of effective change leadership. It identifies the most common mistakes leaders make in trying to facilitate organizational change, and provides an eight-stage process necessary to achieve effective change: 1) establishing a greater sense of urgency, 2) creating the guiding coalition, 3) developing a vision and strategy, 4) communicating the change vision, 5) empowering others to act, 6) creating short-term wins, 7) consolidating gains and producing even more change, 8) and institutionalizing new approaches in the future. The book makes effective use of examples of change efforts of over 100 companies. It is an appropriate book to share with a business leader who wants to learn more about leading change successfully.

Title: HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Change Management
Type: Book
Author: Harvard Business Review
Publisher: Harvard Business Review
Date: 2011

    Beginning with an introductory chapter written by John Kotter about why transformation efforts often fail, this collection of ten chapters focus on various change management issues that have been compiled from Harvard Business Review articles. Each chapter has a different emphasis, from how the NYC Police Chief overcame significant hurdles to transform the subway system’s crime rate and perception by the public, to how IBM conducted a ValuesJam over three days with comments from almost 10,000 employees on the IBM values and how to make them a way of working, to change agents who are “tempered radicals” and work within the system as an informal leader to transition the culture, to leading change in a hostile environment, etc. Each chapter contains Ideas in Brief that encapsulate the main ideas and provides steps, a process or advice on how to effectively manage change. While having a background in change management would be helpful in understanding the significance of these various approaches, this book would be appropriate for HR, OD and managers who deal with change.  

Title: Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change (3rd Edition)
Type: Book
Author: Bridges, W.
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Date: 2009

    This is a revised and updated version of the original 1991 book with the same title. The author, a well-known consultant with expertise in managing transitions, offers step-by-step advice to ensure successful change initiatives with minimal disruptions. He argues that employees need “a purpose, a mental picture, a plan for, and a part to play in change.” As such, the book offers advice on how to deal with nonstop change in organizations and in life. The last section of the book offers several appendices, including how to assess transition readiness, how to set up a transition monitoring team, and career advice for employees of organizations in transitions. This book is written not only for managers leading change efforts, but certain chapters could also help employees dealing with organizational change.

Title: A Sense of Urgency
Type: Book
Author: Kotter, J. P.
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Date: 2008

    In this book, the author argues that a true sense of urgency is required in order for an organization to change. Having a sense of urgency means focusing on doing what is important, now. Given the accelerating pace of business, urgency is more important to organizations than ever. However, instilling and maintaining a true sense of urgency is not necessarily easy, and for this the book offers a useful strategy (create true urgency by presenting thoughtful and interesting information in a heart-engaging way), and four tactics -- “bring the outside in” (because most organizations are too internally focused), “behave with urgency everyday” (because urgency begets urgency), “find opportunity in crises,” and “deal with NoNos” (those who resist change). In addition, the author carefully defines and explains how to address two enemies of true urgency: complacency and false urgency, both of which are common in organizations. Plentiful examples and stories illustrate the author’s points, and the writing is simple and straightforward. This book is appropriate for any manager interested in change and effectiveness. Based on the popularity of Kotter’s prior books, this book is likely to have visibility among business leaders.
Title: Managing at the Speed of Change: How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper Where Others Fail
Type: Book
Author: Conner, D. R.
Publisher: Villard Books
Date: 2006
    This classic book provides a description of the chaotic business environment faced by today’s organizations and offers suggestions for how to anticipate, cope with, and foster change successfully. The author describes ways for organizations to effectively handle the volume of change, the speed or momentum of change, and the complexity of change required to be successful in today’s environment. The author explains that it is critical that leaders actively lead the change process. The book also suggests that today's managers can and should increase organizational resilience (i.e., the ability to be flexible and strong in a chaotic environment). Several recommendations regarding learning to be more resilient to change are also offered.
Title: Managing Change to Reduce Resistance
Type: Edited book
Editor: Harvard Business School Press
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Date: 2005
    This concise book is part of “The Results-Driven Managers Series” and is written to help managers effectively drive change. It is divided into four major sections. This first section focuses on applying fundamental change-leadership strategies, and includes an article on change through appreciative inquiry. The second part of the book addresses major obstacles to change, and includes articles on conducting change audits and preparing for long-term change. The third section deals with driving change without a burning platform. In the last section, experts share tips on communicating effectively about change. This book would be helpful for any manager who prepares, implements and monitors change efforts.

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