WORTH READING: Heart of Change by John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen

Professors John Kotter and Dan Cohen’s 2002 book The Heart of Change focuses on organizational change, and provides research support for many of the claims and theories in later books. A significant  insight is that in almost all successful change efforts, the sequence of change is not ANALYZE — THINK — CHANGE, as is normally assumed by those who believe in the dominance of rational thinking, but rather SEE-FEEL-CHANGE. Their point is that what really works, perhaps the only thing that really works, is when we are presented with evidence that makes us feel something. This feeling might be a disturbing look at the problem, or a hopeful glimpse of the solution, or a sobering reflection of your current habits, but regardless, it’s something that hits you at the emotional level.  Kotter and Cohen set out the following steps to reach change:

Step 1: Increase Urgency

Step 2: Build the Guiding Team

Step 3: Get the Vision Right

Step 4: Communicate for Buy-In

Step 5: Empower Action

Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins

Step 7: Don’t Let Up

Step 8: Make Change Stick

An excellent summary of their theory can be found at http://www.managementsite.com/483/See-Feel-Change.aspx

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