Reading List: Change Management

By Marcie Levine

As a second installment to our reading list, below is information on nine books on Change Management that were submitted by our colleagues.  Please note that we tried to assign ownership to the description/review wherever possible.

Background: As we have deployed more and more 360 assessments, many of our customers have requested that we include a reading list for participants who would like to explore ideas for increased management effectiveness.  I thought it would be interesting to ask clients and colleagues to share what they considered the best articles, books and online resources for the current business marketplace.  What I received was an amazing list of books, articles and websites.  We organized these into specific topic areas, and I will be sharing some of these resources in this blog.

Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and In Life
by: Alan Deutschman
Product Description: A powerful book with universal appeal, Change or Die deconstructs and debunks age-old myths about change and empowers us with three critical keys—relate, repeat, and reframe—to help us make important positive changes in our lives. Explaining breakthrough research and progressive ideas from a wide selection of leaders in medicine, science, and business (including Dr. Dean Ornish, Mimi Silbert of the Delancey Street Foundation, Bill Gates, Daniel Boulud, and many others), Deutschman demonstrates how anyone can achieve lasting, revolutionary changes that are positive, attainable, and absolutely vital.
Citation: Deutschman, Alan. Change or Die: the Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life. New York: Collins, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 61373672

by: Chip and Dan Heath
Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly: The Heath brothers (coauthors of Made to Stick) address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change. Change is not inherently frightening, but our ability to alter our habits can be complicated by the disjunction between our rational and irrational minds: the self that wants to be swimsuit-season ready and the self that acquiesces to another slice of cake anyway. The trick is to find the balance between our powerful drives and our reason… This clever discussion is an entertaining and educational must-read for executives and for ordinary citizens looking to get out of a rut.
Citation: Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. New York: Broadway, 2010. Print.
ISBN: 385528752

Action Learning
by: David Dotlich and James Noel
Editorial Review: This straightforward book begins with the solid premise that the only way that organizations will be able to evolve to meet the challenges of today’s business environment is for the people who run them to change as well. Dotlich, a consultant, and Noel, vice-president of human resources at Citicorp, are both clear about how that change should happen through “action learning,” their term for learning that takes place in a controlled environment where theory is combined with the knowledge that managers already have. They lay out 12 steps to follow for that learning to occur…Although they do a good job of setting up the rationale for change, the authors might have gone further in showing us how to affect it.
Citation: Dotlich, David L., and James L. Noel. Action Learning: How the World’s Top Companies Are Re-creating Their Leaders and Themselves. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass, 1998. Print.
ISBN: 787903493

Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work
by: Debra Meyerson
Product Description: In this engaging book, Debra E. Meyerson reveals how adaptive, family-friendly, and socially responsible work places are built not by revolutionaries but by those she calls “tempered radicals,” a group of people that balance company conformity with individual rebellion. While their differences often put them at odds with the “mainstream” organizational culture, Meyerson argues that these “everyday leaders” act as crucial sources of new ideas, alternative perspectives, and organizational learning and change.
Citation: Meyerson, Debra. Tempered Radicals: How Everyday Leaders Inspire Change at Work. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School, 2003. Print.
ISBN: 1591393256

Who Moved My Cheese
by: Dr. Spencer Johnson
Product Description: Who Moved My Cheese? is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money or a possession, health or spiritual peace of mind. And the maze is where you look for what you want – the organization you work in, or the family or community you live in. This profound book from bestselling author, Spencer Johnson, will show you how to anticipate change, adapt to change quickly, enjoy change and be ready to change quickly again and again.
Citation: Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese?: an Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. New York: Putnam, 1998. Print.
ISBN: 399144463

Enlightened Leadership: Getting to the Heart of Change
by: Ed Oakley and Doug Krug
Product Description: Being able to change to keep pace with a rapidly changing world is the key to business success in the ’90s. Enlightened Leadership is a practical, hands-on guide to breaking through the barriers to organizational change. Doug Krug and Ed Oakley show why most efforts at change fail — and they provide leaders with proven methods for getting their people moving in the right direction. The key lies in showing those who would be change agents how to capitalize on their organization’s greatest asset: the under-utilized talent, expertise, and energy of its existing staff.
Citation: Oakley, Ed, and Doug Krug. Enlightened Leadership: Getting to the Heart of Change. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. Print.
ISBN: 671866753

Leading Change
by: John Kotter
Amazon review: From Publishers Weekly. Harvard Business School professor Kotter (A Force for Change) breaks from the mold of M.B.A. jargon-filled texts to produce a truly accessible, clear and visionary guide to the business world’s buzzword for the late ’90s change. In this excellent business manual, Kotter emphasizes a comprehensive eight-step framework from publisher’s weekly: that can be followed by executives at all levels. Kotter advises those who would implement change to foster a sense of urgency within the organization…Leading Change is a useful tool for everyone from business students preparing to enter the work force to middle and senior executives faced with the widespread transformation in the corporate world.
Citation: Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School, 1996. Print.
ISBN: 875847471

The Heart of Change
by: John Kotter
Amazon Review: The Heart of Change is the follow-up to John Kotter’s enormously popular book Leading Change, in which he outlines a framework for implementing change that sidesteps many of the pitfalls common to organizations looking to turn themselves around. The essence of Kotter’s message is this: the reason so many change initiatives fail is that they rely too much on “data gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations” instead of a more creative approach aimed at grabbing the “feelings that motivate useful action.” In The Heart of Change, Kotter, with the help of Dan Cohen, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, shows how his eight-step approach has worked at over 100 organizations…Well written and loaded with real-life examples and practical advice, The Heart of Change towers over other change-management titles. Managers and employees at organizations both big and small will find much to draw from.
Citation: Kotter, John P., and Dan S. Cohen. The Heart of Change: Real-life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School, 2002. Print.
ISBN: 1578512549

A Sense of Urgency
by: John Kotter
Editorial Review: Author and international business consultant Kotter (Leading Change, Our Iceberg is Melting) returns with an engaging look at companies that need to overcome a lack of urgency-or a surfeit of complacency-with a proactive agenda. Kotter dissects well his seemingly simple premise, using his professional experiences to examine the inner workings of real companies… Great examples illustrate real-life frustrations and successes, and a special section on dealing with the nay-sayers is full of practical ploys to overcome dissent and kill complacency.
Citation: Kotter, John P. A Sense of Urgency. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business, 2008. Print.
ISBN: 1422179710

Happy reading!

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About the author

Marcie Levine

Marcie Levine

Prior to founding SurveyConnect, Marcie had more than twelve-years of experience in HR, both as a consultant and in several corporate positions. As an HR consultant, she worked on a variety of client assignments, including the design and implementation of surveys. She created SurveyConnect to streamline and simplify the process of survey creation and administration. Marcie has published articles about 360 feedback process in trade magazines, including the International Society for Performance Improvement, Selling Power, T+D Magazine, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.