The purpose of this paper is to review the book “The Heart of Change” and also tie the themes and statements in the book with the information presented in the textbook, “Organizational Behavior and Management”. The book entitled “The Heart of Change: Real-life Stories of How People Change their Organizations”, written by John P. Kotter, in cooperation with Dan S. Cohen, has the intention of presenting narrations from people. The people who serve as the respondents for the interviews or from whom the experiences are taken are those that belong to organizations who have implemented changes and are successful in it (Kotter Cohen xiii). Kotter and Cohen (2002) concur that “People ...view middle of the document...
Employees accept change within an organization once they feel these changes have been made: “breaking down barriers between departments, sharing resources, and developing attitudes that encourage teamwork and idea sharing“ (Organizational Behavior and Management, 519).
Kotter and Cohen (2002) conclude that there is a core pattern associated with successful change: see, feel, change. When too many in the organization fail to see the problems and are acting complacently, compelling and dramatic situations can be created to help others visualize the problem or the solution. The visualizations awaken positive emotional responses and reduce emotions that block change. New feelings change or reinforce new behavior, and people are less complacent. In essence, “emotionally charged ideas change behavior or reinforce changed behavior” (p. 11). Managers who implement change programs are committed to making fundamental changes in organizational behavior. At the heart of the process are learning principles that enable individuals to unlearn old behaviors and learn new ones (Organizational Behavior and Management, 517). Lack of experience with highly successful change has more to do with failure of change efforts than the lack of commitment to act. In this age of accelerated change the stakes are high; organizations must become better.
Stages of Change
According to “The Heart of Change”, "Successful large-scale change is a complex affair that happens in eight stages . The flow is this: push urgency up, put together a guiding team, create the vision and strategies, effectively communicate the vision and strategies, remove barriers to action, accomplish short-term wins, keep pushing for wave after wave of change until the work is done, and, finally, create a new culture to make new behavior stick“ (Kotter and Cohen, 21). According to “Organizational Behavior and Management”, managers must not overlook the significance of supplying motivation, reinforcement, and feedback to the workforce when creating a change approach (p.517).
Kotter and Cohen’s first stage: creating a sense of urgency, can be done by involving people throughout the organization, networking with important people; using power base; and telling a compelling story. John Kotter suggests that for change to be successful, 75% of a company's management needs to support the change. So the first vital task is to create a feeling of urgency about the need for change. Let your audience know about the market and the competition’s environment.
Urgency helps motivate the workforce to overcome complacency, fear, anger, or pessimism, which result in resistance. Kotter and Cohen recommends first finding out what the problem is and then using some kind of visual presentation that show why the changes are needed; this will aid in increasing urgency without increasing fear and anger. Some examples include videos of valued customers describing their frustrations with the company,...