I have just concluded the book Leading Change. The author John P. Kotter is a graduate of MIT and Harvard. He joined the faculty at Harvard in 1972. In 1980, at the age of thirty-three he was voted tenure and a full professorship.
He has numerous projects dating back to 1982, Several years ago I read the book by Jim Collins, Good to Great, my first copy has post it flags, paper clips everything coming out of it. In 2004, the Superintendent of Knox County Schools provided copies to the board as I have been able to have a clean copy on my bookshelf in my office. At the time I whole heartily endorsed all principals and administrators reading Good to Great over the 2004 summer. It was a book that transformed my life.
In John Kotter’s book Leading Change he details how organizations must change the culture and in what order it must first be accomplished. How some individuals may not be the right fit for a change. About 15 – 20 years ago when you joined a company, you were given several very large three ring binders and were informed to be familiar with the contents as the years passed and technology has changed the company has also changed, the 4 inch three ring binders are now gone. Several years ago customers would communicate with company’s and representatives of companies and were satisfied with an answer in 4 – 7 days. Today, if the answer is not delivered within 48 hours, you are behind your competition and most likely out of business.
The organization and company must work within itself to establish the new culture and the new message and then individuals within the organizations and companies either change with the leadership and company or they will attempt to undermine the message and ultimately ruin the organization and company.
Individuals that accept new challenges and opportunities and become “life long learners” overcome the obstacles of change and advance to greater levels of responsibilities within organizations and companies.
If you like to absorb books that can profoundly change your mind set and improve your life and actions in business and in your personal life, I encourage you to read Leading Change.
The follow-up book The Heart of Change is co-authored by John Kotter and Dan S. Cohen and is my next read.