Implementing change at any organization is a complex and daunting process, so if you’re looking for guidance, you’re not alone. To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a list of 10 books about organizational change management processes, along with summaries for each. But before we dive in, what exactly is change management?
How do the authors on this list define change management?
Change management is a term used by companies everywhere to reference the process of making changes within an organization.
Every organization has its own idea of what change management entails, and that’s reflected in the books on this list — each author has their own ideas and strategies. For example, John P. Kotter authored two of the books on this list, and emphasizes change leadership rather than change management.
Most commonly, change management is considered to be the tools, processes, structures, and technology an organization uses to implement change and achieve its goals.
It’s a broad concept, broken down into more specific topics and change management steps in the following books:
- The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World
This book is a practical, hands-on guide for fine-tuning adaptive leadership skills. Co-authors Ronald A. Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow are all leadership experts with decades of experience in organizational change, and they offer core leadership ideas paired with practical exercises for real-world leadership development.
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Chip Heath is an organizational behavior expert and professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center. Together they co-authored Switch, which explores the constant struggle between the emotional mind and the rational mind, how that struggle makes it difficult to affect change on both personal and organizational levels, and how to overcome the challenge.
- Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation
In Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation, co-authors Constantine Andriopoulos and Patrick M.B. Dawson propose that change, creativity, and innovation are all closely interconnected, and should be studied — and practiced — in conjunction with one another. The 3rd edition includes additional material, including case studies, slides for lecturers, and video links.
- Organizational Synergy – A Practical Guide: Recalibrate Interactions to Achieve Peak Engagement, Productivity & Profit
Organizational consultant Rami Ben-Yshai provides tools and methods for developing organizational synergy, covering key topics such as collaboration, organizational structure, and productivity. Learn how organizational change can positively impact all aspects of your business.
- Building A Winning Culture In Government: A Blueprint for Delivering Success in the Public Sector
Federal employee engagement is lower than that of private sector employees, adding another layer of difficulty to public sector leadership. In Building A Winning Culture In Government, FranklinCovey senior consultants Patrick R. Leddin and Shawn D. Moon illustrate five key practices to help government organizations drive engagement and foster leadership at all levels, creating a better organizational culture.
- The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work that Wows and Jobs that Last
As technology continues to develop, companies have to implement rapid change to keep up. Business expert Tom Peters explains that to stay relevant in the midst of expanding technology, companies must pursue excellence by boosting employee engagement.
- Leading Change
Rather than managing change, entrepreneur and Harvard Professor John P. Kotter proposes that organizations should lead change, and provides an 8-step process for doing so. Kotter examines more than 100 companies’ attempts to create organizational change, outlining their mistakes, failures, and triumphs.
- A Sense of Urgency
In his follow-up to Leading Change, Kotter focuses on the first step of the 8-step process for change leadership: creating a sense of urgency. Kotter lays out strategies for battling complacency (without falling into the common trap of false urgency) and creating sustainable organizational change.
- Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual
David Burkus examines traditional management and identifies counter-productive practices that hold companies back. This book is a masterclass in how to let go of these misguided traditions and implement revolutionary practices for improving productivity and employee engagement.
- All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence
Suzanne Bates is a leadership development expert and CEO best known for developing the Bates Executive Presence Index (Bates ExPI), a research-based assessment tool for measuring executive presence. In All the Leader You Can Be, Bates provides an in-depth explanation of the 15 components of leadership style measured by the Bates ExPI, and offers insight about how to identify your own strengths and weaknesses and become the best possible leader.
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