Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Choosing Strategies for Change

Choosing Strategies for Change.
By: Kotter, John P., Schlesinger, Leonard A.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jul-Aug 2008, Vol. 86, Issue 7/8

Section: Best of HBR

• EDITOR'S NOTE: A lot has changed in the world of management since 1979, when this article first appeared, but one thing has not: Companies the world over need to change course. Kotter and Schlesinger provide a practical, tested way to think about managing that change.

"IT MUST BE considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things." (Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince.)

Diagnosing Resistance

Parochial self-interest
Misunderstanding and lack of trust
Different assessments
Low tolerance for change

Dealing with Resistance

Education and communication
Participation and involvement
Facilitation and support
Negotiation and agreement
Manipulation and co-optation
Explicit and implicit coercion

John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School and the author of A Sense of Urgency, forthcoming from Harvard Business Press. Leonard A. Schlesinger has been named the 12th president of Babson College, in Babson Park, Massachusetts.

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