Top 3 Reads When Managing Change in Times of Transformation


By: Jeanne Jones, Marketing Leader

Brands in every industry are in the midst of various degrees of transformation and trying to manage the change that comes with it, and every in-the-know consultant, author, and analyst is writing about how to do it well. After reading dozens of articles and books, we’ve selected our favorites from over the years and curated them below (with summaries) so you can pinpoint the content most valuable to you. Happy learning!

1. HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Change Management

Learn more here.

Each book is a collection of the 10 top articles HBR has published on the topic, including an “Idea in Brief” executive summary of each article, and “Idea in Practice” section highlighting a practical application of the article’s focus. The content and layout make it easy to review in stages, or to focus on a specific article that meets your business needs. It starts strong right out of the gate with a fantastic article by John P. Kotter on “Leading Change” and his 8-step process.

2. McKinsey’s “The Irrational Side of Change Management”

Read the article here.

McKinsey wrote this article all the way back in 2009, also based on John P. Kotter’s work. A dog-eared paper copy of this article sits on the desk of many executives. The article points out that it can be incredibly helpful to consider multiple angles when taking on big changes, whether internally- or externally-oriented — in particular when thinking through changes that impact people directly and affect their emotional connection to their work. Specifically, the “Reinforcing Mechanisms” section has proven useful in thinking through that aspect of change.

3. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

Learn more here.

If you want an oldie-but-goodie that has truly stood the test of time, pick up a copy of this book by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. He believes that you have to look at the whole picture before you can determine what needs to be changed. He explains that the best areas to focus on for change are not always apparent and you have to break down silos both on-the-ground and among management to produce any real change.


Illustration by Nicole Fleming. Artwork generated with the HTML Spirograph by Abel Vincze 2016

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About the Author

Jeanne Jones

As Amperity's Head of Customer Community, Jeanne connects with enterprise brands to build a collaborative space for promoting customer centricity and data-driven growth. Prior to joining Amperity, she was on the customer side at Alaska Airlines. In her twenty years at Alaska Jeanne used data to serve customers as Director of Guest Communications and Guest Experience, including building lifecycle marketing and leading the merge of Virgin America Elevate and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan programs.

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