The Science of Successful Organizational Change How Leaders Set Strategy, Change Behavior, and Create an Agile Culture

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-05-20
  • Publisher: Ft Pr

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $8.86
    Check/Direct Deposit: $8.44
    PayPal: $8.44
List Price: $49.82 Save up to $26.16
  • Rent Book $23.66
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Every leader understands the burning need for change–and every leader knows how risky it is, and how often it fails. To make organizational change work, you need to base it on science, not intuition. Despite hundreds of books on change, failure rates remain sky high. Are there deep flaws in the guidance change leaders are given? While eschewing the pat answers, linear models, and change recipes offered elsewhere, Paul Gibbons offers the first blueprint for change that fully reflects the newest advances in mindfulness, behavioral economics, the psychology of risk-taking, neuroscience, mindfulness, and complexity theory.


Change management, ostensibly the craft of making change happen, is rife with myth, pseudoscience, and flawed ideas from pop psychology.  In Gibbons’ view, change management should be “euthanized” and replaced with change agile businesses, with change leaders at every level.  To achieve that, business education and leadership training in organizations needs to become more accountable for real results, not just participant satisfaction (the “edutainment” culture). 


Twenty-first century change leaders need to focus less on project results, more on creating agile cultures and businesses full of staff who have “get to” rather than “have to” attitudes. To do that, change leaders will have to leave behind the old paradigm of “carrots and sticks,” both of which destroy engagement. 


“New analytics” offer more data-driven approaches to decision making, but present a host of people challenges—where petabyte information flows meet traditional decision-making structures. These approaches will have to be complemented with “leading with science”—that is, using evidence-based management to inform strategy and policy decisions.

In The Science of Successful Organizational Change , you'll learn:

  • How the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world affects the scale and pace of change in today’s businesses
  • How understanding of flaws in human decision-making can help leaders guide their teams toward wiser strategic decisions when the stakes are largest—including “when to trust your guy and when to trust a model” and “when all of us are smarter than one of us”
  • How new advances in neuroscience have altered best practices in influencing colleagues; negotiating with partners; engaging followers' hearts, minds, and behaviors; and managing resistance
  • How leading organizations are making use of the science of mindfulness to create agile learners and agile cultures
  • How new ideas from analytics, forecasting, and risk are humbling those who thought they knew the future–and how the human side of analytics and the psychology of risk are paradoxically more important in this technologically enabled world
  • What complexity theory means for decision-making in the context of your own business
  • How to create resilient and agile business cultures and anti-fragile, dynamic business structures

To link science with your "on-the-ground" reality, Gibbons tells “warts and all” stories from his twenty-plus years consulting to top teams and at the largest businesses in the world. You'll find case studies from well-known companies like IBM and Shell and CEO interviews from Nokia and Barclays Bank.

Author Biography

PAUL GIBBONS (Fort Collins, CO) began his career by earning a degree in neurochemistry, followed by Masters-level study in International Economics and Finance. At 20, he moved to London as a "quant" derivatives trader, working at Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and First Boston. He eventually became Director of Eurobond Trading for the world's third largest bank, and later its Head of Money Market Sales and Trading. At 28, he resumed doctoral study in neuroscience, and then joined PwC as a strategist and expert on derivatives, advising on trading disasters such as Barings, National Westminster and Long-Term Capital. He then joined PwC's "Strategy, Innovation and Change" think-tank, developed its methodologies in change management, innovation and corporate transformation, and ran its board-level leadership development programs. Gibbons then founded his own firm, Future Considerations, which now competes successfully for leadership development and culture change consulting engagements at top companies. After selling that firm, he joined the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a lecturer, while continuing to coach senior executives worldwide. In 2008, CEO Magazine named him one of two "CEO Super Coaches." He recently published Reboot Your Life: A 12-day Program for Ending Stress, Realizing Your Goals, and Being More Productive.

Table of Contents

Introduction     1

Chapter 1: Failed Change: The Greatest Preventable Cost to Business?     17
PART I: Change-Agility     37
Chapter 2: From Change Fragility to Change-Agility     41

PART II: Change Strategy     71
Chapter 3: Governance and the Psychology of Risk     77
Chapter 4: Decision Making in Complex and Ambiguous Environments     103
Chapter 5: Cognitive Biases and Failed Strategies     123
PART III: Change Tactics     157
Chapter 6: Misunderstanding Human Behavior     161
Chapter 7: The Science of Changing Behaviors     189
Chapter 8: The Science of Changing Hearts and Minds     221
Chapter 9: Leading with Science     255

Bibliography     293
Index     302

Rewards Program

Write a Review