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


April 28, 2016


Paul Gibbons


University of Denver


Why most of what you read about change management is nonsense… Is it time to euthanize Change Management, and replace the concept with Change-Agile Businesses and Change Leadership? Why? More importantly, how? Turbulent environments demand constant change, but the mindset, skills, and behaviors taught to business leaders are unhelpful and sometimes flatly misleading. What is more, many high-profile approaches to change do not help: they are based on untested belief systems, unreliable methods, and psychological myth. In The Science of Successful Organizational Change, Paul Gibbons offers the first blueprint for change for that fully reflects the newest advances in mindfulness, behavioral economics, sociology, and complexity theory. The Science of Organizational Change identifies dozens of change management myths, bad models, and unhelpful metaphors, replacing some with twenty-first century research and revealing gaps where research needs to be done. Paul Gibbons links the origins of theories about change to the history of ideas and suggests that the human sciences will provide real breakthroughs in our understanding of people in the twenty-first century. For example, change fundamentally entails risk, yet little is written for business people about how breakthroughs in the psychology of risk can help change leaders. Change fundamentally involves changing people’s minds, yet the most recent research shows that provision of facts may strengthen resistance. Starting with a rigorous and evidence-based understanding of what makes people in organizations tick, he presents a complete framework for organizing your company around successful change. With case studies from Google, IBM, Shell, British Airways, British Petroleum, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley, Gibbons goes deeper and broader than any previous discussion of the subject.