Starts with One, It (2nd ed.)

Changing Individuals Changes Organizations

J. Stewart Black,

Starts with One, It: Changing Individuals Changes Organizations


Stephen R. Covey, Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People


“For any executive, this is an excellent roadmap for leading strategic change!”

Bill Marriott, Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.


“Finally a book that gets it right. Organizations don’t change.
People change. It Starts with One gives extremely practical tools to make real change happen.”

Jack Zenger, Author of The Extraordinary Leader and CEO and Co-founder of Zenger|Folkman


“All successful businesses accept the need for change. It Starts with One steers the reader through the complexities of modern leadership and delivers a powerful framework for transforming old patterns of action into new strategic direction, emphasizing what matters most–the people.”

Edward Dolman, CEO, Christie’s International plc


“Black and Gregersen debunk the myth that organizations change by changing the organization. They understand the real dynamics a leader must manage to convert the hearts and minds of people in a complex organization to a new direction. If you are trying to shake things up and make lasting change, this is a must-read book.”

Gary L. Crittenden, CFO Citigroup


“This book broke my own brain barrier, asking me to think differently about ideas and processes that I’d become too comfortable with. It’s a significant contribution to the field of organizational change and will undoubtedly help us be more successful with change. And I love the maps–they provoke my intellect and imagination.”

Margaret J. Wheatley, Author of Leadership and the New Science, Turning to One Another, and Finding Our Way


“What a pleasure to find a book on change focused on ‘leading’ rather than ‘managing’ change. Leaders create change; they don’t react to it. This book addresses the crux of that leadership issue by focusing on people, where the real change must occur.”

Richard D. Hanks, Chairman and President, Mindshare Technologies


“Few things add greater value than effectively leading strategic change. Few books show you how to do it better than this one.”

Dave Ulrich, Author of Leadership Brand, Professor of Business, University of Michigan and Partner, The RBL Group (


“A significant barrier to any major change or innovation management process is in transparently defining the past and desired future state, then connecting the move from the former to latter in an inspirational way. It Starts with One offers novel framing and straightforward stepback, targeted thinking that can streamline and turbocharge the challenging change process.”

David N. DiGiulio, Consultant and former Vice President, Research & Development, Procter & Gamble


“Leading successful strategic change is one of the biggest and most important challenges executives face today. Black and Gregersen offer a practical set of concepts and tools to meet that challenge.”

Sue Lee, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Communications, Suncor Energy Inc.


“I found this book special in several ways. It is not the usual description of the stages of change. Instead, it describes the process of change in human terms–the way people really experience it. They go beneath and look at assumptions (mind maps) that hold people back from being able to change.”

Jean Broom, Consultant and former Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Itochu International, Inc.


“Talk about change has far outstripped leaders’ ability to successfully lead it. Black and Gregersen push the change leaders to explore how they think about or ‘map’ the world in which we live. These maps become either a critical barrier or an asset to their ability to lead change. The authors also provide a challenging self-examination for the serious leader to assess his or her ability to create long-lasting and effective change. Thoughtful leaders will give this a very thoughtful read.”

Ralph Christensen, Author of Roadmap to Strategic HR


“Strategic change happens one person at a time. Black and Gregersen bring this statement to life by supplying critical insight combined with essential tools for helping individuals negotiate their

way through organizational change.”

Tyler Bolli, Director, Human Resources, Kohler Company


“This book presents a refreshing new way to think about leading change in organizations. Black and Gregersen redraw our maps of the change process in a compelling and practical way that gets right to the heart of making real change possible.”

Marion Shumway, Organization Development Program Manager, Intel


“Insightful handbook packed full of valuable wisdom for unlocking the power of mental maps in any organization’s change efforts.”

Dave Kinard, Executive Director for Leadership and Organizational Development, Eli Lilly and Company


“Too often in the trenches of organizational life, we deceive ourselves by believing that if we get the boxes in an organization chart or the big systems behind the boxes just right, then organizations change. Black and Gregersen artfully uncover this deception by revealing a new, eye-opening approach to change that can help any leader of change become much stronger and better at it.”

Mark Hamberlin, Director, Human Resources European Markets Cisco Systems Inc.


Today, virtually every organization faces massive change. Unfortunately, change is extraordinarily difficult, and most attempts to initiate and sustain it fail. In It Starts with One, J. Stewart Black and Hal B Gregersen identify the core problem: changing individuals and the “mental maps” inside their heads must happen before you can change the organization.


Just as actual maps guide people’s footsteps, mental maps guide daily behavior. Successful strategic change for the organization is all about changing individual mental maps and behaviors first, because they are the organization.


To change organizations, you must break through your own brain barrier–and help those around you do the same. One step at a time, It Starts with One shows how to do that: how to create new destinations, and new, more inspiring effective paths to sustainable change. Black and Gregersen systematically identify the brain barriers that stand in your way: failure to see, failure to move, and failure to finish. Drawing on their extensive experience consulting with world-class organizations, they offer integrated tools, strategies, and solutions for overcoming each of these obstacles.


This edition offers even more effective tools, more guidance on leading change in globalizing environments, and more insight into changing your own mental maps...liberating yourself to transform your entire organization.


Overcoming the failure to see

Why organizations miss obvious market transformations–and what to do about it


Breaking through the failure to move

Why people fail to change even when they see the need–and how to break through this barrier


Conquering the failure to finish

Why change “stalls out” and how to maintain the momentum


Anticipating change

Why too often people let the need to change become a crisis before acting–to build to a crisis before acting–and how to create the capability to anticipate change, move when needed, and finish in the future without “being told”


To Change the Organization, First Change the Individual.

To Change the Individual, Read This Book!


Seventy percent of organizations that seek strategic change fail. Organizations can’t change because individuals don’t change. Individuals don’t change because powerful mental maps stand in their way. This book offers a powerful, start-to-finish strategy for helping people redraw their mental maps–and unleash their power to deliver superior, sustained strategic change.


Thoroughly updated with new techniques, case studies, and examples, this book offers even more valuable insights for today’s leaders and managers. Among the highlights: a detailed new discussion of how you must change in order to lead change…new guidance on leading change in global environments…and more integrated tools and solutions you can start using today!


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