"Uses science as the foundation of how organizations learn and develop rather than platitudes" (Curtis Watkins)

  • Highlights 21st century research, that leaders can use, on change strategy, change-agility, and change leadership in a VUCA world
  • Brings research on the psychology of risk, cognitive biases, the human side of analytics, and choice architecture to the expert change community
  • Offers practical tools for influencing with facts, countering cognitive biases, and changing behaviors
  • Introduces new concepts such as change-agility, strategic coherence, pop leadership, neo-behaviorism,  and leading with science
  • Debunks pop psychology and nearly fifty change management myths: including ideas such as “burning platform”,  Kübler-Ross, “unfreezing”, and “carrots and sticks”
  • Answers today's big change questions: how do risk and complexity affect change strategy; why do some companies deliver 75% change success rates, and some 15%; what do leaders need to do to get maximum value from "big-data" implementations; could understanding cognitive biases have prevented the Deepwater Horizon disaster or Wall Street's 2008 collapse?


And download a free chapter of

The Science of Successful Organizational Change


The best book on change I have ever read. Paul Gibbons draws from his extensive experience in change management in big businesses and blends it beautifully with his knowledge of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience and even derivative trading to produce a highly readable science-based and ground breaking study of what has gone right and wrong in managing change in the business arena.
David Bennett
Former CEO Alliance & Leicester PLC
Organizational change is a huge industry filled with buzzwords and fads and suffering from an unacceptably high failure rate. Paul Gibbons applies scientifically-founded, rigorous thought and practical wisdom to this charlatan-filled domain and produces actionable, sensible, evidence-based insights that can make change efforts much more likely to succeed and organizations much more agile and effective.
Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer
Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford Business School
In my 25 years of working with teams and organizations, this is the first book that actually uses science as the foundation of how organizations learn and develop rather than platitudes and well-worn but erroneous beliefs. One of Gibbons’ strengths is his willingness to tell it like it is no matter how sacred the cow. This work will be used by businesses and consultants for many years to come.
Curtis Watkins
Master Coach



I. Failed change - the greatest (preventable) cost to business



II. From Change Fragility to Change-Agility


III. Governance and the Psychology of Risk

IV. Decision-making in Complex and Ambiguous Environments

V. Cognitive Biases and Failed Strategies


VI. Misunderstanding Human Behavior

VII. Changing Behaviors in the 21st Century

VIII. Changing Hearts and Minds in the 21st Century


IX. Leading with Science


Paul Gibbons rethinks Change Management with a 21st century approach that exchanges cargo cult management for an evidence-based approach built on neuroscience and complexity sciences. Time is overdue to replace Kotter's change model for something better suited for a complex world where change is continuous and not a one time event, and where creative change continuously drives organizational improvement. Paul has succeeded with this and in the process distills the best research into a book with a framework and ideas that will resonate with the modern leader and the Agile/Lean community. Buy it, read it and place it on the bookshelf next to "The Halo Effect", "Switch" and "Fifth Discipline" - in easy reach for rereading. -
Rolf E. Häsänen
Founder, Value at Work
Paul Gibbons has made a valuable contribution to the store of knowledge on change strategy and strategic decision making. By applying the latest findings from the science of decision making to his 25 years of practical in-the-trenches experience counseling executive teams, Gibbons has enabled anyone engaged in strategic decision making to raise their game.
Dan Sweeney
Director, Institute for Enterprise Ethics, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

Paul Gibbons began his career by earning a degree in Biochemistry, and followed that with a year working toward a Masters in Finance. At just 20, he moved to London as a "quant" derivatives trader, working at Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and First Boston, and becoming Head of Money Market Sales and Trading for the world’s third largest bank.

Gibbons explored neuroscience for several years through doctoral studies but business called him back. He joined PwC, first as a strategist and expert on derivatives, advising banks after 1990’s trading disasters such as Barings and Long-Term Capital.  He then joined PwC's "Strategy, Innovation and Change" think-tank; helping develop its methodologies in change management, innovation, and corporate transformation; running board-level leadership development programs; and, leading the change management side of a $1 billion change program.

Gibbons then founded his own firm, Future Considerations, an award-winning European leadership consulting boutique.   After selling Future Considerations, he joined the University of Wisconsin, as a lecturer, while continuing to coach senior executives on change worldwide.

He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Guardian, and the Times.  In 2008, CEO Magazine named him one of two "CEO Super Coaches."  He recently published a short workbook on personal change, Reboot Your Life: A 12-day Program for Ending Stress, Realizing Your Goals, and Being More Productive.


Sound change strategy in a change-agile organization will obviate the need for much of what is today called change management.
From Chapter II
By understanding the limits of rationality, leaders can act like a sharpshooter correcting for wind velocity, or a yachtsman correcting for the tide.
From Chapter V
If mindfulness came in pill form, drug companies would be spending billions, and I would certainly take it three times a day.
From Chapter VII
Leadership must become like surgery, a science-based craft.
From Chapter IX
Neo-behaviorists pass control of behavior to the environment – and realize that sometimes you act your way into a new way of thinking, rather than think your way into a new way of acting.
From Chapter VI
The typical leader today relies too heavily on professional experience, uses too little hard data, disregards too many stakeholders, and has too little good theory at his disposal.
Chapter IX


And download a free chapter of

The Science of Successful Organizational Change