Kotter’s Change Management Framework

Since the  launch of his seminal book Leading Change in 1996 where John Kotter introduced the 8-Step process for leading change, he and  the Kotter institute have continually researched, measured, and refined the model. In 2014 Harvard Business Review published an enhanced 8-Step process:



1. CREATE a sense of urgencyYour top leaders must describe an opportunity that will appeal to individuals’
heads and hearts and use this statement to raise a large, urgent army of volunteers.
2. BUILD a guiding coalitionA volunteer army needs a coalition of effective people — coming from its own ranks — to guide it, coordinate it and communicate its activities.
3. FORM the strategic vision and initiativesDr. Kotter defines strategic initiatives as targeted and coordinated "activities
that, if designed and executed fast enough and well enough, will make your vision a reality."
4. ENLIST an army of volunteersLarge-scale change can only occur when very significant numbers of employees amass under a common pportunity and drive in the same direction.
5. ENABLE action by removing barriersBy removing barriers
such as inefficient processes or hierarchies, leaders provide the freedom necessary for employees to work across boundaries
and create real impact.
6. GENERATE short-term winsWins are the molecules of results. They must be collected, categorized, and communicated — early and often — to track progress and energize your volunteers to drive change. Wins accumulate over time and lead to tangible business results.
7. SUSTAIN accelerationChange leaders must adapt quickly in order to maintain their speed. Whether it's a new way of finding talent or removing misaligned processes, they must
determine what can be done — every day — to stay the course towards the vision.
8. INSTITUTE changeTo ensure new behaviors are repeated over the long-term, it's important that you define and communicate the connections between these behaviors and
the organization's success.

What’s your big opportunity?

  • Do you see a Big Opportunity that could ignite the hearts and minds of your people?
  • Do you know how to identify, articulate and communicate it?
  • Are you able to connect an external change factor with a special capability of your organization?
  • What are the stakes if you succeed?
  • Consequences if you fail?

According to Dr Kotter “Windows of opportunity are appearing, opening, and closing more quickly
than ever before. If you are able to identify even a glimmer of a Big Opportunity, it’s important to quickly and urgently engage and mobilize around it before competitors seize the window.”


To find out more, download the free eBook from the Kotter Institute (sign up required), or contact us today.

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