John P. Kotter

We cannot discount the daily demands of running a company, which traditional hierarchies and managerial processes can still do very well. What they do not do well is identify the most important hazards or opportunities early enough, formulate creative strategic initiatives nimbly enough, and (especially) execute those initiatives fast enough.

The Accelerating Organization: In a Faster Moving World, We Need Speed and Agility to Keep Up

What we need today is a powerful new element to address the challenges posed by mounting complexity and rapid change. The solution…is a second system that is organized as a network—more like a startup’s solar system than a mature organization’s Giza pyramid.

Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World

It’s a familiar scene in organizations today: a new competitive threat or a big opportunity emerges. You quickly create a strategic initiative in response and appoint your best people to make change happen. And it does—but not fast enough. Or effectively enough. Real value gets lost and, ultimately, things drift back to the default status.

Why is this scenario so frequently repeated in industries and organizations … [ Read more ]

John Kotter’s Plan to Accelerate Your Business

In the fast-paced modern economy, businesses can no longer rely on just one organizational design, argues John Kotter in a new book, Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World. Why we need two “operating systems.” PLUS Book excerpt.

Alternative Systems for Corporate Survival

Change management expert John Kotter argues that companies cannot adapt to change mainly because of their hierarchical management systems. These systems are designed to coordinate large groups of people in the consistent and efficient delivery of products and services—and they do it well. They are, Kotter says, “absolutely necessary to make organizations work.” Here’s the conundrum: You can’t jettison the hierarchical system that runs your … [ Read more ]

John Kotter, Dan Cohen

You need to address anxieties, accept anger, and demonstrate credibility in a very gut-level sense, to evoke faith in the vision.

A Revolutionary Approach to Strategic Change

Business leaders face a challenge to keep their firms competitive amid constant turbulence and disruption. Companies such as Borders and RIM have recognized the need for strategic change, but couldn’t drive the organizational change needed to sustain business success.

It often plays out the same: an organization, facing a real threat or eyeing a new opportunity, tries–and fails–to cram through a major transformation using a change … [ Read more ]

John P. Kotter

Overcoming complacency is crucial at the start of any change process, and it often requires a little bit of surprise, something that grabs attention at more than an intellectual level. You need to surprise people with something that disturbs their view that everything is perfect.

John Kotter

If you’ve been successful long enough, complacency doesn’t disappear easily. And it’s fine to celebrate success: You have a sales appreciation meeting and give out a bunch of awards to your employees. They deserve it. They helped you to grow 30 percent this year. But that’s history. So you ask them, “What do you have on your calendar for tomorrow that’s going to help us … [ Read more ]

John P. Kotter

I have found that people who provide great leadership are also deeply interested in a cause or discipline related to their professional arena. A leader in a pharmaceutical firm, for example, might have a passion for reducing suffering. He or she may have watched a parent or loved one suffer, and be motivated by deep emotions, not just intellect. Such leaders also tap deep convictions … [ Read more ]

Corporate Culture and Performance

An attention-grabbing audit by two Harvard Business School professors of the role that culture (broadly defined as the shared attitudes, behavioral patterns, and values that cohesive human groups pass on from one generation to the next) can play in the capacity of major corporations to succeed or fail in the marketplace. The accessible study compiled by Kotter and Heskett is noteworthy on several counts. For … [ Read more ]

Winning at Change

John P. Kotter offers up eight critical stages involved in the change process as well as four mistakes that are the source of most failures and three key tasks for change leaders.

Leading With The Heart

Appealing to employees’ emotions, as well as their minds, is the key to managing change.

The Power of Feelings – An Interview with John P. Kotter

John P. Kotter, Harvard Business School professor, award-winning author of more than a dozen books on leadership and management, was recently rated by Business Week as America’s Number One “leadership guru.” In his best-selling book, Leading Change, he demystified the change process by distilling an eight-step process for implementing successful organizational transformations: 1. Increase Urgency, 2. Build the Guiding Team, 3. Get the Vision Right, … [ Read more ]

Leading Change

Harvard Business School professor Kotter (A Force for Change) breaks from the mold of M.B.A. jargon-filled texts to produce a truly accessible, clear and visionary guide to the business world’s buzzword for the late ’90s – change. In this excellent business manual, Kotter emphasizes a comprehensive eight-step framework that can be followed by executives at all levels. Kotter advises those who would implement change to … [ Read more ]