Leading Change by John Kotter - Essential Reading For Leaders

Leading Change by John Kotter - Essential Reading For Leaders

Paul Sloane 24/01/2022
Leading Change by John Kotter - Essential Reading For Leaders

Why do so many major change projects fail?

Leading Change by John Kotter has become a classic among management books because it clearly answers this question. Kotter starts by listing eight reasons why major organisational change initiatives fail. These are:

  • Allowing too much Complacency

  • Failing to Create a sufficiently powerful Guiding Coalition

  • Underestimating the Power of Vision

  • Under communicating the Vision (by a factor of 10 or 100)

  • Permitting Obstacles to block the Vision

  • Failing to Create Short-Term Wins

  • Declaring Victory too Soon

  • Neglecting to Anchor Change in the Corporate Culture

Kotter says that the most important obstacles to major change are structures, systems, skills and supervisors. He then proceeds very logically to give his eight point plan for leading change based on overcoming each of the mistakes above. The process he recommends is:

  • Establish a Sense of Urgency

  • Create a Guiding Coalition

  • Develop a Vision and Strategy

  • Communicate the Change Vision

  • Empower Employees for broad-based Action

  • Generate Short-Term Wins

  • Consolidate Gains and Produce more Change

  • Anchor the New Approaches in the Corporate Culture

He clearly explains the why and how for each point and stresses the importance of following this procedure in sequence and of not omitting any steps. Both leadership and management is needed in the process and he shows their different roles. The book is easy to read and the arguments are cogent. There are many examples and stories – though no proper case studies. Overall it is a highly valuable guide to the tough challenge of leading large-scale change.

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • No comments found

Share this article

Paul Sloane

Innovation Expert

Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics