John Kotter

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John Kotter

Process Of Leading Change

Kevin R. Robinson

robinke@hotmail.com

Keller Graduate School of Management

HR587

Managing Organizational Change

January, 2009

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Executive Summary
This research paper will focus on John Kotter’s eight stage process for leading change. Kotter introduced this eight-stage model as a way of looking at the actual stages of the change process itself. This enables us to map our organizational system with the process of change (Leban & Stone, 2008). Without a comprehsive roadmap or model for guiding the change process, organizational leaders may fall short in implementing their strategies for change (Leban & Stone, 2008). In any change effort, managing the change process is clearly important. However, competent management is required to keep change efforts on track. But for most organzations, the much bigger challenge is leading change (Leban & Stone, 2008) The ultimate goal of the topic I chose is to take a deeper look into Kotter’s processes and apply them to organizational change. I will concentrate specifically on his eight stages in great detail from the research performed and relate them directly to change management. During my research I will tie his stages directly to case studies and examples so that one can develop a clear understanding of how they actually work when put to use. A practicing manager may conclude in my findings that implementing a change management model such as Kotter’s may have a great impact for his/her change as it relates to their unique individual environments. They also need to keep in mind that this model is one of many that have been proven. Literature Review

Before I began, I would first like to acknowledge a German born psychologist who is one of the earliest and key contributions to organizational change. This modern pioneer developed a three-step change model still known and widely used today. His three-step approach to change is known as unfreezing, changing/movement and then refreezing. This change model is considered to be the foundation upon which many other change models are built. This influential and founding father of change is none other than Kurt Lewin. Lewin’s change model conceived of change in terms of a modification of the forces that stabilize a system’s behavior. In particular, he envisioned a dynamic where there are two sets of opposing forces-those that are focused on maintaining stability and the status quo and those militating for change (Leban & Stone, 2008)

In the Managing Organizational Change text by Bill Leban and Romuald Stone chapter 2 they do a very good job relating John Kotter’s eight-stage model with change pioneer Kurt Lewin. Lets take a quick look at Kotter’s eight-stage model and Lewin’s three-stage approach in comparison. KotterLewin

Establish a sense of urgency
Create a guiding coalition
Develop transformation visionUnfreezing
Communicate vision

KotterLewin
Empower action
Generate short-term winsChange/Movement
Consolidate gains
Make it stickRefreezing
You can actually and clearly see that Kotter’s model is merely broken out into more phases than that of Lewin’s. Kotter’s eight-stage model also requires that all of the stages be worked through in order, and completely, to successfully change. Skipping even a single step or getting too far ahead without a solid base almost always creates problems (Leban & Stone, 2008).

Who is John Kotter?
John Paul Kotter (born 1947) is a professor at the Harvard Business School, who is regarded as an authority on leadership and change. In particular, he discusses how the best organizations actually "do" change. John Kotter’s international bestseller Leading Change—which outlined an actionable, 8-step process for implementing successful transformations—became the change bible for managers around the world. In October 2001,...
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