Let’s update John Kotter’s 8 phase change model …

Harvard Business School Professor of Leadership Emeritus, John P Kotter originally presented eight steps to successful organisational change in his famous HBR article Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. His subsequent book Leading Change was published in 1996.

Leading Change is the authoritative work on change leadership and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential business management books of all time.

It inspired us to name our company Leading Change.

Kotter’s eight-phase model for organisational change has proved durable and relevant, though the pace of life increased dramatically over the last two decades. It’s probably now better suited to use in hierarchical organisations operating in relatively predictable business environments, when there is consensus about the way ahead. In uncertain and constantly changing environments, we believe Kotter’s original model is insufficiently dynamic and needs to change.

This article by Mark Bouch was published in the Spring 2020 edition of the Institute of Leadership and Management’s Edge Magazine. He describes Kotter’s sequential Eight Step Change Model and the key differences to his updated change accelerator model published in 2014.

In the uncertain environment of the 21st century, many businesses need to change constantly. They must adapt to the current situation, but retain overall alignment and cohesion. The eight change accelerators need to be applied concurrently and continuously. Not completed in sequence. The new model is therefore better suited to a more agile, networked organisation.

In this article Mark describes how to make the change accelerators work in practice, creating a more opportunistic and agile approach to change, better suited to modern organisations operating in uncertain and less predictable environments.

Diagram of Kotter's 8 change accelerators
Diagram of Professor John Kotter’s 8 change accelerators