Change Phases

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Preventing common mistakes in change processes. Explanation of Change Phases of John Kotter. ('90)


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Often, creating value requires significant change. John Kotter concluded in his book "A force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management" (1990) that there are eight reasons why many change processes do not succeed:

Eight reasons why many change processes don't succeed

  • Allowing too much complacency.

  • Failing to build a substantial coalition.

  • Not understanding the need for a clear vision.

  • Failing to clearly communicate the vision.

  • Permitting roadblocks against the vision.

  • Not planning for short term results and not realizing them.

  • Declaring victory too soon.

  • Fail to anchor changes in corporate culture.

The change phases model

To prevent making these mistakes, Kotter created the following Change Phases model. It consists also out of eight steps:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency.

  2. Create a coalition.

  3. Develop a clear vision.

  4. Share the vision.

  5. Empower people to clear obstacles.

  6. Secure short-term wins.

  7. Consolidate and keep moving.

  8. Anchor the change.

According to Kotter, it is crucial to follow the eight phases of change in the above exact sequence.

Book: John Kotter - A force for Change -

Change Phases Forum
  Add Unlearning to Kotter's Change Phase Model
Even when a lot has been discussed about why change process don't succeed and various points have been outlined, but I feel that the power of unlearning has been left out in all these discussion so far. Even Kotter's change theory does not tal...
  Kotter and Public Sector Change
As a 2yr MBA student and a middle manager within the fire service, I'm investigating an organisational change programme.
I am interested to hear of public sector organisational change programmes that have been based upon Kotter's 8 step model. ...
  How is the Change Presented and Communicated?
Though I believe that with change management substance is important, I believe that form is also important.
That which is first noticeable in the continuum of change is quite often form. With form, I'm suggesting that the way you present cha...
  Kotter Change Steps for Political Change
Since I learned the 8 steps change approach of Kotter, I've started following them in my business initiatives and I noticed that although not easy to do, it leads to success for sure if they are faithfully executed.
I've started a ...
  Using Kotter After Cameron and Quinn's Competing Values Framework
At the moment I am describing the organisational situation using the competing values framework (Cameron and Quinn) and would like to know if anybody has remarks/suggestions on how to best t...
  Neglecting the Change Phases
I lead a change process where I was acutely aware of the fact that the initiation of change was based on a positive vision but nothing was broken, we had no "burning platform". I was not in the position to generate one either. Having the aware...
  Our Iceberg Is Melting
A recent book by Kotter is: Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions. In this light, quick read in the form of an allegory, Kotter explains his 8-step framework for effective corporate change through the tale of a colony o...

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Best Practices - Change Phases Premium
  The Roles of Top and Middle Management in Change
Top management must commit itself in words and deeds to accomplish the planned change. We must go more for substance rather than form. Engagement is necessary and the role of middle management is crucial as facilitators and communicator...
  Disadvantages of the Kotter Change Theory
I would like to know If someone thinks there are disadvantages to using the Kotter Change Phases theory?...

Expert Tips - Change Phases Premium

Creating the Right Conditions Before Implementing the 8 Steps

Kotter's 8-Step Change Process is clear, concise and simple to implement. It is a superb framework for change.
Before implementing it, please e...
Usage (application): Things to do Before Starting a Major Change Initiative

Personal Networks of Successful Change Agents

Organizational change is often difficult to achieve because it disturbs the hierarchical structures and the way to accomplish things. For this reason ...
Usage (application): Leading Major and Minor Change Initiatives

Leadership Strategies for Change

In response to the high rate of change failure, Ken Blanchard and his team have developed the Blanchard Leading Through Change program, in whic...
Usage (application): Initiate, implement, develop and sustain change

Why Employee Involvement (Phases 1-5) is so Important

The concept of bases of social power is very important for organizations in the context ...
Usage (application): Acknowledging the Power of Employees

Strategic Change is Acausal and Subject to Equifinality

The change phases concept by Kotter represents a traditional reflection on the problem of strategic change, the constructivist systematic approach of ...
Usage (application): Understanding the True Complexity of Organizational Change

Key Success Factors when you're Designing your Change Management Program

In their article "Making Change Happen, and Making It Stick" (published in the online edition of strategy+business, December 20, 2010), Ashley Harshak...
Usage (application): Best Practices, Change Management, Organizational Change

Innovating Under the Radar

If somewhere below in a large corporation an innovator has a very bright, daring, promising but for some perhaps also threatening idea, the traditiona...
Usage (application): Avoiding 5 Obstacles to Major Innovation

Assessing the Risks of Change and the Organization’s Capacity for Change

In their book "Transforming Public and Nonprofit Organization – Stewardship for Leading Change", James Edwin Kee and Kathryn E. Newcomer argue that th...
Usage (application): Leading Change

Causes for Resistance Behavior

Identifying the forces against change involves a two-step approach. First, the change agent needs to identify resistance behaviors, which can r...
Usage (application): Identify Forces Against Change

Unfreezing, Moving, Freezing

Kotter's Change Phases are a further refinement of the 3 phases/stages of change identified by early 20th century psychologist Kurt Lewin:  

Strategic Change: Why, What, When, Who and How

If we need to change strategically, we need to think about why, what, when, who and how:
- Why do we want to change? - the constraints imp...
Usage (application): Preparing Strategic Change

The 7C Framework for Successful Personal and Professional Change

In the article 'Managing Yourself: How to Embrace Complex Change", Brimm (2015) provides a framework of seven C’s that can guide one successfully thro...
Usage (application): Personal Change, Professional Change, Personal Transition, Professional Transition, Embracing Change

A Closer Look at How Change and Innovation Decisions are Made

Kim, T (2015) elaborates on decision making on "non-routines" or innovations. According to him, non-routines can be seen as innovation in the sense th...
Usage (application): Decision-making on Organizational Change, Innovation Decision-making, Contingent, Participative Decision-making

The Role of the CEO in Strategic Change Initiation

In management literature the role of the CEO in formulating and implementing strategic change has often been emphasized.
An interesting view to s...
Usage (application): Communicating Strategic Change

Resources - Change Phases Premium

Your Organization Needs to Change its Strategy Implementation Method

Dr. John Kotter explains most clearly how the rate of change of events, technology, globalization, products and markets has gone up almost exponential...
Usage (application): Strategy Execution, Strategic Change, Change Management, Strategy Implementation

Effective Change Leadership and Management: Principles, Frameworks and Tools

Comprehensive presentation on leadership and management in a change context.
1. Introduction and Overview
2. What is the difference between ...
Usage (application): Change Management, Change Leadership

The Nature and Complexity of Organizational Change

Presentation about organizational change. The presentation discusses and highlights the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of (organizational) ch...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

Change Management or Change Leadership?

This video explores and explains some differences between Change Management and Change Leadership:

CHANGE MANAGEMENT is defined as a set of...
Usage (application): Understanding the Difference Between Change Management and Change Leadership

Managing Organizational Change

This is a presentation about the ways to manage change. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Introduction
2. Change accordin...
Usage (application): Change Management, Leading Change, Organizational Development

What is Change Management?

In this video Elissa Farrow from About Your Transition explains the relatively new concept of Organizational Change Management: transitioning individu...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of Change Management

22 Best Practices in Change Management

Presentation starts with short introduction of managing organizational change and then outlines 22 best practices in change management.
1. Proces...
Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

Dealing with Roadblocks…

Dr. John Kotter gives remarkable advice on dealing with "No, No, People" (strong resisters in change initiatives).
According to Kotter in a major...
Usage (application): Dealing with Resistance to Change, Change Management, Training, Workshop

Tips for Successful Change Management

Gavin Wedell explains that to change one's organization, one must change one's inner being.
In today's world market conditions, customers demands...
Usage (application): Initial Understanding of How to Manage Change Successfully


Change Phases


Change Kotter


Change Phases


Change Kotter


Change Phases


Change Kotter


Change Phases


Change Kotter

Compare with the Change Phases:  Six Change Approaches  |  Forget Borrow Learn  |  Organic Organization  |  Force Field Analysis  |  Appreciative Inquiry  |  Positive Deviance  |  Changing Organization Cultures  |  Culture Types  |  Core Group Theory  |  Planned Behavior  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Kaizen  |  Change Management  |  DICE Framework  |  Change Model Beckhard  |  Dimensions of Change  |  Result Oriented Management  |  Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change

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