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 -

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Best Practices - Change Phases Premium
  The Roles of Top and Middle Management in Change
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  Disadvantages of the Kotter Change Theory
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Expert Tips - Change Phases Premium

Creating the Right Conditions Before Implementing the 8 StepsSign up

Kotter's 8-Step Change Process is clear, concise a...
Usage (application): Things to do Before Starting a Major Change Initiative

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Usage (application): Understanding the True Complexity of Organizational Change

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Usage (application): Communicating Strategic Change

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Your Organization Needs to Change its Strategy Implementation MethodSign up

Dr. John Kotter explains most clearly how the rate...
Usage (application): Strategy Execution, Strategic Change, Change Management, Strategy Implementation

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Usage (application): Change Management, Change Leadership

The Nature and Complexity of Organizational ChangeSign up

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Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Change

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Usage (application): Understanding the Difference Between Change Management and Change Leadership

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Dealing with Roadblocks…Sign up

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Usage (application): Change Management, Organizational Development Leading Change

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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

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Human Resources  |  Leadership  |  Program & Project Management  |  Strategy

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