Leading Change

In: Business and Management

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Leaders who successfully transform businesses do eight things right (and they do them in the right order).

Leading Change
Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John P Kotter

Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article:
1 Article Summary
The Idea in Brief—the core idea
The Idea in Practice—putting the idea to work
2 Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail
10 Further Reading
A list of related materials, with annotations to guide further exploration of the article’s ideas and applications

Reprint R0701J


Leading Change
Why Transformation Efforts Fail

The Idea in Brief

The Idea in Practice

Most major change initiatives—whether intended to boost quality, improve culture, or reverse a corporate death spiral—generate only lukewarm results. Many fail miserably.

To give your transformation effort the best chance of succeeding, take the right actions at each stage—and avoid common pitfalls.

Why? Kotter maintains that too many managers don’t realize transformation is a process, not an event. It advances through stages that build on each other. And it takes years. Pressured to accelerate the process, managers skip stages. But shortcuts never work.
Equally troubling, even highly capable managers make critical mistakes—such as declaring victory too soon. Result? Loss of momentum, reversal of hard-won gains, and devastation of the entire transformation effort.


By understanding the stages of change— and the pitfalls unique to each stage—you boost your chances of a successful transformation. The payoff? Your organization flexes with tectonic shifts in competitors, markets, and technologies—leaving rivals far behind.


Actions Needed


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