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Kotter’s Change Model

The John Kotter change management model includes the 8-Steps to change for the change process itself, and 4 principles to guide the ‘people’ part of change.

Kotter’s 8-step process is designed to ensure change managers have created the right environment to effect change, develop the support they need to make the change happen, and keep the momentum going throughout the change, so things don’t stall.

The Kotter change management model is used by many organisations going through a change in their company, whether it’s a change of location, processes, or business tools.

From the perspective of organisational transformation, it could be worthwhile to consider a different order for the proposed steps. Arguably, you need a clear vision and plan (step 3) before you can take the necessary steps to create a sense of urgency (step 1).


  • It’s a clear and easy model to follow.
  • It creates and maintain focus on a mindset of urgency.
  • It places a strong emphasis on help (coalitions) and motivation.


  • The singular focus on urgency can leave teams not really understanding the ‘how’ or specifics of what to do.
  • The steps can seem out of order and so feel less like a roadmap.
  • The model emphasizes a top-down approach and could be considered to lack sufficient focus on employees.

Recommended resources:


Our Iceberg is Melting, Kotter John, 2006, ISBN 0399563911

Leading Change, Kotter John, 2012, ISBN 9781422186435

Accelerate, Kotter John, 2014, ISBN 1625271743