A reading club with a view to the future

533 John P. Kotter: Leading Change

John P. Kotter outlines an 8-step process for organizations to successfully implement and manage significant change initiatives.



"Leading Change" by John P. Kotter is a seminal work on organizational change management. Kotter presents a clear 8-step framework to guide leaders in driving successful transformations. He emphasizes the importance of creating a sense of urgency, building a guiding coalition, and communicating the vision throughout the organization.


  1. Title: Leading Change 
  2. Author: John P. Kotter
  3. Publishing Year: 1996 
  4. Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press 
  5. Length in Hours: 6 hrs and 34 mins

5 main ideas

  1. Sense of Urgency: Creating a compelling case for change to motivate stakeholders and overcome complacency.
  2. Guiding Coalition: Forming a diverse and committed group of leaders to drive the change effort collaboratively.
  3. Vision and Strategy: Developing a clear and inspiring vision for the future and outlining a strategic plan to achieve it.
  4. Empowering Action: Delegating authority and providing support to enable employees to take ownership of the change process.
  5. Anchoring Change: Embedding the change into the organization's culture and practices to ensure sustainability and long-term success.

5 funny quotes

  1. "Change is like a series of awkward but necessary dance steps."
  2. "Implementing change without resistance is like finding a unicorn."
  3. "Building a guiding coalition is akin to assembling a superhero team."
  4. "Celebrate short-term wins with cake, not just emails."
  5. "Change agents: not just for secret agents."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Change is not an event; it is a process."
  2. "The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon."
  3. "Behavior that is not in line with the new vision must be confronted and addressed."
  4. "Without credible communication, and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of the troops are never captured."
  5. "A guiding coalition isn't enough; a whole change network is necessary."


5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing urgency with thoughtful planning.
  2. Navigating resistance from influential individuals.
  3. Deciding between incremental and radical change.
  4. Managing communication in times of uncertainty.
  5. Sustaining momentum after initial successes.

5 examples

  1. General Electric - Successfully transformed under Jack Welch's leadership.
  2. IBM - Turnaround led by Lou Gerstner.
  3. McDonald's - Shifted focus from fast food to healthier options.
  4. Apple - Steve Jobs' return and the innovation that followed.
  5. Toyota - Embraced lean manufacturing principles for improvement.

Referenced books


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"Change is like a series of awkward but necessary dance steps."

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