Sample Paper on John Kotter’s Model of Change


Whether it is short-term or long-term change, implementing organizational change has never been easier. Most change initiatives start with good intentions of producing fruitful results but end up with frustrations, blame and counter-blame leaving the change stakeholders wondering what happened (Kotter, 2012). John Kotter’s change model cuts across both short-term small scale and long-term large scale organizational change. It enables the senior management to follow eight identifiable steps that result into a dramatic change. The change process according to John Kotter’s model starts with identifying the urgency of organizational need, forming an empowered guiding coalition, communicating change vision to all stakeholders, eliminating possible obstacles, designing short-term wins, building on the change and incorporating the change into the organizational culture (Kotter, 2012). As the executive of XYZ Inc mandated with spearheading the opening of a store in Shanghai, China and expanding into other regions including Brazil, Russia, India and other parts of China, the eight steps of John Kotter’s change model will be ideal in effecting the change.

John Kotter’s Change Model and its effects to organizational employees, mangers and executives

In order for change to take place, the whole organization has to embrace it. The management should create so sense of urgency revolving around the need for change to get things moving. It involves initiating a motivating dialogue to build the need for change into the minds of the organizational members. It involves initiating discussions that convinces and prompts people to start thinking about change (Kotter, 2012). Forming powerful coalition involves soliciting support from influential individuals in the organization whose source of power originates from various sources such as political relevance, status, expertise or the title of a particular job. Forming such a coalition makes it easier to convince the rest of the organizational members to embrace change and get things moving (Cohen, 2005). Once the coalition is formed, the next step involves linking the change ideas and concepts to a vision that is easy to understand and to remember. Clear visions help the organizational members to easily understand why they are being asked to change. In addition, when people realize some sense in what they are being asked to do, doing it becomes easier.

Communicating the vision after it is formed is crucial in determining the success.  The vision must be communicated powerfully and on a daily basis so that people embed it in whatever they do. Keeping the vision fresh into people’s minds helps individuals to respond to it positively. Senior managers should demonstrate the type of behavior that they expect from their followers because action speaks louder than words (Kotter, Wyman & Cohen, 2008). To ensure a smooth transition, it is important to establish structures for effecting change and checking for barriers on a continuous basis. Eliminating the possible impediments is the best way of empowering people to move forward with change initiatives. At this point, it is crucial to check at compensation and performance systems as well as the job descriptions to ensure they match with the vision. Further, identifying individuals who are resistant to change and taking action quickly helps them realize what is needed of them.

Short-term wins that organizational members can easily identify motivates them to move forward. The short-term wins include early achievements made between six months to eighteen months since inception of the change process. They help in preventing the negative thinkers and critics from hurting the entire change process (Cohen, 2005). Short-term goals should be made alongside the long-term goals so that the change process becomes progressive. If the short-term goals fail, the whole change initiative can get ruined so it is worth analyzing the pros and cons of both short-term and long-term change. Kotter emphasizes the need for build on opportunities in order to improve the change process. Short-wins should provide guidelines of what needs to be done in order to accomplish the long-term goals. To ensure that the change sticks, it is necessary to make it part and parcel of the organizational culture. Corporate culture shapes what is done in the organization, implying the values embedded in the vision need to be reflected in the daily operations of the organization (Kotter, Wyman & Cohen, 2008). Anchoring change into the organizational culture means making continuous efforts to demonstrate change in all aspects of the organization. It also means recognizing publicly the people behind change such as the initial change coalition by ensuring that the existing and incoming staffs always remember their contribution.

                        Rationale behind Kotter’s model of change

John Kotter’s model of change is one of its kinds. It emphasizes the need for working hard in order to accomplish both short-term and long-term organizational goals. The model teaches managers that when they plan well and base their plans on a better foundation, implementing change becomes easier. It teaches managers to be patient and not to expect results too soon. Following the identifiable eight steps in the model guarantees the organization of dramatic change both in small scale and large scale (Kotter, 2012). The model has been used successfully as the blueprint for development in major organizations especially the multinational companies. The proposed expansion of XYZ Inc can only be made possible if Kotter’s model is followed to the letter.



Cohen, D. S. (2005). The heart of change field guide: Tools and tactics for leading change in your organization. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.

Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Kotter, J. P., Wyman, O., & Cohen, D. S. (2008). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. New York: Macmillan Audio