The 8-Step Process for Leading Change by John Kotter

John Kotter, author of the classic bestseller Leading Change , has developed a proven 8-step process to help organizations successfully launch new strategies, no matter how difficult they may seem. This process can be applied to large scale corporate change initiatives as well as small personal endeavors. 

All that’s required is that you follow the eight steps in order and make sure that you do everything within your power to achieve each stage of the process before moving on to the next stage. It is probable that this model will be utilized in the following project performance domains.

Establish a sense of urgency

To make real, lasting change in the short-term, all the people involved should have the sense of urgency that's necessary and understand that's it's necessary for organizational growth. If they don't support the project, it won't be sustainable, and any changes made will not last very long. For a change project to be successful, it must have the cooperation and support of 75% of the organization's management.

Put A Team Together

A change initiative begins with gathering a group of qualified individuals with the power and reputation to carry out the work and provide leadership.

Develop a vision

This step is to picture the organization in a future where the change has been implemented and to formulate the vision that will allow the team to reach that point. 

Communicate the vision

The goal of this step is to relay the purpose and strategies behind the initiative in a way that resonates with the rest of the company.

What is aimed here is to gain their cooperation in making the change and assure them that this is a move in the right direction and one that will ultimately be in their best interest.

Set Short-Term Goals

The more you transform, the more time it may take. So, to stay excited early on, set short-term goals and celebrate the small wins. Short-term wins are improvements that can be made within a short period of time. Short-term wins should be clear, visible, and relevant to the change initiative. 

Remove Obstacles

Implementing organizational-wide change often encounters obstacles, such as insufficient processes, employees' resistance to change, managers' disempowerment, organizational policies, and its structure. 

In this step, senior management and the leading team should focus on removing obstacles that prevent achieving the change vision. 

Keep the Momentum

To keep momentum going and make sure that progress is continuing and not stalling, it's crucial to stay alert to make sure that teams are pursuing change effectively. Teams should avoid making declarations of victory too soon. 

Institute Change

This step involves developing a new culture in which change can be sustained. To ensure alignment with the new strategy, organizational norms and values, procedures, reward systems, and other infrastructure components will need to be adjusted.

Team Performance Model

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Model

Gulf of Execution and Evaluation

Effectiveness of Communication Channels 

Oscar Model


Virginia Satir Change Model