Leading Change

November 11, 2014 | Chris Jock
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John Kotter, professor and authority on management and leadership, has influenced generations of global business leaders with his perspective on strategy and management. Centered in the philosophy of leading change, Kotter’s model is now deployed in virtually any organization that decides to put a measurable structure around a change in strategy and operations. Over time and something of a contradiction to Kotter’s teaching, these highly articulated programs have come to fall under the rubric “change management.”

As a process, change management matured in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Almost as if to ensure that organizations would take them seriously, most change management initiatives emphasized consistent execution of carefully designed and orchestrated tactics. Management teams wanted to make sure that employees understood they were serious about making changes. Yet many change initiatives wound up disconnected from the strategic center of companies - often because those strategic centers themselves had been compromised by a demand for quarterly results and statistic-of-the-month spin. Navel-gazing also was a risk, often to the detriment of customer focus and a forward orientation