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Change Management, IT Leadership

A Practical Approach to #ChangeManagement (Kotter’s 8-steps and beyond)

Many of my regular readers will have seen various references to John Kotter, Kotter’s 8-steps, and Leading Change across my various articles on Organisational Change Management. Its a very popular step model of change, that is commonly used.

However, it does have limitations, one of the key ones is minimal mention of getting ready for change. During my MBA I had the pleasure of working with Colin Carnall who had been researching Change Capability (see Change Management (Part 3a) – Change Capability for more info) (Carnall, 2007). The model below and in the attached presentation is an extended version of Kotter’s 8-steps that supplements it with work from Carnall and other sources.

I presented this approach recently to the Atlantic Canada Project World Conference where it was well received. Click the image to the left or the link lower down this article for the pdf of the presentation slides.

The presentation starts by providing some background and context to change before defining the new model.

The Change Model – an extended version of Kotter’s 8-steps

The first stage of the model focuses on Change Readiness.

Do you have the capability to lead change in the organisation, do you have the right leadership involved, is the change ambitious enough. Are appropriate supporting structures and capabilities in place? (see Change Management (Part 3a) – Change Capability for more info).

Is the project named well – no I am not joking, its actually very important, and can set the tone for the whole change management effort (see Change Management – What’s in a Name? for more info).

The model then follows Kotter’s normal 8-steps, but with the additions of taking the pulse of change on a regular basis and using that to modify your change approach. The revised model also includes increased focus on getting everyone involved, a key way to reduce resistance. Finally the model emphasises the need to iterate through the steps until the change is properly embedded in the organisation and its culture.

Many of the concepts used in this model are explained by other articles within my blog, see the list of related articles at the bottom for more information.

The model is shown below:

Kotters 8-steps - extended

Click the link below to see the PDF of the full presentation:

A Practical Approach to Change Management (Kotter’s 8-steps and beyond)


Related articles:

Change Management (Part 1) – Cracking the Code of Change
Change Management (Part 2) – Step Models of Change
Change Management (Part 3a) – Change Capability
Change Management (Part 3b) – Success with IT Change
Change Management – What’s in a Name?
Why are IT projects Change Management time bombs?
The Importance of Change Leadership – Beyond “Step Models of Change”
Beer & Nohria – “Cracking the Code of Change
Lewin’s (1951) original 3-step model of “Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze”
John Kotter – “Leading Change”
Martin Webster’s blog
Change Management Blog
The five motivators of successful change by Barbara Kivowitz



  1. Pingback: What #ChangeManagement Approach should I choose? | Martin Davis' Blog - June 13, 2015

  2. Pingback: Too much #ChangeManagement? | Martin Davis' Blog - November 2, 2016

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