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Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model: Lead to Change Successfully

Learn more about what Kotter’s 8-step change model is, its purpose, advantages, disadvantages, and how to achieve success with it.

In today's business world, change is inevitable. To keep up with the constantly changing environment, organizations must gain a better understanding of how to approach and manage change management. One tool that helps leaders make their change initiatives successful is Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, one of the most used and appreciated models for leading change.

In this article, you will learn about Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model and how organizations can use it to lead successful changes. We will discuss why this model works and how it can help your organization become more agile in its response to changes in the external environment. So, let’s dive into this powerful model and learn how it can help you lead your organization to success.

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

Table of Contents
What is Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?
What is the Purpose of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model?
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?
How to Successfully Implement Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?
MioCreate – Help You Implement Kotter’s Change Model Smoothly

What is Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?

Developed by Harvard professor and doctor of leadership and change Dr. John Kotter, Kotter's 8-Step Change Model is an organizational change management tool and has been well-received in the realm of change management and provides a framework for both managing and leading change within an organization. It has been successful in helping organizations increase their chances of implementing successful change initiatives, delivering sustainable results in the long term.. It provides a structure for businesses to successfully lead change management initiatives and ensure that any changes that are implemented are effective.

The model consists of 8 steps:

1. Establish a sense of urgency

2. Create the guiding coalition

3. Develop the vision and strategy

4. Communicate the vision

5. Remove obstacles

6. Create short-term wins

7. Build on the change

8. Anchor new approaches in corporate culture.

By following these eight steps, organizations can create an environment where employees understand why changes need to be made and that they have the necessary support to implement them successfully. And that's exactly what you should strive for when setting out on a change journey—to enable your staff and organization to succeed in achieving their goals, no matter how complex those may be!

What is the Purpose of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model?

Purpose of Using Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

You might be wondering, why should you use Kotter's 8-Step Change Model? The purpose of this model is to provide a structured and strategic approach for organizations to manage change effectively. It also helps create a sense of urgency so as to help organizations overcome complacency and resistance to change.

Moreover, the model helps build leadership alignment so organizations can form powerful leaders and increase the chances of success. It also helps establish a clear vision, so organizations can have direction of change. Likewise, it also encourages engagement among employees and motivates them to contribute to the change.

Furthermore, One of the most important features of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model is the emphasis on creating quick wins and positive feedback. As you may know, this helps to show that the changes you are making are beneficial and successful.

Finally, Kotter's 8-Step Change Model can help organizations build a change resilient culture, where the organization is capable of adapting to the changing environment. To do this, organizations need to create a culture that understands and welcomes change and values its importance. This means that an organization should create an environment where employees are engaged, informed, and empowered to make decisions.

In other words, Kotter's 8-Step Change Model provides an efficient framework for implementing effective organizational changes that help achieve desired results. It is designed to guide leaders throughout the entire process of change in order to ensure a smooth transition from one state to another.


What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s now look at what they are.

Advantages of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model:

  • Kotter's 8-Step Change Model provides a structured approach for organizations to follow, making it easier to break down and execute the change process. 

  • It focuses on key elements of change — such as a sense of urgency, leadership alignment, engaging employees throughout the process — which are essential components of organizational change. 

  • Kotter's 8-Step Change Model also emphasizes the importance of strong leadership and employee engagement in order to ensure successful execution of the change efforts.

  • Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of short-term wins in order to motivate employees and ensure the success of the overall change effort.

These advantages make the model an attractive choice for organizations ready for serious transformation efforts.

Disadvantages of Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model:

  • Kotter's 8-Step Change Model may not be effective in all cases. For example, if you're part of a small organization with a flat structure, then implementing the 8-Step Change Model might not make sense.

  • It requires significant time and effort to implement this strategy, which can be challenging for organizations with fewer resources and capacity.

  • Like any other change effort, it may face resistance and barriers. It can come from leadership, employees or stakeholders, etc., which makes leading the change even more complex. Therefore, it’s important for leadership and management to carefully assess the organization’s current situation before diving into Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model. 

  • It requires strong leadership and management to implement the model successfully and steer an organization through change.

How to Successfully Implement Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model?

How to Implement Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

When it comes to implementing Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, the key to success is having a clear, well-defined plan. And if you're looking for an example of something to study, take a look at two companies that have successfully merged: JetBlue and Lufthansa.

The two companies used the 8-Step Model to create a successful merger. Here's how they did it:

>> Create urgency – The two teams identified the need for change and created a sense of urgency around making it happen.

>> Form a powerful coalition – The two teams joined forces with some of their top staff members to lead the merger effort.

>> Develop a vision and strategy – Together; they created a clear vision and strategy for how the merger would take place, including plans for operational integration and cultural alignment between the two organizations.

>> Communicate the change vision – Through workshops, webinars, and other channels, they communicated their vision to all stakeholders—including employees, customers, investors, suppliers and more—so that everyone was on board with the changes that were coming down the line.

>> Empower action – They provided resources and support so that everyone involved in the merger could implement their plans without fear of failure or repercussions from management if something didn’t work out as planned.

>> Generate short-term wins – The teams made sure to build momentum in their efforts by achieving several small successes along the way to show progress was being made and keep everyone motivated towards their ultimate goal—a successful merger!

>> Consolidate improvements & produce still more change – They celebrated every little win along their journey towards completing.

MioCreate – Help You Implement Kotter’s Change Model Smoothly

If you are looking for a tool that can help you implement Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model easily and efficiently, MioCreate is definitely worth your consideration. It provides you with an array of powerful features that can make the change process more manageable.


Visual Representation

MioCreate allows you to represent each step of Kotter's 8-Step Change Model in a visual form, with pre-filled templates or blank boards that let you customize each step in your own way. You are free to choose various shapes and blocks to maneuver the whole process in whichever way works best for you and your team.

Easy to Save & Share

What's more, MioCreate enables easy sharing of files with your colleagues which facilitates collaboration within a group. You can also store all the project documents securely inside the platform, making sure that all information stays safe.

Thanks to these useful features, MioCreate helps to make Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model an easier concept for everyone to comprehend, execute and manage.

All it takes is these simple steps:

Step 1. Sign up with MioCreate and you can get started.

Step 2. Create a board to represent your project and add the relevant shapes and blocks to create the visual representation.

Step 3. Share information with colleagues securely and collaborate with them on projects.

You can store your project documents safely on the platform. With MioCreate, implementing Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model is much simpler and easier to understand.


Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model provides a comprehensive framework for organizations to lead successful change. It emphasizes the importance of developing a sense of urgency, creating a vision and strategy, engaging and involving employees in the process of change, and focusing on short-term goals in order to create long-term success.

The model is most effective if you use specialized software like MioCreate. It helps organize tasks while providing access to real-time timelines and progress tracking. When used together with Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, MioCreate brings teams together to implement successful change initiatives smoothly and efficiently.

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