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John  Kotter

John Kotter

Leadership & Change Management Guru

Biography

John P. Kotter is internationally known and widely regarded as the foremost speaker on the topics of leadership and change. His is the premier voice on how the best organizations actually achieve successful transformations. The Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and a graduate of MIT and Harvard, Kotter’s vast experience and knowledge on successful change and leadership have been proven time and again. Most recently, Kotter has been involved in the creation and co-founding of Kotter International, a leadership organization that helps Global 5000 company leaders develop the practical skills and implementation methodologies required to lead change in a complex, large-scale business environment. Read More >

When speaking to groups, Kotter draws on the history of recent successes and failures in the business world. He explores the new rules of leadership and the importance of lifelong learning in the post-corporate world. Kotter offers the leadership tools necessary to achieve success in a business world that reinvents itself every day. He continues to speak at Harvard Business School Executive Education Programs, including the prestigious Advanced Management Program (AMP). These highly competitive professional seminars were created by Kotter to teach the important steps needed for successful leadership and change. When Kotter speaks to an audience he speaks with one and only one goal: to motivate action that gets better results.

Kotter has authored 18 books, 12 of them bestsellers. His works have been printed in over 150 foreign language editions and total sales exceed three million copies. His latest book, Buy-In, focuses on the problems associated with getting others engaged and committed to good ideas and provides solutions for dealing with attacks on your good ideas. His books are in the top 1% of sales on Amazon.com.

His book A Sense of Urgency focuses on what a true sense of urgency in an organization really is, why it is becoming an important asset, and how it can be created and sustained. Released in September of 2008, Urgency reached #7 on the New York Times Bestseller List in early October.

Kotter’s international bestseller Leading Change—which outlines an actionable eight-step process for implementing successful transformations—has become the change bible for managers around the world. Our Iceberg Is Melting, a New York Times bestseller, puts the eight-step process within an allegory, making it accessible to the broad range of people needed to effect major organizational transformations.

John Kotter’s articles in The Harvard Business Review over the past 20 years have sold more reprints than any of the hundreds of distinguished authors who have written for that publication during the same time period. Kotter has been on the Harvard Business School faculty since 1972. In 1980, at the age of 33, he was given tenure and a full professorship, making him one of the youngest people in the history of the University to be so honored.

The many honors won by Professor Kotter include an Exxon Award for Innovation in Graduate Business School Curriculum Design, a Johnson, Smith & Knisley Award for New Perspectives in Business Leadership, and a McKinsey Award for Best Harvard Business Review Article. Professor Kotter's Leading Change was named the #1 Management Book of the Year by Management General. In 1998, his Matsushita Leadership won first place in The Financial Times Booz-Allen Global Business Book Competition for biography/autobiography. In 2003, a video version of a story from his book The Heart of Change won a Telly Award. In 2006, Kotter received the prestigious McFeely Award for "outstanding contributions to leadership and management development." A year later his video Succeeding in a Changing World was named best video training product of the year by Training Media Review and also won a Telly Award. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Leading Change

Speech Topics

Leading Change

In this presentation audiences will learn how companies can achieve goals and how important it is to have successful leadership in order to make change happen. With specific attention to a company’s efforts, successes, and failures, John Kotter reveals why change is so hard, and provides an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
  2. Form a powerful guiding coalition
  3. Create a vision
  4. Communicate that vision
  5. Empower others to act on the vision
  6. Plan for and create short-term wins
  7. Consolidate improvements and keep the momentum for change moving
  8. Institutionalize the new approaches

Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down

You've got a good idea. You know it could make a crucial difference for you, your organization, and your community. You present it to the group, but get confounding questions, inane comments, and verbal bullets in return. Before you know what's happened, your idea is dead, shot down. You're furious. Everyone has lost: Those who would have benefited from your proposal? You. Your company. Perhaps even the country. Read More >

It doesn't have to be this way. In this presentation, John Kotter reveals how to win the support your idea needs to deliver valuable results. The key? Understand the generic attack strategies that naysayers and obfuscators deploy time and time again. Smart, practical, and filled with useful advice, Kotter’s presentation explores a fresh and amusing narrative showing attack strategies in action. It then provides several specific counterstrategies for each basic category the authors have defined, including: Read Less ^

  • Death-by-delay: Your enemies push discussion of your idea so far into the future it's forgotten.
  • Confusion: They present so much data that confidence in your proposal dies.
  • Fearmongering: Critics catalyze irrational anxieties about your idea.
  • Character assassination: They slam your reputation and credibility.

A Sense of Urgency

Most organizational change initiatives fail spectacularly at worst or deliver lukewarm results at best. In this thought-provoking presentation, speaker John Kotter shines the spotlight on the crucial first step in his framework: creating a sense of urgency by getting people to actually see and feel the need for change. Read More >

Why focus on urgency? Without it, any change effort is doomed. Kotter reveals the insidious nature of complacency in all its forms and guises. He explains: how to go beyond "the business case" for change to overcome the fear and anger that can suppress urgency; ways to ensure that your actions and behaviors—not just your words—communicate the need for change; and how to keep fanning the flames of urgency even after your transformation effort has scored some early successes. Read Less ^

Our Iceberg Is Melting

When change is needed in an organization, sometimes the hardest part is getting everyone to believe it. John Kotter will introduce his eight steps for successful change in an easy-to-understand format. By providing the guidance needed in an ever-changing world, audiences will begin to see how dealing with the challenges of change can be compelling when presented in the right way.

Succeeding In a Changing World

As the economy and world change, so must organizations. The pressure for organizations to modify their business will only increase in the years to come. Many times a good plan can get lost in the midst of implementation. The methods used to restructure or reorganize often fail due to complacency, loss of traction, lack of leadership, and other barriers. Learn from change management speaker John Kotter how great companies succeed where others fail to achieve lasting change in today’s world.

Leadership vs. Management

Many organizations today are over-managed and under-led because people do not know the difference between management and leadership. There are significant differences and each have an effect, both negative and positive, on a company’s performance. John Kotter will explain and motivate the vital importance of the right leadership needed for a company’s success.

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