John Kotter: Accelerating Your Business In The Age of Speed


Look familiar? This is actually the “execution plan for many organizations regardless of size. John Kotter in his new book has an idea on getting things done. My only disagreement is the use of hierarchical system.

What business needs is the absolution of hierarchy which is simply protective silos built around insecurities. They become so bloated that once successful firms become the next Nokia, Sony, Motorola, Blackberry, IBM etc.

The principles of Kotter’s dual operating system are:

Important changes are driven by many people from everywhere in the company. “You need more eyes to see, more brains to think, and more legs to act in order to accelerate,” Kotter writes. In a hierarchy, top management typically has a limited number of people they trust and return to them time after time. That system doesn’t work, Kotter says, because these trusted lieutenants eventually burn out and the system isn’t inclusive enough.

A mindset of “you get to” rather than “you have to.” With this approach, which emphasizes to workers the privilege of working with great people on important work, “you don’t ask anyone to do anything,” Kotter says. Historically, people who feel privileged to be involved in an effort will volunteer.


Action that is head and heart driven, not just head driven. Most people won’t want to help if you appeal only to logic with numbers and business cases. You must also appeal to how people will feel about doing important work to make big change at their company.

Much more leadership, not just more management. To take advantage of unpredictable windows that might open and close quickly, and to spot and avoid unpredictable threats, leadership is required “beyond one larger-than-life executive,” he says.

An inseparable partnership between the hierarchy and the network, not just “enhanced hierarchy.” The two systems work as one constant flow of information and activity. The approach succeeds partly because the people who volunteer for the network are already working within the hierarchy.[…]

Read full article via John Kotter’s Plan to Accelerate Your Business — HBS Working Knowledge.

Jim Woods, Leadership speaker, Human Resources Consultant, Business Coach

Jim Woods is a leadership development and training consultant deploying his unique abilities in character based training and strategy.

See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook | Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79   Click here to schedule an appointment.

Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm | Skype ID – jim.woods79   Click here to schedule an appointment.m. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve.


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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