Our Vision: Millions leading, billions benefiting

We believe that organizational leadership, in order to be durably effective, must be inclusive, rather than exclusive. So, we work to expand the definition of what leadership is, who does it, where, when and how. The “why” of leadership is the most important: to have a positive and lasting impact on people and organizations. Therefore, our intent is to equip people – in large, coordinated numbers – with a process that enables them to transform their organizations, to do it themselves, and to teach others to do it.

From Dr. John Kotter to Kotter International

The most significant point in the history of our firm is when we shifted from research to implementation. As a result, while most firms claim strength in one or the other, we have demonstrated that we are the best at both.

Research (1972-2008). For 40 years, Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter has engaged in broad and deep studies investigating why 70% of businesses fail to execute their strategies and only 5% meet or exceed them. He focused on real companies and real leaders and gathered empirical evidence. His insights earned him many achievements and accolades, including:

  • Writing 18 books – 12 of which are bestsellers – published in more than 150 foreign editions
  • Selling millions of copies of his books
  • Landing in the top 1% of all business books sold on Amazon.com
  • Selling more Harvard Business Review article reprints in 20 years than any other author
  • Receiving multiple honors, including the Exxon Award for Innovation, the Johnson, Smith & Knisley Award and the McKinsey Award

Chief among his successes was the development of the award-winning 8-Step Process for Leading Change in 1996. His work balances mass appeal while remaining relevant to leaders, practitioners, students and academics around the world.

Implementation (2008-present). Dr. Kotter retired from Harvard Business School to shift his focus from generating research to generating impact. In 2008, he co-founded Kotter International, a firm solely focused on implementing his research in collaboration with clients around the globe. A team of expert practitioners in strategy execution and transformation from a variety of leading firms joined him. And thus our vision was set: “Millions leading, billions benefiting.”

Despite the shift in focus, the research continues. After five years of closely observing our firm’s application of his methodology, Dr. Kotter published his findings in the Harvard Business Review article, “Accelerate!” When it won the McKinsey Award for the best business article of 2012, we decided to develop it into a book-length study: Accelerate (XLR8) appeared under the Harvard Business Publishing imprint in April of 2014. It stands as the best representation of our current research and implementation.

Accelerate by Dr. John Kotter