Kotter International in the News

Below are the latest blog postings and articles written about and by Kotter International. Please visit our Newsletter Sign-up page to sign up to receive our newsletter by email.


May 29, 2014
Kotter International
New Book: Accelerate by Dr. John Kotter

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

April 30, 2014
Kotter International
New Book: Accelerate by Dr. John Kotter

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

April 29, 2014
Justin Wasserman | Life Science Leader
If you're outsourcing your change, you're throwing away a valuable asset. You could be building leaders throughout your organization, and gaining support from your entire workforce by engaging their hearts and their minds.
March 21, 2014
Kotter International
Free Chapter of Dr. Kotter's New Book Accelerate

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

March 6, 2014
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Remember the infamous scene from "Animal House" where Bluto tries to rally the troops, gives a rousing speech, runs out the door, and nobody follows? That, I realize, is one of our client’s biggest fears.
January 31, 2014
Kotter International
Looking Toward Change in 2014

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

January 21, 2014
Randy Ottinger | Oracle's Profit Magazine
It’s the kind of small inefficiency found in every business. One group of supply chain employees collects, breaks down, and disposes of wooden palettes—while another purchases palettes. But to simplify processes and cut costs, management from a large cosmetics company invited all employees to join a leaderless work group. Reusing the palettes was 1 of 500 changes the group identified—and it saved the company US$150 million per year.
January 16, 2014
Allison Todd | Forbes.com
Allison Todd One thing you’ll notice in all successful companies: people are taking risks every day. When these employees are “in the zone,” it can be very empowering to watch. They’re in a mode of discovery, trying things that may seem ridiculous, dangerous, or outright wrong. But they’re exploring with such passion that it can capture your attention – just like catching someone dancing like nobody’s watching.
January 16, 2014
Jimmy Leppert | Forbes.com
Are you training your employees to NOT think outside the box, ahead, or anywhere else than on the immediate task at hand? Sometimes, like when you need to deliver on today’s immediate commitments, that type of focus is essential. But when operating in this mode continually, after a few months or even a year down the line the people who used to go above and beyond the call of duty are left with nothing to focus on but today’s fire. Those employees are focusing their energy on interviewing for a new job.
December 31, 2013
Kotter International
Leadership Lessons from 2013

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

December 30, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
2013 may be one of greatest years ever. No one was serving it up to us this year. We had to look more closely. We had to look for ourselves. But we found it. And what we found matters. We found those small things that make us better people, better parents, better children, better neighbors. It reminded us of the individual things we can do to make our world better – and not wait for someone with more power, more control, more money, or more notoriety to do it for us.
December 19, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
In its 2012 Super Bowl ad, “Half-time In America,” Chrysler enlisted Clint Eastwood, the quintessential tough-guy, to signal Chrysler’s return to glory. In contrast, GM’s halftime “substitution” clearly looks nothing like Eastwood. Although gender has consumed most of the dialogue around the rise of Barra and other female CEOs, I am hopeful that the conversation will shift to a dialogue around the qualities and characteristics of transformational leaders that transcend gender.
December 18, 2013
Patricia Cormier | Forbes.com
Consider carefully how you come across to those around you. You might just realize you are in a Scrooge/Cratchit dynamic with one or more of your employees. Scrooge learned it the hard way… Want to get more from your team? Start with a little perspective shift.
December 12, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
They ask, “Where does survival end and real innovation begin?” When a product update solves the customer’s biggest peeves, a product becomes more relevant than its competitors and it wins business. In the end that’s all that matters. And those who succeed can call it whatever they like.
December 10, 2013
Russell Raath | Forbes.com
I'd happily fly a carrier if I'm surrounded by a group of people who are engaged and excited, rather than an indifferent bunch of employees who feel that their world is being changed around them and that they have no influence on what is being "done to them." It’s all in the hands of the folks at the top of the world’s largest airline.
December 6, 2013
Russell Raath | Kotter International News & Insights
As a native of South Africa, Kotter Internaitonal Engagement Leader Russell Raath was especially touched by the passing of Nelson Mandela. His background and expertise make this perspective particularly poignant.
December 5, 2013
Justin Wasserman | Forbes
The next time your organization is faced with the opportunity or necessity to fundamentally renew itself, look for ways to create a vision — or a simple idea — that appeals to your people’s emotions as well as their logic. Your people will join you only if you can tap into their collective sense of values and purpose.
November 30, 2013
Embedding Innovation In the Culture: It Takes Patience, and It’s Worth the Wait

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

November 22, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Ken's thoughts on how leaders spark innovative ideas that can accelerate implementation and deliver results.
November 22, 2013
Dr. John Kotter | Harvard Business Review
So, is it possible for the new boss to break Microsoft out of its slump, where for the last decade its batting average has been about .109?
November 15, 2013
Justin Wasserman | Forbes
Innovation will not come on demand, and your employees will not voice their greatest ideas until you do two very important things.
November 13, 2013
PJ Chan | Forbes.com
As leaders who want to foster innovation in your organizations ask yourself one question: What will I do today to encourage the sharing of "dangerous" ideas, "unspeakable" ideas … or any ideas at all?
October 31, 2013
Rapid Change Success Stories: Leaders Leveraging Their Company's Potential

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

October 17, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes
Burberry just lost its top innovator to Apple – CEO Angela Ahrendts. Luckily for Burberry, they aren’t losing a leader of a lesser caliber. (And no, that last sentence does not have a typo.)
October 14, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes
Organizations can find it tough to use words to paint a picture of success. Those that do it well devote an inordinate amount of time to getting it right.
October 8, 2013
Patricia Cormier | Forbes
People will work beyond business hours - as long as it's not busy-work. Here's how to keep them wanting to contribute.
September 30, 2013
How Do Successful Companies Accelerate to Stay Ahead?

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

September 25, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes
Many of the lessons learned in fatherhood apply, on a certain level, to change leadership. Here are the parallels between building a complex LEGO set and coaching a client through transformational change.
September 13, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes
When you start from a strong determination to do what is right – there is no limit to what you can create.
September 9, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes
Kodak must change its ways – going from the behemoth in the industry to a more nimble, engaged, and innovative company. This is a cultural change, and there are overt and subtle ways the company can embed this new perspective into the culture.
August 31, 2013
Kotter Inernational
How Do You React to Change?

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

August 23, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Chain Store Age
After the larger-than-expected 12% drop in quarterly revenue J.C. Penney posted on Tuesday, I believe that the company’s time is running out. The drama among the Board, swapping CEOs, and new lines of credit are just distractions from the core problem. J.C. Penney has failed to make the big changes in its strategy to prosper in today’s retail environment – changes they need to make in order to survive.
August 23, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes
It is no mystery that language, syntax, and tone can make or break a well-intentioned email. This fact is especially true when sending that congratulatory email to your employees for a job well done. You typically have one shot, one opportunity to get this right, and the Record-Setting Employee’s guidelines all but guarantee your success.
August 23, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes
Structure nurtures - rather than hinders - innovation. Kathy Gersch weighs in on Google's new rules around their "20% time."
August 14, 2013
Diane Merlino | Travel Weekly
travelweekly 2 John Kotter recently spoke with Diane Merlino, editor-in-chief of the leading travel industry publication Travel Weekly PLUS, about what leaders actually do and how leading change is very different from managing change. Here is part of the interview.
August 13, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes
Whether he is tackling online payments, electric cars, or space travel, Musk is a unique combination of innovator and leader. Here are four leadership lessons to be learned from his new Hyperloop announcement.
August 7, 2013
Diane Merlino | Travel Weekly
travelweekly 2 In part two of this article, John Kotter spoke with Diane Merlino, editor-in-chief of the leading travel industry publication Travel Weekly PLUS, about the need for businesses to structure themselves in a way that equips them to respond to the ever-accelerating pace of change.
August 7, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
Kathy Gersch weighs in on the challenge of maximizing cultural assets when companies merge. She points to an interview that reveals one executive’s sage advice, and its relevance to the CEO taking over his company.
July 31, 2013
What is Your Leadership Style?

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

July 30, 2013
Diane Merlino | Travel Weekly
travelweekly 2 In Travel Weekly, John Kotter asserts that reliability and efficiency are not enough to thrive in today’s business climate. The structural capacity to change with dexterity and speed are essential — and these days it takes a village to truly change a business.
July 29, 2013
Jimmy Leppert | Forbes.com
Jimmy Leppert has observed how organizations fall into a habit of firefighting. He says in this culture, firefighters become the heroes, making innovators appear as if they are ignoring the most pressing challenges. Here he explains how leaders can escape this dynamic, and shift the internal company focus outward toward the market and its opportunities.
July 18, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
After reviewing Marissa Mayer’s first year as CEO of Yahoo my colleague Kathy Gersch finds that Mayer has provided some decent examples of ways to turn a company culture around – despite what the media’s had to say.
July 9, 2013
Jimmy Leppert | Forbes.com
Research shows that when CEOs talk strategy, 70% of the company doesn't get it. It’s a dangerous place to be, and it’s a difficult situation to diagnose and address. Jimmy Leppert explores the extent of what is lost if leaders ignore the issue, as well as the best ways to ensure clarity of your vision.
June 28, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Chief Executive Magazine
Randy Ottinger discusses how the recent termination of Men’s Wearhouse founder and executive chairman George Zimmer highlights one of the most important decisions a company, its board, and investors make: hiring or retaining the right CEO.
June 28, 2013
Russell Raath | Forbes.com
The most established organizations can have the most difficult time changing with the world around them,. My colleague Russell Raath points out the key factors that will make the difference between success and failure for the century-old institution, the Girl Scouts of the USA.
June 26, 2013
Kotter International Newsletter
Is Your Organization Missing A Big Opportunity?

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

June 25, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
My colleague, Shaun Spearmon, urges that silence does not mean you flawlessly communicated your new strategy – it most likely signals your project's imminent death. Read to find out what's happening in that silence, and what to do if the conclusion of your presentation ends with nothing but crickets.
June 17, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Rules can get in the way of the goal. If someone messes up, should they get fired? Your average manager’s pat answer is always “yes, it sets a ‘what not to do’ example for the rest.” An exceptional leader would answer “it depends.” My colleague Ken Perlman offers a clear example of why punishing failures is the fastest way to stifle innovation in your organization.
June 12, 2013
Dennis Goin | Forbes.com
Vision is our only guide. My experience is that when the picture of what we want to do, or where we want to go, is not clear we have a tendency to stay where we are or defend the status quo – or even point out why other elements won’t let us move forward. Rarely do we come to the conclusion that our picture is not clear.
June 7, 2013
PJ Chan | Forbes.com
thumbnail_PJ-CHAN PJ Chan works closely with one of Kotter International’s oldest clients, and she’s experienced first hand the failure that follows a project-managed approach to innovation. Here she details why you cannot “force” innovation to happen, but rather, how you can shape your corporate environment so that innovation can be possible.
June 3, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
My colleague Shaun Spearmon offers tips leaders can use to tap the energy and idealism of new college graduates.
May 29, 2013
Kotter International Newsletter
Do You Know What Your Leading Indicator Is?

Sign up here to begin receiving the Kotter International Newsletter.

May 29, 2013
Kotter International
Kotter International, the leadership and strategy implementation firm, announced today that Gregg LeStage, an authority on strategy execution through leadership and sales force effectiveness, had joined the company as an Executive Vice President. LeStage will be responsible for global business development.
May 22, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Ken Perlman tells the story of how a client realized the wasted time and effort being poured into formal executive presentations and diverted that time to boosting productivity and trust simply by replacing slides with conversations.
May 19, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Black Enterprise
Shaun Spearmon offers 5 Leadership Tips from Olivia Pope (Scandal). Sure, she is fictional, but both Olivia Pope's leadership prowess and her shortcomings are ripe with lessons that you can incorporate in your leadership toolbox immediately.
May 15, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Ken Perlman explains, in the race for corporate change, new mechanics and new tools aren't going to get you the win. There are very few ways a traditional organization can compete with the speed and agility of the newer, smaller, faster, more innovative competitors in the race today. You're going to need to upgrade your race car.
May 6, 2013
Ken Perlman and Jimmy Leppert | ASTD.com
Ken Perlman and Jimmy Leppert offer that without engagement, organizations are fostering a zombie-like workforce, which can thwart all change efforts. For many, our world is becoming predictable and routine (almost brainless) and dare we say it: zombie-like. This is especially true in the workplace.
May 3, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Ken Perlman zeroes in on the problems within leadership systems and offering practical and useful solutions. In this, he’s taken on the ultimate challenge – Congress.
May 2, 2013
Kathy Gersch
Kathy Gersch has been following the progress of struggling retailers. Here she offers an idea to help Sears get moving more quickly in the right direction.
May 1, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Chicago Business
Many questions remain about the long-struggling retailer's future.

“Eddie has never clearly articulated a vision for Sears and where they're trying to go,” says Kathy Gersch, a former vice president at Nordstrom Inc. and founding partner of consulting firm Kotter International. Sears “just keeps plowing along despite business declines and hasn't really clarified a strategy for how they plan to turn it around or which customers they're going to go after.”
April 30, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
If you aren’t constantly innovating, your organization is most likely losing its edge. If your innovations are incremental – not big enough to move the needle – you’re still losing. Kathy Gersch shares 5 clear indicators that your company is losing its innovative edge.
April 25, 2013
John Kotter | Forbes.com
John Kotter shares that everybody has heard at one time or another that too much success can get in your way. It has been my experience that few people really appreciate how much that can apply to them, and how dangerous it is.
April 24, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
Shaun Spearmon offers his perspective on how to create an organization full of employees that are all engaged A-team players.
April 22, 2013
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
Shaun Spearmon cites a study that reports that in 42% of companies, the best workers are the least engaged while the most engaged workers are low performers who think they’re doing a great job. Shaun Spearmon offers insight into how this happens.
April 17, 2013
John Kotter | Forbes.com
John Kotter asks, think disruption will not happen to you tomorrow? That assumption can be deadly. More often than not, we think of technological discontinuities affecting new industries, especially high-tech. But the reality is, this phenomenon can affect anybody.
April 15, 2013
Nancy Dearman | Forbes.com
My colleague, Nancy Dearman, observes that management silos are where innovation dissolves in layers of hierarchy. She offers some ideas for leaders who want to break down those barriers and encourage employees to cross silos and act on those ideas.
April 11, 2013
PJ Chan | Forbes.com
By recounting her experience consulting with a global pharmaceutical company, my colleague, PJ Chan, offers what could be accomplished if more than 50% of your company was passionate about a big opportunity.
April 9, 2013
Holger Rathgerber | Forbes.com
My colleague Holger Rathgerber highlights this story of how Kraft inspired its most apathetic employees to drive strategic change. He underlines the importance of dissipating complacency that exists in most historically successful companies.
April 9, 2013
USA TODAY

This content was previously published on USA Today.

It's back to the future for troubled retailer J.C. Penney, which announced late Monday that CEO Ron Johnson would be replaced on an interim basis by Mike Ullman, the retailer's former chief executive.

Retail guru Kathy Gersch of Kotter International says "the patience ran out and the money ran out" for Johnson's strategies.

"He pulled some bold moves pretty quickly. Most were taking them in the wrong direction without a clear sign of when they might get traction," Gersch said.

Also published in:

Read Entire Article

April 3, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
Randy Ottinger offers his perspective on what he’s seen as the best practices of successful companies. Here he offers his most recent observations of how organizations are succeeding while keeping pace with the increasing speed of today’s world.
March 22, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
When a corporate strategy fails, employees become cynical about the next strategic effort. My colleague, Kathy Gersch, highlights this story of how Kraft inspired its most apathetic employees to drive strategic change.
March 18, 2013
ProPrint Magazine

This content was previously published on ProPrint Magazine.

Whether using a firm hand or a carrot and stick, overhauling company culture is far from easy.

Change is hard. Changing any organisation, making them more productive, dynamic or merging them with another companies – these are some of the toughest jobs for managers.

Most change management programs fail. Former Harvard Business School professor John Kotter found that 70% of change management programs don’t work. A subsequent study by the consultants at McKinsey found that his numbers were right. McKinsey identified several reasons for the high failure rate. First, what motivates management does not necessarily motivate employees. Also, employees will resist if they feel the changes violate notions of fairness and justice. Money is the most expensive way to motivate employees. Indeed, small, unexpected rewards have disproportionate effects on employees’ motivation during change programs.

Read Entire Article

March 12, 2013
The Wall Street Journal
Under his command, Dynegy shifted its headquarters last May to a single, open floor in a different building.

The move, which saved $5 million a year, is the most visible symbol of Mr. Flexon's attempts to overhaul the company's culture. He aims to transform a business previously focused on day-to-day survival into an agile operator poised for growth.

"The right culture change can—without question—improve results," says John Kotter, co-author of the book "Corporate Culture and Performance" and head of research at consulting firm Kotter International. But putting a sick business on a healthier strategic path while changing its culture "is much more difficult than most executives realize," he cautions.
March 7, 2013
The Huffington Post

This content was previously published on The Huffington Post.

If you have been kind enough to follow my blog, you will then know that I have talked about this phenomenon in the past. However, an article by John Kotter in the November 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review got me thinking deeply about the duality of organizations.

In every organization, there is the formal and the informal network. And within each of those, there are nexuses of power dynamics that arise. In the traditional and more formal organizational structure, you have command and control. People gain power based on title and place. In the informal organizational structure, the network, people gain power through information and connections.

Read Entire Article

March 5, 2013
USA Today

This content was previously published on USA Today.

Daily deals may have ballooned to stardom, but the craze is just as quickly starting to deflate. After Groupon, a pioneer in the space, fired its founder and CEO Andrew Mason last week, several experts say daily deals companies need to seriously rethink the way they do business.

Groupon and Living Social have both started offering deals on an assortment of goods from iPhone cases to blankets to curling irons, where profit margins are a lot smaller, says Kathy Gersch, executive vice president for Kotter International, which helps companies implement new strategies.

"They make less money on those deals," she says, and it means they're competing in an already-crowded space dominated by the likes of Amazon and eBay.

Also published in:

March 4, 2013
Technorati

This content was previously published on Technorati.

A recent post from Forbes on March 2 highlighted Andrew Mason’s unique letter to employees about being fired. The 32-year-old former CEO of Groupon is part of a growing trend of more casual leadership styles that have become popular among young CEOs. Although John Kotter lists Andrew Mason’s tone as “informal, irreverent, and brutally honest,” this is not an uncommon characteristic among the younger generation of current CEOs.

In Forbes’ list of America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35, it is possible to find several examples of leadership styles that waver from the accepted range as younger CEOs create their own rules. Andrew Mason’s “brutally honest” letter fits this trend. Ryan Smith, who is part of the America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35, is the CEO of Qualtrics and has admitted that transparency is one of the keys to his company’s success. Qualtrics offers online survey software and has reached $48 million in revenue with 270 employees. Smith stated in a recent interview, “We’ve been extremely transparent, but not so that we can be cool. And it’s not about an open environment, because that’s not what makes a company transparent. It’s more around the fact that everyone needs to know where we are going and how we are going to get there.”

Read Entire Article

March 2, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
In a Wall Street Journal Blog by Leslie Kwoh, my colleague Kathy Gersch explained how Andrew Mason didn't follow typical corporate CEO departure protocol because he is not a typical corporate CEO. ... Beyond the issues with the strategy and business model at Groupon, there were also core issues with the development of the culture. Innovation was being forced to slow down to allow the management hierarchy to catch up, creating a severe culture clash. The size and complexity of Groupon grew so quickly it out-paced the rate of maturity of the organizational culture – much like a gangly, pimply teenager that grows to 6-feet tall...
March 1, 2013
The Wall Street Journal

This content was previously published on The Wall Street Journal.

If there was anything surprising about Groupon CEO Andrew Mason’s ouster late Thursday, it’s the cheeky way he announced the news to his staff.

Lots of fired executives would probably love to air their feelings as they head out the door, but nearly all keep quiet so as not to hurt their chances of landing a high-ranking post elsewhere.

Mason, however, may actually get away with it, in part because he has never quite fit the corporate mold, says Kathy Gersch, executive vice president at leadership and strategy firm Kotter International.

Also published in:

February 26, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes
Recent headlines highlight the plight of established, well-known brands as they struggle to evolve, pushing less sensational success stories to the second page. One success story caught my eye, Burberry’s. Here how one the company’s executive used great leadership and a daring vision to turn a company around.
February 23, 2013
Wall Street Cheat Sheet

This content was previously published on Wall Street Cheat Sheet

Status quo would not help Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continue winning big, and the company was in need of disrupting itself to fix its current problems. That assertion was made for Forbes by John Kotter, the chief innovation officer of corporate strategy firm Kotter International.

According to Kotter, it was time for Apple to ask the fundamental question of whether it could continue maintaining its success by focusing on its core market.

Read Entire Article

February 21, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
The technology landscape is strewn with fallen stars such as DEC, HP, Yahoo, and Sun. The question is: Can Apple do it again? Will it be the next big turnaround story - or one of the fallen stars? There are some key elements that must be ingrained in its culture for it to continue to disrupt itself.
February 13, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
Today, no organization can hire all the knowledge workers it needs to cover every emerging need. So, we now have a new era emerging: The era of the knowledgeable networker.
February 6, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
The less headline-worthy backstory here is that mobile and tablet technology have eaten into Dell’s business and, for several years, Mr. Dell has been trying – unsuccessfully – to implement a strategy to transform the company and address the market changes. Taking the company private will not solve Dell's strategy failures, but it will give Mr. Dell a shot to bring back the entrepreneurial leadership and culture that allowed Dell to succeed in the past.
February 5, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
The speed at which the world is changing is causing more company upheaval than ever before. Many large national retail chains are facing executive-level turnover. Kathy Gersch was interviewed by Forbes about what Edward Lampert needs to do as CEO to turn Sears around. As executive vice president at leadership and strategy acceleration firm Kotter International, who previously worked as an executive with retailers Nordstrom and drugstore.com, she has a unique perspective on how Sears can position itself to better tackle the volatile retail industry.

Read Entire Article
January 31, 2013
Kathy Gersch | Forbes.com
Retail organizations need to be intimately connected with how customers use the product – or in this case – the store. Instead of focusing SOLELY on getting product to the floor and getting it out the door, with incremental improvements like improving margins and lower costs, Sears and JCPenney need to be acutely aware of how their product is being used, what needs their product fulfills, and what people think of it, overall.
January 30, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
The value of a mentor who can help cultivate leadership skills one-on-one in real-time, reduce the anxiety in taking big steps, and focus leaders on achieving their goals - is huge.


Read Entire Article

January 30, 2013
John Kotter | Forbes.com
Last week, I spoke with BBC’s Business Daily about the democratization of leadership and why it’s important for everyone — from the top of the organization to the bottom — to play a role in shaping an organization’s strategic direction. I also discussed some of the essential qualities that leaders need, and how they’re not always the characteristics you would expect.;

Listen here (my segment starts around 7:40).
January 29, 2013
Dennis Goin | Forbes.com
The impact of false urgency on a business can be as severe as a merger or shifting to offshore production, but addressing the challenge of false urgency is fairly simple. Follow these tips and you’ll see your employees shift toward true urgency, and begin to push the organization forward.

Read Entire Article
January 22, 2013
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
If you need something to get you over the hump so you can dance ‘till you feel better, consider these ideas. You may find just the right tool to expedite a process or give your initiative a jump-start.
January 14, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
Imagine if your organization had both an "urgency process" that energized the majority of your employees to want to volunteer to help the company transform, PLUS a high functioning employee innovation network that provided the structure and pathways for volunteers to innovate. Imagine what it would mean to your top line, bottom line, competitiveness, employee productivity, and culture.
January 9, 2013
John Kotter | Harvard Business Review
A few weeks ago, the BBC asked me to come in for a radio interview. They told me they wanted to talk about effective leadership — China had just elevated Xi Jinping to the role of Communist Party leader; General David Petraeus had stepped down from his post at the CIA a few days earlier; the BBC itself was wading through a leadership scandal of its own — but the conversation quickly veered, as these things often do, into a discussion about how individuals can keep large, complex, unwieldy organizations operating reliably and efficiently.

That's not leadership, I explained. That's management — and the two are radically different.

Read Entire Article
January 7, 2013
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
“Speed plus agility” is the holy grail that leaders of organizations seek to achieve. Many don’t. There are two big missing pieces that are overlooked by a majority of leaders. Randy Ottinger discusses one of the elements that's missing from the processes used by most organizations to implement their corporate strategies. This ingredient, he argues, can make the difference between the success and failure of those strategies.
January 1, 2013
Russell Raath | Forbes.com
This fiscal cliff debacle has been a lot of things - annoying, uncertain, frustrating, confusing. But what gets me the most is that it is irresponsible and embarrassing. Over the last several months, the leaders and lawmakers of arguably the most significant economy in the world have had an inability to act like adults and find a vaguely productive compromise.

Read Entire Article
December 27, 2012
John Kotter | Forbes.com
My colleagues here at Kotter International have produced some of the most insightful posts on the Forbes Leadership Blog this year. Here are the most popular blogs posted by the Kotter International team. 
What Happens When the Strategy Consultants Leave? – by Randy Ottinger
When Innovation Fails– by Russell Raath
Health Care Reform: Four Companies That Are Leading Change – by Kathy Gersch
3 Leadership Tips for Creating Organic Change  – by Dennis Goin
How to Retain the Heroes Within Your Workforce – by Ken Perlman
5 Skills Every New CEO Needs – by Nancy Dearman
Obama, Romney, and Mastery of the Flip-Flop – by Shaun Spearmon
December 20, 2012
Ken Perlman | Forbes.com
By Ken Perlman
Forbes.com 

I recently had a ‘21st Century Moment’ that paints a picture of our new modern workforce in a single sentence.

During lunch today at a Mexican-owned carnicería (butcher or meat market), I met with a colleague (born in Iran, immigrated to the US as a teenager), where TVs were showing a Spanish-language MTV channel that was playing a song by a Korean artist singing in Korean and English (yes, clearly it’s PSY Gangham Style).

Read Entire Article
December 17, 2012
Shaun Spearmon | Forbes.com
A quick web search for the term “business strategy,” yields more than 81 million results. A search for “strategy implementation” and “strategy execution” returns just 7 and 3 million results, respectively. This silly, unscientific experiment spotlights a clear problem I see with how the rest of the English-speaking, Google-searching world prioritizes success planning.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, summed this up well in his recent interview with FORTUNE magazine, “We always say we could leave our strategic plan on an airplane, somebody could pick it up, and it wouldn’t matter. It’s all about execution. It’s how you hire, how you inspire, your culture, how you reward, how you celebrate victories, how you deal with disappointments. This is easy to talk about, but it is all in the execution.”

Read Entire Article
December 17, 2012
Randy Ottinger | Financial Executive Magazine
Financial analysts often cite a curious statistic: 70 percent of mergers, acquisitions and other business partnerships end in failure. This, for sure, is “curious” because management experts are also fond of noting that 70 percent of all strategic initiatives fall short of their intended goals.

Regardless, at the beginning of 2012, merger and acquisition activity was on the rise. According to a report from PwC, Asset Management M&A Insights, M&A values for the previous year were said to exceed a trillion dollars, a 15 percent increase over 2010. And forecasts for 2012 are optimistic: a study conducted by KPMG and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania of 825 executives, entitled Executives Show Guarded Optimism about M&A in the Year Ahead, shows that nearly seven out of 10 companies planned to make at least one acquisition in 2012, up significantly from 2011. Read

Read Entire Article
December 10, 2012
John Patrick | Forbes.com
Will we continue our haphazard journey towards the cliff, or will Congress and the White House truly, urgently join forces to lead us away from the precipice and onto a path to prosperity? That’s the $1 trillion question.

Read Entire Article
December 7, 2012
Randy Ottinger | Forbes.com
Mergers and acquisitions have long been an important tool for organizations looking to stay ahead of the competition. But much like large-scale change initiatives, most M&A deals end in failure — 70 percent of the time, to be exact. For this month’s Financial Executive magazine cover story, my colleague Randy Ottinger analyzes this “curious” phenomenon and finds that, as a result of such dismal success, growing numbers of businesses are instead looking inward:

Read Entire Article.
December 5, 2012
Russell Raath | Forbes.com
Russell Raath, a senior engagement leader at Kotter International, has been facilitating a leadership training retreat for underprivileged students in South Africa in partnership with the Make A Difference Foundation. He’s been capturing his experiences on his smart phone. Here’s his second report from Cape Town, where he discusses the importance of developing leaders at all levels of an organization and building your own leadership legacy.

News & Insights

Read more of the Kotter International team's published articles.


Leadership Inspiration

Subscribe for free articles, insights, and exclusive access - including 50% off the Accelerate Discussion Guide.

Tom Mendoza of NetApp on working with Kotter International
Hierarchy and Network: Two Structures, One Organization
A New Way to Accelerate Strategy Implementation
The Difference Between Management and Leadership
Farmers Life Guiding Coalition - October 2010
Randy Ottinger on Large-scale Engagements
Buy-In the Tale
The Importance of Buy-In
Dennis Goin on Large-Scale Change